In the wake of the NCAA College Cup, our friends over at SoccerLens are currently running an interesting piece on the current and future place of the collegiate system in US soccer. The gist seems to be that soccer deserves both equal footing with the NCAA's cash cow sports (football, basketball, baseball) and an extended season to conform more closely to the standards of the world game.
Just because our institutions of "higher education" have sacrificed their credibility and dignity in the pursuit of the almighty dollar, should we really be looking to compound the problem by adding soccer to an already ugly mix? Screw all the other "ball" sports as well. Are these universities, or are they professional athlete factories? I know they bring in big money, but is that money being plowed into education or is the rest of the factory system busy churning out meaningless pieces of paper with fancy calligraphy for anybody who can afford one?
And screw the NFL, MLB, and NBA for using the system like this. Why can't they stick some of that windfall from broadcast rights and exorbitant ticket prices into "academy" systems of their own and let colleges focus on training minds again? Why does college need to be so inextricably intertwined with professional sports?
Here's hoping college soccer becomes what all other collegiate athletic programs should become: a net to catch the talent that slips through the academy system, fails to catch on at a lower division club, or simply blossoms later in life--a Last Chance Saloon, if you will. Besides, with academies starting to churn out talent and only four developmental slots on offer, does the future of the draft really look so terribly bright?