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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2005
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EDITORIAL

College football needs its money withdrawn

Logan Young's conviction in Memphis federal court this week shouldn't surprise too many people because the evidence suggested great improprieties in the recruiting of Albert Means to play football at The University of Alabama.

Technically, the evidence may not have shown Mr. Young, a wealthy and ardent Tide booster, handing over a reported $150,000 to a high-school coach to influence the talented lineman to come to Tuscaloosa. But the trial exposed the murky world of recruitment of college athletes.

The case probably will be appealed. But if the judge were to agree to a mild rebuke, Mr. Young might wish to go quietly into oblivion as a footnote to one of the greatest football traditions in the nation.

But perhaps Mr. Young needs to stay in the news for a while longer as a reminder that college football is out of control across the nation.

When low-income athletes just out of high school drive expensive automobiles onto their college campuses, reasonable people have to question who paid for the vehicles.

Reasonable people have to question a football season that stretches from August to January. And they must try to justify the shameful differential between the head coach's pay and that of the college president.

The system is corrupt and needs reform. The Memphis trial may be only a small part of a national problem that college and university boards of trustees and presidents should force the NCAA to fix.

A good start would be to take away some of the money that flows into these programs and take some of the pressure off coaches to end every season undefeated.

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