Be aware of the message you're broadcasting

Two years ago last December I sat in a New York City ballroom listening to former Texas A&M president and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speak to a room full of college football coaches and administrators extol the merits and value of college football. Football was important, Gates said, because it's often the first and only view many people get of the college experience. 

Gates was far from the first to hammer home the "football is the front porch of the university" message, but hearing it from such a respected voice certainly reinforced its truth.

And the question I'm pondering today is, How inviting is that front porch when it's blasting music about popping mollys?

We got a message from an FBS player personnel director noticing the uptick in schools producing videos accompanied by, ahem, questionable soundtracks. Every school wants to appeal as much as possible to its target audience, which often means blaring the same music its players and recruits bump through their headphones. 

But, of course, those videos cast a much wider net than 17-and-18 year-old males. And as a byproduct, these programs are identifying themselves with the same lyrics and themes that coaches sit in living rooms and pledge to parents that they will steer their sons away from. 

We're not advocating a raid on the music library of a local Sunday school. No, just advocating that programs put some thought into the message they may be unwittingly broadcasting in their recruiting videos, highlight videos and at practice. 

If the football program is the front porch of a university, the music you play may be polluting your entire street. 

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