Letters to the Editor: USC is torching its Pac-12 traditions for money. Good riddance

The Stanford and USC football teams square off in Palo Alto, Calif., on Sept. 10.
The Stanford and USC football teams square off in Palo Alto on Sept. 10.
(Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

To the editor: I read Glenn Kramon’s essay, “Football at Stanford? Maybe not,” with interest as I too watched the USC-Stanford game on Sept. 10 with a sense of displacement. Like him, I — a USC graduate — found myself cheering for the other team, Stanford.

This is because unlike Kramon, I object to the increasing professionalism of college athletes. I admire Stanford for holding the line on transfers and keeping competition in perspective. I am particularly upset with the decision of USC and UCLA to leave the Pac-12 conference, abandoning century-old traditions like the USC-Stanford rivalry.

If the NFL needs a minor league system to recruit players, let them pay for it. Do not encourage academic institutions to subsidize one of the most profitable businesses around.


Only a few universities balance their athletic program costs. Most get involved in scandal and compromised ethics and activities that are far removed from the intellectual purposes of their schools.

I have communicated my dissatisfaction to my alma mater, which seems to not care about it. So that makes my distancing from the university less painful.

Glen Mowrer, Santa Barbara


To the editor: The commercialization of college football was inevitable. Football players, unlike academic talent, have been recruited for years by universities only interested in how much power they could display on the gridiron.

And why? Because college football is big business. Thus, it is not in any way unreasonable to pay the people who do the work.

And yet, it is possible that universities such as Stanford could function simply on the basis of their academic offerings.


Kramon thinks high school seniors would be less interested in going to a university without a football team. Is that why UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine have to fight applicants off with a stick? Caltech seems to manage to recruit students too.

My alma mater, Bryn Mawr College, doesn’t have a football team either.

Erica Hahn, Monrovia


To the editor: Kramon is right on target. Money’s influence has polluted all sports, and its effect on the collegiate level is particularly disgusting.

Why is it accepted that Major League Baseball draws most of it players from its minor league system, which is a business, while the NFL, NBA and WNBA use collegiate athletics as their minor leagues at no apparent cost to them?

These professional leagues should be prohibited from recruiting from colleges and be required to recruit their new players from non-collegiate pro or semi-pro minor leagues.

Stu Bernstein, Santa Monica