Stop the Faux-Outrage Over Tennessee Cancelling Classes

Stop the Faux-Outrage Over Tennessee Cancelling Classes

On Thursday, Nancy Armour of USA Today wrote an article titled, and I’m not kidding about this, “Athletics come first at Tennessee and shutting down the school proves it.” You can read it for yourself if you feel compelled to waste five minutes of your day.

If you don’t want to labor with slogging through Nancy’s article, in short, she makes the tepid argument that Tennessee should have never moved its season-opening game to a Thursday night because administrators knew that they would have to cancel classes on the day of the game to accommodate. This decision, in turn, proves that athletics come before academics at Tennessee and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Nancy, I mean this in the most sincere way possible: Stop your whining.

There are football coaches at Baylor covering up crimes to keep athletes eligible and you’re writing about Tennessee canceling classes? You have to be kidding me.

Is this really what it’s come to? You have the need to be outraged so badly that you’re going to get your feathers ruffled up because UT is shutting down for a day so traffic won’t be a complete nightmare for a football game?

Or is USA Today just that desperate for clicks? I know newspapers are a dying medium, but, come on.

And I don’t even necessarily disagree with the sentiment of the article. Universities should absolutely value education over athletics. UT decided to close for a day for a football game, which is certianly not the best thing that a university can do, but they then added a day to the end of the semester, thus, technically, there’s no class time even being lost.

I can’t imagine how mad Nancy would be if there was a snow day at UT next semester and they didn’t get to make up the lost class time. HOW DARE Tennessee value snow over academics.

For the love of all that is good in this world, give me a break.

Oh, and let’s also take a look at the fact that Tennessee in no way is the first school to cancel classes for a football game. Mississippi State closed for a Thursday night game in 2011. UCF canceled classes when they played East Carolina on a Thursday in 2012. Alabama canceled THREE DAYS of classes in 2009 so students could attend the national championship game.

Where was the outrage then, Nancy?

Go ahead and write that column and after you climb atop your ivory tower to shame Alabama, you should also pen an editorial that criticizes the entity who is perhaps the biggest perpetrator in this situation: ESPN.

They’re the ones who schedule game times. They’re the ones who asked Tennessee to move their season-opener to Thursday. They’re the ones who pay conferences and schools millions upon millions of dollars to televise games. Media outlets are just as much to blame as the schools, if not more so, and yet, for some reason, they get a pass?

Please, justify this for me, Nancy.

You wanted to nationally smear Tennessee but you apparently didn’t stop to think about the fact that they might not be the biggest problem here. You were too blinded by your need for moral outrage that you didn’t fully consider the genesis of the issue with which you’re taking umbrage.

There are huge problems in collegiate sports that deserve more coverage than they’re getting. From entitlement culture and sexual assault to the injustice of schools making mountains of money off of athletes who never see a penny, things are wrong in big-time college sports. But, a school canceling a day of classes for a football game is not one of them. No one is truly effected by the shuffling around of an academic schedule. Please, Nancy, put aside the outrage and turn your sights on something that actually matters.



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