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Ban College Football

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  • Malcolm Gladwell: Football Causes Major Brain Injuries

    Clip: Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker contributor and author of Outliers, makes his opening statement for the motion of banning college football.

  • Tim Green: Football Teaches Players How to Face Adversity

    Clip: Tim Green, former NFL football player, gives his opening remarks against the motion of banning college football.

  • Buzz Bissinger: Universities Have the Wrong Priorities

    Clip: Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, makes his opening statement for the motion of banning college football.

  • Jason Whitlock: America Gives Freedom to Do Dumb Things

    Clip: Jason Whitlock, sports commentator for FOX Sports, gives his opening argument against the motion of banning college football.

  • Buzz Bissinger: College Football Needs a Radical Change

    Clip: Buzz Bissinger offer his closing remarks to the debate whether college football should be banned. Bissinger argues that universities require a radical change to change their priorities back to education student athletes.

  • Buzz Bissinger: Football is Corrupting Universities

    Clip: Buzz Bissinger offers his opening remarks to the debate whether college football should be banned. Bissinger argues that college football is a distraction to universities, and is corrupting the institutions.

  • Football Hits Are Like Car Crashes Without Airbags

    Clip: Malcolm Gladwell describes the amount of times a person would have to crash their car to equal the impact a football player sustains during a season.

Debate Details

Corruption and a growing concern for head injury have put college football in the spotlight. Are football programs’ millions in profits exploitation? Or are they still a celebration of amateur sport? Does football’s inherent danger and violence have any place in institutions of higher learning? Or, does it provide young men with educational opportunities they would not otherwise have?

The Debaters

For the motion

Buzz Bissinger

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist & Author, Friday Night Lights

H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger is among the nation's most honored and distinguished writers. A native of New York City, Bissinger is the winner of the Pulitzer... Read More

Malcolm Gladwell

The New Yorker Staff Writer & Author, The Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 1996. He has written on a wide range of topics, including the science of cool... Read More

Against the motion

Tim Green

Former NFL Defensive End and Football Broadcaster

Former Atlanta Falcons star defensive end Tim Green has been hailed as the “Renaissance Man” of sports. Recently inducted into the College Football... Read More

Jason Whitlock National Columnist

Jason Whitlock is a national columnist for and an all-sports insider and contributor to FOX Sports Radio. Whitlock was an All-State... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • Football has no place in institutions of higher learning, where it essentially functions as a minor league for the NFL.
  • It is a billion dollar business that grows increasingly corrupt, where the average salary for major-college coach was $1.47 million and players see none of the revenue.
  • Growing evidence for brain injury and elevated dementia rates for football players—violence and suffering for the entertainment of others—have led critics to compare the sport to dogfighting.
Against The Motion
  • Players learn discipline and teamwork, and unlike professional athletes, play for history, tradition, and school pride. For colleges, football teams help to build a sense of community and tradition among students and alumni.
  • Scholarships allow many young men to attend college who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity, and playing for a university gives them access to first-class coaching and game experience.
  • There will always be risks involved in playing a contact sport, but education, rule changes, and better equipment can make it much safer without affecting the integrity of the game.
  • Revenue from sports like football and basketball go toward academics as well as subsidizing the cost of other college sports.

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The Research

The Research

Let's Start Paying College Athletes

Joe Nocera
December 30, 2011

In consultation with sports economists, antitrust lawyers and reformers, Nocera puts together the outlines of a plan to pay those who play football and men’s basketball in college.

Malcolm Gladwell, Ted Johnson, and Why Football Isn't Like Dogfighting

Mike Gleason
October 23, 2009

Personal responsibility has been under attack in our society for quite some time. Banning or forcibly reforming football, would represent an unwarranted infringement on the public's right to self-determination.

Taylor Branch
October 1, 2011

The real scandal is the very structure of college sports, wherein student-athletes generate billions of dollars for universities and private companies while earning nothing for themselves. Here, a leading civil-rights historian makes the case for paying college athletes—and reveals how a spate of lawsuits working their way through the courts could destroy the NCAA.

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