Mar 212005
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Feminists of the world, unite!

OK, so maybe I'm reaching beyond myself. I'm not even that much of a feminist. But, there is something that upsets me, and I'm surprised that more feminists haven't jumped on the same bandwagon.

In the events surrounding the Colorado "Fluffalo" football program, it is just too hard to not be disgusted with the treatment of women. More importantly, the role of women in college football just can't be ignored anymore, either.

For a society that likes to think it has made significant progress in the equality of the sexes, how did college football get left so far behind?

In the past weeks, grand jury leaks have given the state and the nation a reason to point the finger at CU again. President Betsy "it's a term of endearment" Hoffman has resigned.

And now, the cries for the head of the Ol' Embattled Ball Coach (my personal pet name for CU head coach Gary Barnett) have gotten even louder. He's the last one left out of the Big Four of Football Scandal – Hoffman, Athletic Director Dick Tharp and former CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny all are gone now.

You want change? You gotta clean house, the critics say.

But will firing Gary Barnett really do anything to solve the problem? I think not.

I'll let you in on a (not so) secret about college football. Sex is used to sell programs across the nation to top recruits. Women are seen as nothing more than recruiting tools.

You want proof? Open up the media guide of the national champion Southern California Trojans and find the student guides who meet and take prospective football recruits around the campus. They all have three things in common.

They're pretty. They're thin. They're young women. Each and every one of them.

So that's how you win national championships!

You mean teams are using sex to sell a major football program? I bet if you looked closely, you'd find that sex plays a role in most of the major programs across the nation.

Even women not used for sex don't earn the respect they try to earn. Barnett said it best himself, speaking of former CU place-kicker Katie Hnida:

"She was a girl. Not only was she a girl, she was terrible."

I think the Ol' Embattled Ball Coach speaks clearly enough. That's enough there for many people to write up a pink slip and slap it to his backside. But he's just a talking airhead.

Getting rid of one man won't do much except set the CU football program back a couple of years. The only way to solve the problem is to attack the culture. Hopefully, with the problems that plague CU brought to light, more attention will be paid to the real inequality in collegiate athletics. It's not Title IX.

Instead of making winning the only important thing in college football, there should be a movement to change the way football players are treated on the campus. A change in the way they are recruited, coached off the field and educated.

Every year, thousands of young men are coached in the Xs and Os of football. Wouldn't it be great if that guidance extended off the chalkboard and the playing field?

The NCAA cracks down on academic ineptitude. What about moral ineptitude? Women should not be sexual objects used to sell football. College football needs to get that point through its head.

So, I don't care if the Ol' Embattled Ball Coach gets the ax or not. He's just a wonderful vocalization of the problem. It runs much deeper than a tactless, mediocre football coach at a sub-par athletic program.

Taping someone's mouth shut isn't going to change the way anybody thinks.

Jon Pilsner is a junior technical journalism major. He is the assistant sports editor at the Collegian.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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