Recently I took a survey sponsored by the Cougar Club. The last question was:
What is your main reason for not donating to BYU Athletics?
Here's my response:
We donate to BYU regularly, to various departments and special projects. And I love BYU football, and have since I was a kid and Gary Sheide was the quarterback. Still, I don't think athletics is the most needy nor the most important department on campus and so my limited funds go elsewhere.
Athletes, frankly, get more accolades than they deserve. Academic recognition, for example, for “scholar athletes” is well below the level required for other students to get noticed. This is true even though many other groups on campus spend many, uncredited, long hours, lots of travel, and reap fame and ginormous contracts upon graduation. OK, not the last part.
As a former member of a BYU musical touring group (A Cappella Choir, under the direction of the amazing, late Ralph Woodward), I can tell you that we spent hours and hours (year round not just seasonally) on extra rehearsals and performances. Yet we were still expected to keep our grades incredibly high to earn any academic recognition. Ever heard of a “Scholar Musician” with only a 3.5 GPA? Ha!
So, “rise all loyal cougars!” I'll buy the tickets and mounds of overpriced popcorn. But I'm sending my scholarship contributions to the scholarly scholars.