Archive for Friday, November 24, 2017

Letter to the editor: Football heresy

November 24, 2017

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To the editor:

Whether you support it or not, the $300 million to be spent on Memorial Stadium sends a clear and undeniable message to all about KU’s priorities.

When you think of Kentucky or Duke or any other top-tier school, one of their athletic programs is the first things that come to mind. Can you think of any exceptions? MIT? Stanford? Does anyone think of them as a top-tier school anymore? I suspect most who do are not from the U.S.

Three hundred million is a lot of money, regardless of whether it comes from public or private sources. All the other top universities are spending that much. We don’t want to get left — any further — behind.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Action expresses priorities.” KU’s priorities are clear as are those of most of our large universities. To do anything else is surely organizational suicide. Just like the arms race, you keep pace with your competitors or risk destruction. Didn’t they call that MAD?

So, if you’re a member of the KU faculty or staff, it is clear where you stand in the pecking order. Anyone, regardless of their profession, would be demoralized when a single part of their organization was funded and lauded above all others. Morale at KU is low for many reasons. This one is clear for all to see.

If that does not convince you, in the vast majority of states, a college coach is the highest paid public employee. Reference the Gandhi quote above.

This is heresy, I know. I’d best be careful when I cross Mass in the future.

Comments

Gary Stussie 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I suspect that most University leaders realize that many students make their college choice based on a school's athletic program notoriety ... additionally, if a coach does not perform (read win), he typically pretty quickly gets the boot.

P Allen Macfarlane 3 weeks, 1 day ago

My how times change! I made my choice, Colorado School of Mines, on the basis of its high quality academics. The football team, by the way, was pretty mediocre at that time.

Gary Stussie 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Still is mediocre! Interestingly, a young man that grew up here in Lawrence was their punter this year (Grayson Harris).

P Allen Macfarlane 3 weeks ago

Yes, but their academics are sterling! That's what counts in the real world.

Richard Aronoff 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Between 1983 and 1988, the Columbia University football team lost 44 games in a row. The university actually raised money off of that record by pointing out that it proved the school's primary focus was on academics.

Now that the Columbia Lions are doing very well, many alumni are upset. Go figure!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/nyregion/columbia-football-winning.html

Josh Berg 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I guess the brand new dorms and central district means nothing to you then. What about the new business building? Or the new Earth Sciences building? I would argue that in a few years more money will be spent on academics than on the football team. I guess if that is your definition of heresy then have at it.

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