Sideline Report: Alabama winning another championship is bad for college football

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Braden Shaw, JagWire editor-in-chief

Athletics at the collegiate level are very flawed, run by greedy higher-ups who are driven by revenue and ruining the purity of amateur sports. This is especially evident in college football, which has gone through a lot of change: from the old days, to the dreaded BCS system, to the new playoff system. All of this sometimes make me question my love for the sport.

It doesn’t really help when a certain team dominates every year. Let me clarify — one team winning every year is annoying, but I can handle it if the team does it the right way. This can’t be said for the team coached by Nick Saban at the University of Alabama.

The way that Saban runs his program is what is wrong with college football. He bends the rules to his advantage and always seems to get away with it. He has been known to pay players and take away scholarships from students, and even cheated at the NFL level during the draft process.

Even with these allegations and confessions, he’s still considered by some to be the best college coach who ever lived. He does have a pretty impressive resume, winning his fifth career national championship last night in a 45-40 win over the top team in the nation, Clemson. He now sits at second all time in most championships, only behind Alabama great Paul “Bear” Bryant.

His success at Toledo, Michigan State, Louisiana State and Alabama is impressive. But his ethics and morals strike me the wrong way. Saban doesn’t operate the right way, just like the rest of the Southeastern Conference. He thinks he’s above NCAA rules and does what he needs to do to win.

Multiple reports have been written about his wrongdoings, yet nobody seems to care. As college football shifts to a billion-dollar business and players become dollar signs, Saban and his fellow coaches have adopted the “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” mantra. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Outside of its coach, though, Alabama has a very proud program. It’ll do whatever it takes to win, even it means leaving the weak behind. Oversigning players is nothing to look over, as it isn’t ethical and breaks promises with players who previously thought they would have financial security as far as their schooling goes.

Alabama has now won four national titles in the last seven years. It’s been a run for the ages, and there can now be a conversation about its status as the greatest dynasty of all time. I don’t agree with this, as it’s hard to compare teams from different eras and the ways they have won these four titles. Winning is one thing, but cheating to get to the top is not the way to go about things.

Legacies are established by winning, winning and more winning. Saban and Alabama have done that in spades, but it actually might hurt college football. Dominance by an unethical team tarnishes the sport’s reputation. Also, fans might not be interested since Alabama is always in it. Ratings even dropped 15 percent from last year’s title game.

I don’t know if Saban and Alabama will stop this winning trend anytime soon. It brings in a lot of revenue for the NCAA, and, if you like powerhouses, this is a great time to be a college football fan. But for fans who value tradition and succeeding by using the right measures, it kind of sickens me to see this transpiring.

Is this what we really want from college football?

Junior Braden Shaw is a passionate sports fan who follows sports at both the college and professional level. He loves to defend his unpopular opinions on the University of Nebraska, Sporting KC, Chiefs and Royals and is always up for a debate over any game or team.

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