November 28, 2009

Alums

I often complain that the America's foreign policy would be better off if there were hotshot college football teams in New York City and Washington D.C. to absorb more of the competitive energies of NYC / DC elites into bribing high school cornerbacks rather than into waging war for sheep grazing rights in the Karakorum.

Today, the Washington Post has articles about how the coaches of two of the nearest big time college football teams, U. of Virginia and U. of Maryland, have their heads on the chopping blocks because alumni are sore about losing seasons.

The Virginia story at least mentions talent issues:
On the morning of Jan. 5, 2001, University of Virginia President John Casteen uttered two words -- national championship -- that established a lofty goal for Al Groh, even before Groh could provide his first comments as Virginia's newly named head coach. ...

"As long as it takes us to get players like I saw on television the other night," Groh said that day, when asked how quickly Virginia can become a national power. "We saw the other night that Florida State can be beat if you get the players Oklahoma got." ...

"I think everyone was excited nine years ago," said Shawn Moore, a former all-American quarterback at Virginia. "But if you ask any alum today, they will tell you that they are extremely disappointed that the program has not gone to that next level, has not taken that next step."... "There's no way that we should not be competing for an ACC title," Moore said. "There's a ton of athletes playing in the NFL right now with University of Virginia degrees. I truly believe that with all the things we have in place now -- the facilities, the new stadium, the new locker room, all the things we've added in the last 10 years, we should be competing with Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Alabama. We should be competing on that level."

If Saturday is Groh's final game as head coach, he will not need to look far to realize what went wrong. When asked why his program has trouble winning at home in recent seasons, Groh answered bluntly: "talent." The answer was not much different when discussing the difference between winning and losing seasons.

There's so many components that go into winning, but certainly the key one that you start with is talent," Groh said. "And the more top-end talent -- that is playmaking talent, guys who can just make the play -- that makes the difference."




...The slide started after the 2005 season. Virginia had been to four consecutive bowl games and won three of them. Groh lost four members of his coaching staff before the offseason: offensive coordinator Ron Prince to Kansas State, defensive coordinator Al Golden to Temple, associate head coach/outside linebackers coach Danny Rocco to Liberty and inside linebackers/special teams coach Mark D'Onofrio, who followed Golden to Temple.

The problems were exacerbated when the Cavaliers' 2006 recruiting class included eight players, out of 24, who were not admitted into school that year. Only two of those eight ended up attending Virginia, creating a gap on the roster.

Then the Cavaliers ran into disciplinary and academic issues, and saw players depart early for the NFL draft. Sewell and cornerback Chris Cook, both key players on this season's team, missed the 2008 seasons because of academics. Standout defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald transferred to Kansas State because of an academic issue. Heralded recruits J'Courtney Williams and Mike Brown were dismissed for disciplinary reasons. Offensive lineman Branden Albert and wide receiver Kevin Ogletree both left Charlottesville early for the NFL.

However, no departure was more costly than Peter Lalich, who was the best pro-style quarterback recruited during Groh's tenure. Lalich was dismissed from the team last season while facing legal issues [underage drinking], leaving the team without a long-term answer at quarterback. ...

"There are a lot of alums who are extremely disappointed that we can't even win the in-state recruiting battle right now," Moore said. "And Virginia Tech has owned Virginia eight of the last nine years."....

"Coaches with schemes but without talent," Groh said that day, "quickly become unimportant coaches."

As Groh enters what is likely his final game as head coach, he could see his words come true.

One thing the article doesn't mention is that U. of Virginia has a mean SAT score of 1326, one of the highest for any public university in the country. Maryland's is about 50-60 points lower, but still pretty good for a state flagship university, and flagships are much harder to get into than a generation ago. To win a college football national championship, you need a whole lot of players who have no business being in college except to play football.

Similarly, Charlie Weis of Notre Dame has his job on the line, too, with talk of the college paying him $18 million to go away if they lose to Stanford on Saturday. (Nice work if you can get it.) The Fighting Irish, 6-5, have had a very entertaining season, with numerous thrilling victories and defeats, but alumni don't want entertainment, they don't want equality, they don't want egalitarianism, they just want what Genghis Khan wanted from life.

But the University of Notre Dame has used its football reputation to build a strong academic institution. And that means it can't recruit the kind of players it takes to win national championships. One insider said that if the ND coach brought the current admissions office the files of the stars of ND's last national championship team in 1988, they would set them on fire.

