At 74 years old Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is one of the rare living icons that still pace the sidelines. He's been coaching since 1962 and it's safe to say that he has forgot more football than most of us will ever know, which is why his comments yesterday after practice about the state of college football have demanded so much attention.
Following Wednesday's practice, Snyder talked at length about how television has taken over and tainted college sports, forcing education to take a backseat to money and completely distorting the values of today's youth.
"It's changed. I mean, college athletics, football in particular, has changed dramatically over the years. I think we've sold out. We're all about dollars and cents." USA Today noted in their piece on the presser.
"The concept of college football no longer has any bearing on the quality of the person, the quality of students. Universities are selling themselves out."
Since his first stint as the head coach at Kansas State starting back in 1989, college football has undergone countless changes, and the very fabric of the game has changed drastically in his eyes because today every major university in the country is part of one giant money-grab, with the facilities arm race being front and center.
"Everybody is building Taj Mahals, and I think it sends the message — and young people today I think are more susceptible to the downside of that message, and that it's not about education. We're saying it is, but it's really about the glitz and the glitter, and I think sometimes values get distorted that way."
"I hate to think a young guy would make a decision about where he's going to get an education based on what a building looks like." he explained.
If you listen to (or read up on) his entire press conference, that line right there rings the loudest, but what he said about his office and how he stuck up for the professors on campus wasn't far behind.
"Our professors — I have an office I could swim in. They're in a cubbyhole somewhere, yet they go out and teach and promote education every day, and I value that." Snyder noted.
"I'm not upset with the people that promote some of that stuff because they're trying to do their thing. That's what they do. But I think we've lost sight of what college athletics is all about."
It would be hard to argue that there's a coach out there somewhere that is still wearing a whistle who has seen the college football landscape change firsthand as much as Snyder has, so his comments yesterday shouldn't fall on deaf ears.