College Vs. The Pros— Why Professional Sports Outshine the Collegiate Ranks
It seems to me that sports fans have a clear personal preference when it comes to watching College Sports or Professional Sports. In my case, I have always enjoyed professional sports. This could be due to a few reasons…
1. I went to Illinois State University and the athletic programs… while on the rise… are not the focal point of the school. (Had I gone to Alabama, maybe my argument would be flipped)
2. I simply grew up watching far more professional sporting events than college. Both in person and on TV.
3. I am just bitter I never played college sports myself… unless you count intramurals of course.
While all these reasons contribute to my preference of Pro Sports over College, they are not the only factors that come into play…
The 3 main reasons why I believe Professional Sports are Superior to College Sports are simple.
1. Off-Season / Draft / Trade Deadline
2. Competition Level
3. Top players declaring for the draft after their freshman seasons (only applies to basketball) or bypassing college entirely
The Off-Season / Draft / Trade Deadline
Particularly in the NBA, where the offseason is more entertaining than the regular season. Obviously, college programs have offseasons, players transfer schools and things get shaken up a bit. None of it compares to what happens at the professional level.
Take LeBron’s “Decision” for example… That was appointment television… everyone was tuned in to see where LeBron James was going to sign.
It’s not just players on the move either. Teams use the offseason to make front office and coaching changes to shake up their organization.
In addition to massive free agent signings and organizationl changes, the annual drafts and mid-season trade deadlines are filled with blockbuster moves that change the landscape of a franchise.
The NBA and NFL Draft’s are arguably the largest, most highly anticipated moments of the offseason. Where your favorite team can land the next “Face of the Franchise”. An enormously exciting event that fans look forward to… especially when they have a top pick.
Bottom line is this… Professional Sports are a year-round affair. We get the main course which is the pre-season, regular season, and playoffs. Then, out comes dessert in the form of a jam packed offseason. Buckle up because we do it all over again and again and again…
It goes without saying that College and Professional Sports are on two completely different levels in terms of competition and talent. What I mean by “Competition Level” is the quality of the games themselves…
It is far more likely you will see a blowout game between 2 teams that shouldn’t be on the same court at the College Level as opposed to the Pros. Who really wants to watch Alabama steamroll Citadel or Mercer… Ill wait.
You will never see a 30 point spread in an NBA or NFL game… Rarely will you see even a 20 point spread. Professional Sports provide a higher level of competitiveness on a game-by-game basis.
In College Basketball, you see top notch programs playing against no-name schools that predictably end in blowouts.
Obviously, College Basketball does boast one of the most exciting times of the year for all sports fans, that being the NCAA Tournament… The competitive nature we see during that month and half to two month span of College Hoops is equivalent to what we see in the NBA.
Outside of the major conference tournaments and March Madness, the competition level does lack. Granted, we do see blowouts and non-competitive teams in the NBA, we are still seeing the top 350–400 athletes compete at the height of their sport every game, every season.
Top Players Declaring for the Draft After Their Freshman Season or Bypassing College Entirely.
The main reason why Professional Sports hold my allegience over College is the one and done. I couldn’t imagine being a die- hard **Insert College or University** fan with a star recuriting class. Excitement is through the roof. You dominate your respective sport that season due to your star Freshman athletes and POOF… The next year, those young Freshman that led your favorite program to the promise land are playing professionally.
Again, I am fully aware this happens in the professional ranks as well… Look at Kawhi Leonard leaving the Raptors high and dry after their Championship. However, in College, your whole team can be filled with Kawhi Leonard’s for one year and the next, they are all gone. Your favorite team can look completely different that following year.
Additonally, it is increasingly common to see star athlets out of high school avoid college entirely by playing overseas or in a developmental league like the NBA’s G League. Yet again, imagine being a die-hard fan of whatever college or university that receives a “Verbal Commitment” from a 5 star recruit that they will come and play at your school… The next instant, they are signing a deal to play overseas for a year and enter the Draft thereafter.
It’s almost like College programs go through a complete rebuild every offseason… You have a completely new group of athletes that you are rooting for knowing you’re going to do it all over again next year. That is not appealing to me. I like a slow burn… When my favorite team is rebuilding… I prefer it take as long as possible. It would make the taste of victory just that much sweeter.
The fourth and final reason why Professional Sports reigns supreme over College is compensation. The NCAA seems to be open to the possibility of its Student Athletes to make money off of their names/ likeness which is a step in the right direction. However, with how much revenue those athletes bring in to their respective Colleges or Universities and the NCAA as a whole, they should be reaping some type of reward other than scholarships.