Thursday night, the college football season kicked off. Typical to this event, so did the merchandising, the chants, the slogans, and the “tribal” group think mentality
I’m not sure if it is the same around the rest of the country, but here in the southeastern United States this is a huge event. Many people returned to work on Friday morning wearing the bags under their eyes as a sign that they had stayed up very late watching the first games of the season. Regardless of the condition, these fanatics are almost guaranteed to be wearing some piece of clothing brandishing their teams collegiate logo and most likely the same logo on bumper stickers or window clings.
The colors that an individual may wear or put on their car, just like within gangs, can be considered a testament for which team they support. Also just like within gangs these colors can cause unneeded tension between the citizens, friends, and family.
This was never more evident to me then when I relocated to East Alabama in the fall of 2008. I was new in town at the infancy of a new era in “Alabama” Football. If you aren’t aware, in Alabama, unlike Georgia, their are two colleges that are known for their football programs. This meaning that their are two sets of fans that are highly supportive of their teams, and often this leads to arguments, “shit” talk, and even violence between the two groups.
Click here to read an article about an Alabama fan killing an Auburn fan over the heckling that occurred after the results of the annual Iron Bowl.
Though I do have particular team that I support, I choose to line my wardrobe with basic flat colors in order to avoid any significant signs of an alliance with any particular team.
The reason I don’t spend my money on these items is due to the fact that I refuse to be a part of a system that is continuously exploiting this group think mentality that we often experience in the human race. The marketing department at the NCAA are well aware of our instinct to develop tribes and continue to make massive profit from it while the students, athletic or not, are not rewarded accordingly.
The latest audit numbers have been published at NCAA.org. The latest audit numbers are from 2011/2012, and notates a revenue of $871.6 million.
According to trends.collegeboard.org, in 2012‑13, published tuition and fees for in-state students at flagship universities range from $4,278 at the University of Wyoming and $5,985 at the University of Montana to $16,422 at the University of New Hampshire and $17,266 at Penn State.
My concern is this, the revenue at the NCAA has continued to grow, and the tuition cost has also continued to grow.
Why hasn’t there been a medium found? Where is this money going? It cost money to produce all those hoodies, hats, t shirts, and jerseys. After all we have to keep the tribes clothed, but shouldn’t we begin to see the tuition stabilize?