College season drags on way too long for players 

I’ve awoken in 2011 to a New Year’s celebration that will never end.

That wall-to-wall day of college football that used to await us all on the first day of the year feels like its lasting 240 hours this year.

The games that once forced us to channel surf through a maze of college football team colors playing in a blur of Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Outback, Blockbuster, Rose bowls has become an endless parade of football nights.
Will the seniors on the Oregon or Auburn football teams have graduated by the time these two teams play for a BCS national championship?

And wasn’t one of the arguments against a national playoff that it would take the players away from their studies for too much time.

Since the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, 24 NCAA Division I teams have played in a bowl game.
And we’re still not done.

If anybody had told us that Middle Tennessee and Miami of Ohio would play in bowl game after New Year’s Day, we would have laughed at the thought.

This extension of the college football season into the second week of January is just the latest example of the NCAA, who’d sell it’s first born for an extra buck, bleeding the sport dry in order to fatten the NCAA’s wallets.
Even worse is the fact that the Auburn Tigers will have had to play 14 games in order to win a national championship.

The NFL plays 16, and those guys make millions of dollars.

At what point do we finally say enough to too much. These are amateurs. These are teenagers and young men. The toll on their bodies, the time away from classes needs to be considered.

Why does it take these athletes 14 games to earn scholarships in 2011 when in the 1970s and 1980s it only took 10 games to earn that same scholarship?

I know when Oregon and Auburn line up Monday night nobody will be thinking about how long those kids have been playing.

It’s a fascinating matchup, but there has to be some end in sight. Otherwise, a few years from now, we’ll find the national championship game played on the Saturday before the Super Bowl.

 

Random thought

— If you’re having a bad day, I have just the news that will turn it around. Spring training tickets for the Giants go on sale this week. Imagine spending the spring in Scottsdale basking in the warmth of the afterglow of the Giants' World Series championship. Can’t be a better vacation out there.

 

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at tliotta@
sfexaminer.com.

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Tim Liotta

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