I found this quote about college football in Big Trouble (see "I've been reading" in Books).
In 1906, the university [Northwestern] stunned its alumni and rooters by withdrawing from intercollegiate football. In part this decision--following similar moves by Columbia, Stanford, and California--reflected an outcry against the game's "professionalization." Scholars decried the "undignified chase among the colleges after men of muscle," the schooling of "powerful animals."
Chasing after players solely because of their athletic skill? The implication that some are not attending school for academics? Ah, one hundred years and things haven't changed much. Go team.