Readers React

How to make 'student athlete' mean something again

To the editor: Bravo to Michael Hiltzik for calling out big-business college athletics. ("Big-time college sports should split from their universities," column, March 20)

Like a frog being boiled by slowly rising water temperature, we've become inured to the slow but inexorable progress of college sport from an extracurricular activity to the tail that wags the dog.

As a season-ticket holding USC football fan, I would continue to cheer on the Trojans as a semi-pro team "brought to you by USC." I would even go to the intramural game between USC's real student athletes and those of the opposing team, much like we used to go to the junior varsity game before the varsity one in high school. Tailgating on their sidelines on an open field somewhere nearby would be an extra pre-big game treat.

Athletes on the USC semi-pro varsity team who have the aptitude could even be offered a free tuition when their playing days are over if they don't make it to the pros, or after they retire even if they do.

Robert Huber, Yorba Linda

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