The soccer group at my alma mater, Northwestern, is having a sexy excellent season. As soon as, that might have delighted me. Now, it simply makes me uneasy.The primary recreation I attended at N.U. used to be a doozy: The Wildcats beat Northern Illinois on Sept. 25, 1982, to wreck what stays the longest shedding streak (34 video games) in Department I-A historical past. My classmates streamed onto the sphere at Dyche Stadium to dismantle the objective posts in triumph and deposit them in Lake Michigan. The group went directly to a shedding season, even though: It have been a very long time because the days when the longer term Notre Dame legend Ara Parseghian used to be its somewhat a hit trainer, or even longer since Northwestern had long gone to the Rose Bowl.We might had been thrilled if the group had gained extra video games (it didn\u2019t have a successful season till 1995), however we consoled ourselves by means of taking a type of perverse pleasure in our losses. Because the Wildcats have been being pounded by means of Giant Ten combatants \u2014 particularly our downstate rival, the College of Illinois \u2014 the N.U. scholars within the stands would chant, \u201cThat\u2019s all proper, that\u2019s O.Okay., you\u2019re going to paintings for us sooner or later!\u201d Obnoxious and classist, sure, however pleasurable.After I labored for the sports activities phase of the campus newspaper, we\u2019d dutifully write options concerning the hopes and desires of the soccer avid gamers initially of the season. Then, because the season rolled on, we might simply as dutifully report their losses subsequent to accounts of the exploits of the college\u2019s actual megastar athletes: the sphere hockey group.And that used to be all proper, that used to be O.Okay., as a result of no person went to Northwestern for its soccer prowess. I don\u2019t recall ever assembly a fellow pupil who regretted taking a cross on Ohio State since the soccer there used to be higher. If just a few of our avid gamers were given jobs within the N.F.L., that used to be all proper and O.Okay., too.So it\u2019s been disconcerting lately to peer Northwestern be aggressive within the Giant Ten and frequently seem in bowl video games. At this time, as The Occasions noted with bemusement last week, it leads its division, with a 5-1 conference record.The school has invested plenty in the team; a couple of months ago an indoor practice field on prime lakefront property opened, part of a $270 million complex that Northwestern hopes will lure recruits and render practices more efficient \u2014 and make the team more competitive in a conference that has a lucrative television deal. It\u2019s a commonplace for non-athletes to complain about too many resources being devoted to athletics, but colleges should spend money on sports for a lively campus and to promote students\u2019 health. And there\u2019s the problem: Football\u2019s not healthy.So it\u2019s been much more than disconcerting that my alma mater\u2019s success, and its big investment in the sport, comes as we are being reminded every day of the price football players pay in traumatic brain injury. The rash of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among N.F.L. players has gotten the most attention, but college players are hurt, too. Some colleges, like Dartmouth, are trying ways to reduce these injuries by eliminating tackling in practice and taking other measures, but they remain outliers.News of Northwestern\u2019s triumphs now just serves as a reminder that there are real young men behind those wins whose brains are being battered. I want the Wildcats to win less so they won\u2019t play as much.It\u2019s also making me increasingly uncomfortable about giving to my old school. When I donate nowadays, I make sure to earmark my gift so it won\u2019t be applied to the football team in some way, but I\u2019m wondering if I\u2019m still making myself complicit by donating at all to a university that is willing to risk its students\u2019 health and happiness for a share of television revenue.The Wildcats play Iowa on Saturday. A victory would put them a step closer to the Big Ten championship game after the regular season. I\u2019ll root for them to play safe \u2014 and lose.Carmel McCoubrey is a staff editor in the Opinion section.Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.