When I was a student (Class of 1967) the stars on the football and basketball teams (including Gary Beban and Lew Alcindor) mixed with other students, weren’t considered supermen, and weren’t provided with the luxuries of Odysseus. To the extent we’re creating a second class of students, these Ubermen, then I’m against it. I’d prefer not to be Oregon or Texas or Alabama.
When we start talking about $5 to $7 million salaries and super plush training facilities, it makes me very uncomfortable. UCLA is, first and foremost, a great university. I do acknowledge that sports is an important part, and for many of us the glue. And for us old geezers who live and die blue and gold every weekend, it is our most intimate continuing connection with a great university. But our primary mission is to educate people, and that includes a lot more than athletics.