Conference priorities

Could a stronger stand by university presidents and chancellors have put a halt to the conference realignment mess?

September 23, 2011


Regardless of how the current athletic conference realignment game turns out, the public has been treated to an up-close exhibition of double talk, greed, ego and hypocrisy, as well as a lack of integrity and the farce of “academic integrity.”

All of the players in this exercise are pointing fingers about who is to blame for the upheaval of college athletic conferences, but it is clear university presidents had the power to put a stop to the embarrassing sideshow.

Athletic departments are thought to be a part of a university. Chancellors and presidents are thought to be in charge of these institutions, along with their respective boards of regents, curators or trustees. This being the case, doesn’t it seem reasonable that chancellors and presidents — if they have the backbone and conviction — could tell their athletic directors, boosters and television networks that their schools had no intention of jumping ship to join another conference or that they did not want to expand their conference by adding other schools?

The chancellors and presidents of the Pac-12 Conference effectively played such a role Tuesday night when they said they were not interested in increasing the size of that conference.

It’s interesting that all of the expansion talk has centered on football and dollars, nothing about improving the academic or research excellence of the conferences. What is the primary mission of a university: a better football team or a stronger academic program?

What are the priorities of the chancellors involved in the current conference realignment mess?


rwwilly 6 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, I believe you answered your own question. The primary and overiding motive behind all this reallignment is, without a doubt, money.

Tony Kisner 6 years, 8 months ago


Columns like this are just quaint. Like, “We need to stop that Rock and Roll devil music!”

Too late; everyone is on board the money train.

Speaking to a potential employer – “I went to Auburn” – “Great football team, must be a good school, welcome to the team!” or “I went to the University of Chicago” – “really, you must be from Chicago, I went to a Cubs game once, great hot dogs. We’ll let you know.”

Forget it man, it is all about entertainment and sitting on the couch.

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

"What is the primary mission of a university: a better football team or a stronger academic program?"

I expect that you don't Really want this question to be answered.

Frightwig 6 years, 8 months ago

If you can figure out a way to get 40,000 people to buy tickets for an academic event every week, then maybe people will listen.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

Jayhawk corruption perhaps stimulated the uprising?

Our local movers and shakers investing in the Ticket Scam may well see the Jayhawks in much tougher conference.

Lew Perkins turning ticket priorities upside down was not too cool. University staff and students should always have remained the priority ticket holders. Without either there is no Jayhawk basketball or any other Jayhawk sport.

Instead individual wealth took over the reins which put kind of a smell in Jayhawk country. Obscene athletic salaries now prevail over the more important salaries for the academic group which in fact is the core of the university.

Does anyone truly believe a chancellor can overwhelm corruption? Get real.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

After the academic staff and students should come the other folks. It should never depend on how much one donates to the Williams Fund.

If wealthy fans are truly fans it should not matter what seats they have access.

Barbara Emert 6 years, 8 months ago

This editorial and this mess are not about involvement of chancellors and presidents it's about SOME chancellors and presidents. This is about the top dogs at A&M, Oklahoma, Texas and now Misery. Those chancellors and presidents drove the bus and the rest were dragged along behind the freight train with no other choices.

P Allen Macfarlane 6 years, 8 months ago

College athletics is proving to be the training ground for the NFL (National Felons League) if you ask me.

As one who has been around KU for some time, I can tell you that it is not just the athletics side of universities that is all about money. The academic side is too! And, especially if you are part of a research university, it's all about money.

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