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Bill Snyder says college athletics has sold out in rant against NCAA

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Bill Snyder, at 74 years old, is about as old school as it comes within college football's coaching ranks.

So when it comes to getting the unguarded opinion of an old 'ball coach who believes the young-uns aren't doing it right, that the current generation has sold out, and that the world just isn't what it used to be - well, Snyder would seem like the perfect candidate.

Snyder lived up to that expectation last week, when he started his inaugural press conference of the season by ranting on recent changes to the college athletics infrastructure.

His comments were prescient - the very next day the NCAA's board of directors voted to give college football's five biggest conferences unprecedented control to make rules and pass legislation that would benefit them most.

"It's no longer about education," Snyder said, according to CBS Sports.

"We've sold out to the cameras over there, and TV has made its way, and I don't fault TV. I don't fault whoever broadcasts games. They have to make a living and that's what they do, but athletics - that's it. It's sold out."

He added with what he said was only his opinion.

"I think we've lost sight of what college athletics is all about."

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Always athletics first

The thing is, Snyder is right. 

In fact, one could say he nailed it on the NCAA's ironfisted head.

Because college sports has sold out, it has turned its student-athletes into professional mercenaries, it has turned a nation's past time into a cut-throat industry which everyone (except for the players) profits obscenely from.

But it's the timeframe that Snyder is wrong about.

This didn't just happen. 

It happened when college football became a viable commercial product that with the help of the aforementioned cameras and TV stations, entered the home of every American.

It happened when SMU built a stadium before it built its first library, in the 1920s. College football's infrastructure as an institute which compensated its students for their athletic skills began upon its founding in 1906: its authorized use of scholarships, beginning with one-year offers in 1973, made paying players kosher.

Innocence lost

So Snyder very well can be rankled about college football's unsavory scene.

But that righteousness should encompass the entire span of college sports' history, from the illegal boosters who dominated the '50s to the accusations of game riggers in the early '90s.

The 22-year head coach at Kansas State must reconcile his generation's actions with the current state of college athletics.

Meanwhile, the average fan shouldn't be too worried.

College sports, as a developmental league to the NBA and NFL with a smattering of academic purpose, was always bound to come upon this path of more money, more fame, more polish.

If you lament the loss of innocence in what seemed like the last bastion of athletic purity, go ahead.

Just remember that we've been on this path for a long time.

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