Posted: 12:43 pm Friday, March 18th, 2011

Sports Illustrated columnist says high schools should cut football 

By Jeff Greer

Columnist and radio show host Frank Deford wrote Thursday that with states and school systems facing serious budget problems and increasing head-health concerns in football, high schools should seriously consider cutting the sport.

Deford, a Sports Illustrated columnist, Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel correspondent and National Public Radio show host, acknowledged the popularity of the sport, but he said football is “excessively expensive compared to other sports and played by only one sex.” He also writes that the expensive nature of sports has taken away from schools’ ability to provide enough arts and music education to students.

“From a strictly realistic, cost-effective, health-effective, culture-effective point of view, it would make the most sense to drop football,” he wrote.

Here’s more from his column:

“… The evidence grows regularly now that it is a terribly dangerous sport, rife with concussions, which can damage young brains. There must be a good reason why virtually nowhere else in the world is what is distinctively called “American football” played.

“Now, the hue and cry that would go up if schools started trying to drop our favorite sport would be at the mega-level. It would, in fact, be called “un-American” — and would probably produce more hysteria than raising taxes would. But from a strictly realistic, cost-effective, health-effective, culture-effective point of view, it would make the most sense to drop football. That would allow art and music to remain in school, and divert boys into safer athletic exercise.

“Or look at it this way. If administrators actually threatened to eliminate football, the football people might finally have to try and take the deadly violence out of the game.”

I have a feeling there aren’t too many folks in South Florida who would agree with Deford. What do you guys think?

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