WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Could lawsuits eventually drive out collegiate football?

Frequent visitors to this blog know my long-held distaste for collegiate (and often high school) sports, particularly football.

The evidence mounts as to how bigtime sports programs not only pull away from the lesser sports; they can distort the supposedly central academic mission of a high school or university. It's a sad commentary how parents will "shop around" private high schools to find a spot where their son or daughter can be assured a spot on a varsity team.

But, as talk-show host Al Mascitti has argued on the air, it's scandalous that academic institutions continue to promote football, as the evidence mounts that players face psychological pressure to keep playing, even after suffering an injury - particularly a head injury - and these players suffer the health effects later in life.

If these compelling reasons don't dissuade institutions (and alumni) from elevating football to the holy grail, perhaps litigation will.

A letter-writer to The NEWS JOURNAL writes about this, in a letter headlined: "FOOTBALL SHOULD BE ELIMINATED AS A SPORT".

Key paragraph:

"It's only a matter of time before the legal profession zeros in on these institutions on behalf of injured former players and demands the sport be eliminated and significant financial payments be provided for injured former students, most of whom are minorities. It's highly unlikely that equipment or play rule changes can overcome the dangers inherent in football."

And the letter-writer's last sentence is the clincher:

"It's hard to see the difference between a private company's legal vulnerability if it attempts to protect profits by continuing to sell a defective product and a university's culpability when it chooses to maintain a sport that damages the future health of a population of its students."

Here's a link to that entire letter from Alexander Maclachlan...


I'm still waiting for a religiously affiliated institution of higher learning to take a stand on principle regarding football. Especially a Catholic college, university, or even high school. To my mind, it would fit perfectly on the pro-life continuum of anti-abortion, anti-capital punishment, and anti-war.

Posted at 7:30am on March 13, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Mar 13, 2014 9:26pm
Allan, I'm sure you're hoping the answer to your headline question is yes. However, I doubt you get your wish because considering the huge money college football takes in, any lawsuits would just be part of the cost of doing business.


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