It’s almost the end of September, and this is the year’s first post in this thread. For that, I apologize. But now that I have the opportunity, I want to use this thread for the primary purpose it was intended -- to supplement elements and points raised in my Around the Mid-Atlantic column.
This week, I wrote about the Division III players who were nominated to one of the two Allstate ACFC Good Works Teams. The voting panel says that the purpose of the teams is to tell the stories of college football players who do good in their communities.
But I question whether they mean the stories of the most marketable players.
Division I-FBS is the smallest college division there is -- both in terms of number of teams and number of athletes competing. Of the 50,000 football players in the NCAA, most are in Divisions I-FCS, II and III.
So why then are the Good Works Teams divided into two final teams, one for those major FBS schools and one for everyone else?
Of the 112 players nominated this year, slightly less than half came from Division I-FBS. But they get their own team all to themselves. Has this been the way it was for the whole 19 years of the Good Works Team? If so, it sounds like a money/marketing-driven decision.
And, I haven’t done the proper research on this next point, but I would wager a guess that students at the “lower” divisions are a lot more focused on community affairs than are the scholarship athletes whose “football lives” pretty much make up their entire lives. So, the typical Division III player who does good in his community has to compete not only against the other athletes in the largest division in college football, but he also has to go up against players from two other divisions.
Fairness, please show yourself if you’re out there.
In a perfect world, there would be a separate team for athletes at each division. At the very least, though, I would like to see a team for the Division I-FBS and FCS athletes and then another for the Division II and III athletes.
This year, only one Division III athlete made the final team. In the past, we usually land four or five of the spots -- a disproportionately good showing by the high-caliber of students we have at this level.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into how the teams are divided. I do appreciate that there is an entity out there that honors players’ off-field achievements. That is a great thing, so thank you Allstate and ACFC. I want to be absolutely sincere on that point.
But would it be so bad to tweak the system just a little?