(This column was written
In 1974, when I was president of
Located outside of
I felt it was important for me to write this story at this time. All around us we are seeing the bastardization of what it means to get an education. Unscrupulous agents pay monies under the table to induce young men to play athletically for various schools while coaches and AD' s pretend to be oblivious to what is going on around them.
True, I am of the opinion that to get a scholarship and enjoy an education is an award well earned. It should be enough! However, I also believe that many young men from impoverished families should receive a legitimate stipend over and above their sometimes all too meager scholarships. This fee would be for services rendered in helping the school fill their stadiums and fielding a winning team. A team, which in turn directly relates to alumni gifts and monetary awards based on pride.
However, like so many other sports fans, I am appalled at what is going on!
Then there is the USSA standing tall amidst all the chaos. Under Dr. Rosandich's leadership and guidance they have stayed true to their mission statement for almost 40 years.
When the five men first founded the academy in 1972 in
Since the academy's inception they have awarded many bachelor, master's and doctoral degrees. Where there were none before, sports-specific courses are now part of the curricula in over 200 accredited American colleges and universities. Academy graduates, like religious missionaries, have spread the word.
The courses taught range from bachelor's and master's degrees in sports science, to doctorates of education in sports management, sports coaching, or sports studies. No facet of the sports environment is left unattended ... sports fitness and health, sports medicine and sports psychology round out the available curricula. Also, among the courses taught are NCAA compliance, Olympianism and personal training.
It is interesting to note that the five founders who banded together at Milwaukee in 1972 were spurred on by the disastrous showing of the American team at the just past tragic Munich Olympic games. They looked around and saw that the powerhouse nations of the Eastern Bloc all had national sports academies and were turning out gold medal winners by the carload. Something had to be done and they did it.
With old-fashioned American ingenuity and without government funding they set about making their dream a reality. They started in a single office donated by Dr. Block. Today, the Academy occupies countless acres and its graduates hold many important positions in not only academia, but also in the worlds of amateur, collegiate and professional sports. They represent all that is good about athletics.
A visit to the Academy means the visitor will see a Walk of Fame featuring legendary sports figures, as well as the world's greatest gallery of sports art. A forty-foot mural of Hank Aaron hangs in a place of honor and is one of the many highlights. The Academy is also the home for the world's most complete sports sculpture garden.
Americans know well the Baseball Hall of Fame in
We all know and admire
Among the many things the Academy does is to give awards in countless area of sports. For example, one of the recipients of the art award is LeRoy Neiman. Among the awards, one is named for a former sportscaster named "Dutch" Reagan who became the 40th president of the
So, when you next visit the Ronald Reagan Library in