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Archive for Saturday, September 3, 2011

OU pres says school is exploring options

September 3, 2011

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— University of Oklahoma president David Boren says multiple conferences have shown interest in the Sooners recently and he expects to decide whether to leave the Big 12 or not within the next three weeks.Boren said Friday that Oklahoma is seeking stability in its conference relationship.

He said he was disappointed that Texas A&M announced this week they would seek to join another conference — the SEC — by next July and leave the Big 12 with nine members.

“Of course, we have some great partners in the existing Big 12. We have interest from other conferences and other universities.” Boren said.

Oklahoma was offered chances to join both the Pac-10 and the SEC last year but decided to stick with the Big 12.

Boren said he would feel better with a 12-team Big 12, but that, “I don’t think OU is going to be a wallflower when all is said and done.”

“There is no school in the Big 12 more active than we are right now,” Boren said.

Comments

vuduchyld 2 years, 11 months ago

BIG uh oh...hope we've got some activity going, as well.

We had a pretty good run in football for a few of the Mangino years, but this is a terrible time to be one of the worst teams in any BCS conference.

If we get locked out of automatic qualifier conferences, it will obviously hurt the football team and the whole AD financially..probably significantly. Will DEFINITELY impact non-revenue sports and won't exactly help hoops. If anybody thinks this would not have a major impact on the University as a whole, you should think again.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"If anybody thinks this would not have a major impact on the University as a whole, you should think again."

The athletic program "tail" doesn't always have to wag the academic "dog."

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vuduchyld 2 years, 11 months ago

If you can't see many important ways in which they are linked, you aren't trying very hard.

Even leaving the big revenue-producing sports out of the discussion, what happens if we support fewer non-revenue sport scholarships?

Its fewer options for students and fewer ways to compete against R1 universities for the best and brightest.

KU is fighting lower enrollment. MU, KSU, JCCC are not. You can look at athletics and academics as tails and dogs, but I hope the leadership that matters understands the true nature of the relationship instead of relying on worn-out, non-applicable cliches.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Sure it's cliche, but is it non-applicable? Competitive athletics has absolutely no relevance to academia. Sure, there is a contrived relevance that that we as a culture have chosen to attach to many of our universities, but the existence of scores of universities, large and small, whose athletic departments are much lower profile (and budget) than KU's, and have much higher academic reputations, as well as larger endowments.

Don't get me wrong, I can get caught up in the entertainment value of KU athletics, primarily basketball, but I'm not so naive as to think that any relevance to KU academics is, as I have already said, wholly contrived.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

The end of that last phrase should have said "anything but wholly contrived."

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vuduchyld 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, the cliche of a tail wagging a dog is non-applicable.

If, as you say, athletics has no relevance to academia, there isn't even a tail-and-dog relationship. Dogs and their tails have a relationship.

However, I gave an important example of the relevance of athletics to KU and it's not contrived or even cultural, per se. It's also specific to the challenges that KU has faced for at least twenty years and will continue to face--one of which is total enrollment.

KU is what KU is. Maybe that's not what you want KU to be. Maybe it's not what I want KU to be, either, but we're not the University of Chicago. We're not Duke.

These conference affiliations are not even strictly about athletics. The Big Ten, for example, wouldn't be interested in many of the SEC schools strictly by virtue of academics.

In fact, postulating that losing this important affiliation would somehow NOT hurt KU is so ridiculous that I honestly can't believe I've bothered to respond three times.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

You still haven't demonstrated that the relevance between athletics and academics is anything but contrived.

But I get it that it's an article of faith for you that the connection is real. Believe whatever you like.

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Jock Navels 2 years, 11 months ago

well, uhmmm, let's see...the University of Chicago left the Big 10 sometime before WWII and stopped playing football entirely. How are they doing? Don't see them at all in the sports pages or on TV. But academically? More Nobels than you can shake a stick at. Very highly regarded in academic circles. Or, oh, the Ivy League. Back before WWI, they were the SEC of college football. Now? Division 1-AA (FCS) and DO NOT participate in thee post season play-offs...How they doin'? You tell me.

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vuduchyld 2 years, 11 months ago

Let's see...private school compared to public school....5,000 undergrads compared to 20,000....

When our academic profile looks like that of the University of Chicago, I'll reply to the rest of your post.

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Jock Navels 2 years, 11 months ago

The point is that an academic institution does not need to be a division 1 major conference ncaa school to be a successful academic institution. OK...California Davis, Cal Poly, public schools, 20k students mas o menos. Very academically successful. Not in a major conference.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

If academics and athletics are so intrinsically intertwined, why don't the KC Chiefs have a School of Pharmacy? Why don't the Royals have a Dept. of Chemistry?

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vuduchyld 2 years, 11 months ago

Neither the Chiefs nor the Royals are state universities. It's actually very simple and I am reasonably sure (hopeful, anyway) that your tongue was firmly implanted in your cheek when you wrote that.

Once again, consider all of the non-revenue sports and the student athletes who participate in those sports on scholarship. You may see 80 or so football players and 12 or so basketball players and try to define student-athletes based on that small sample size, but there are far, far, far more student-athletes on the campus than those. There are also supporting students such as trainers and tutors. If KU's athletic teams lose the tens of millions of dollars in direct revenues that come with the big conference affiliation, that will clearly have an impact on scholarship numbers, student employment, and even non-student employment. I'll even set aside the probability that sports teams generate interest and general, non-AD-related enrollment and that KU is really struggling in that area. Just look at the direct links.

I honestly suspect you're just baiting by denying the connection. It's absurd, really. I have confidence that the top leadership at KU are not.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Neither the Chiefs nor the Royals are state universities."

No, but they are high-level athletic institutions. So if the connection between athletics and academics is so powerful, why don't they have an academic side?

I don't deny that we have a Rube-Goldberg-like intertwining of athletics into the academic mission of KU (and many other academic institutions around the country.)

But the existence of scores of successful academic institutions which lack this feature should be enough evidence that it's not a necessary condition for such institutions.

Now, it may be that you just like having competitive athletics intertwined with academics. But that's an argument over personal preferences, not over any intrinsically necessary intertwining of the two.

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