The Pac-12’s collapse proves money rules college sports. Here’s a fix.
Contributing columnist, The Washington Post
August 7, 2023 at 3:18 p.m. EDT
The implosion of the Pac-12 is merely the latest example of the farce that has become college sports. For some time now, the athletic-industrial complex has been chipping away at the pretense that student-athletes, at least in revenue-generating sports, attend the college of their choice for any reason other than playing ball. And why should they? The adults who run their programs are utterly transparent about what’s important to them: money. That’s why five Western schools are fleeing, for more lucrative television contracts.
What’s notable, and pathetic, is that the commentary around the death of the Pac-12 isn’t so much lamenting the pernicious impact of money on college sports as sadness for the demise of the status quo. A great regional sports league, long ago tainted by crass commercialism, the Pac-12 didn’t play the money game as well as its Midwestern and Southeastern athletic competitors.
In short, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.