British Universities & College Sports are in full preparation, now that it is the 2nd full year with yet another active season in which over 4000 teams will compete in 16 various sports. With over 157 universities in its jurisdiction, it’s surprising just how many people do not know who BUCS are, which shows the difficulties in the UK grass roots sports side of things.
Countries around the world offer college sports but nowhere else it is so highly regarded as on the United States soil. The reason could be listed for the role that college sports have in the current hierarchy of organizations focussing on sports. Inter college sports is at the essence of feeding the professional sport levels. Elite athletes are recruited from college sport to compete at the high competitive stages of professional sport. This is a state unique formed system as around the globe government funds normally feeds organizations with funded feeder systems.
Like the British BUCS, America has its own organisation called the National Collegiate Athletic Association – NCAA. While BUCS operates in association with Nike offering assistance through accumulated team kit discounts, the NCAA is subsidised through holding rights on television stations like ESPN, CBS Sports and alternative subsidiaries with Hershey’s, AT&T and Coca Cola.
Debates have surfaced in recent years around the subject of whether college athletes need to be paid or not. With the high sports packages offered to professional athletes today the argument arise that college athletes should enjoy the same benefits. The college athletes contributes to large amounts of revenue for the colleges and schools but currently are not rewarded personally for their contribution. The money is distributed amongst coaches, media, other parties or administrators. The college athletes do receive full scholarship and do enjoy benefits from perks at their respective schools, which does not apply to the general student at the different schools or colleges. In both America and the UK scholarships are extremely rare and American athletes receive funds up to $100,000, this is argued as a payment for participation.
The only UK universities that come close to similar types of athlete rewards are that of Bath and Loughborough. Loughborough’s offers more generous amounts of £3,000 toward fees of courses and towards daily living expenses they offer £1,000 with free parking and £250 for memberships, but again that is just one of the hundreds of universities. Loughborough stays consistently at the top name list on the BUCS league and this is a testament to what results can be bared when more universities and schools follow their lead. There are many other organizations that understand the importance of supporting athletes at many levels. There are various websites that donate on a regular basis, those such as PokieCasino.com. While this may be a gambling based information site, it still is one that is generous and supportive of sports in general.
The question remaining is could we benefit from taking a leaf out of the book of the Americans? Sure the cons and pros are there. America shows no equivalent in championship in leagues and 2ndly players who does not qualify can’t drop to a division to start a career. College leaving students that did not make the leagues in America still has a full education of the college behind his name, which sure is a commodity of value whoever you are. Successful athletes can always fall back on their degrees once their active days come to an end, people like Gary Charles and Paul Gascoigne can contest to that.
There are reasons why it is not possible for us to follow their success comes down to money or should we say the lack of it. Government is cutting programmes for universities every year and it is very unlikely that there would be any changes soon to the way things are done if that ever occurs. But raising the university sport standards is something worth looking into and so to is revenue generated from television packages. It would certainly be worth it for the government to look into, it has the potential to generate major revenue and could prevent universities from cutting courses. The Olympics could trigger some interest and might get David Cameron to look into the possibilities but until such time it might have to remain an afterthought.