Nowadays, ND can recruit a lot of good offensive players, but not too many top defensive players, so it plays a lot of 33-31 games. The over-under on ND-Stanford is 64.5 points.

On defense, "talent" pretty much is synonymous with "speed times weight." Speed basically means blacks which means lower SAT scores. Notre Dame legend Paul Hornung pointed that simple truth out on the radio a half decade ago:
"We can't stay as strict as we are as far as the academic structure is concerned because we've got to get the black athletes. We must get the black athletes if we're going to compete."

Hornung then got fired from his job broadcasting Notre Dame gams after the New York Times raised a stink.

They fired Paul Hornung for being honest with the public.

Football's not like basketball, where Duke can compete for the national championship with a team of whites, mixed race kids like Shane Battier, and mostly upscale blacks like Grant Hill. College football teams are huge. Alabama, for example, has 109 players on its roster.

It costs a lot of money to keep a huge number of fast/huge kids eligible. And it helps if the school just isn't that tough in the first place. Alabama's mean SAT score is around 1100, a standard deviation lower than U. of Va.'s.

Florida's SAT scores are quite high, but, presumably, they are willing to do what it takes to win at football.

You might think that secondary state schools with lower average SAT scores, like Florida State, Auburn, or Texas A&M, would be a better fit for football players than state flagship schools like Florida, Alabama, and Texas. But, it usually doesn't work that way because flagship schools tend to have richer alumni.

It's kind of like diversity crisis at the Coast Guard Academy. We aren't supposed to talk about the Inevitable Logic of Diversity -- if the Naval Academy takes in more maritime-oriented blacks in the name of Diversity, there will be fewer for the Coast Guard Academy -- so nobody understands the Logic of Diversity.

It's also like the two Academies in that one reason the Coast Guard Academy doesn't have affirmative action in admissions is because it doesn't play big time college football.

Basically, the battle for the national championship in college football comes down to who is willing to a tradeoff between the SAT score of the students versus the SAT score of the football team.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

steve.
The east coast, in particular, public uni=middle class.
elites would not send their children to a public university in the east -they would sooner send them to a public uni in the midwest - which they do (michigan, wisconson - which was a hotbed of east coast jewish radicalism in the 60s)

maybe it would be better if all schools adapted the ivy model and de-emphasized football, so we could actually watch students play instead of athletes posing as students?

As for the 'east coast' elite, ever being un-ethnically aware enough to start devoting their money to football, don't hold your breath.

I would rather see the non east coast elite (eg anglo-christians) start devoting their money and energies to defending THEIR ethnic interests.

that would be a real he man macho challenge vs. pouring money into football.

I am sure the 'east coast elite' (wink) love the fact that nearly all educated gentiles spend a considerable part of their time and money watching football.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. Notre Dame has some of the best recruiting classes. Go to scout.com. THey still get the best players. Weiss just sucks. Look at uconn recruiting class rankings and compare

OhioStater said...

Ohio State played three games in November, at Penn State, home vs Iowa, and at Michigan. According to the ESPN, the attendance at those games was 110,033 at Penn State, 105,455 at Ohio State, and 110,922 at Michigan which is 325,000 tickets at an average $50 or $60 a person to see Ohio State play football.

For a contrast, Virginia had 44,324 at its game with Boston College, which means Virginia doesn't have the financial firepower to compete, unless a wealthy alum steps up.

In basketball, you need 5 kids and a fieldhouse, but in football you need 50 or more men, several chartered jets, practice fields, and NFL quality stadiums to compete at the highest levels. There's a gap and its getting wider, as seen by Northeastern's decision to quit football.

The one saving grace to second tier programs is top flight talent (Randy Moss) get kicked off top teams for character issues and end up playing for up and coming teams. Also, each top program has NFL talent at key positions, so a lot of promising players look elsewhere to find the chance to start on day one.

That said, 10 years from now, the top of the AP will likely be USC, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, as it was 10 years ago.

Cordelia said...

Not sports related, but here's someone who recognizes that talent contributes to being the best in something (the soldier being interviewed here is a woman):

"How long did it take you to qualify as a sharpshooter in the IDF [Israeli Defense Force]?"

"Not too long. I had a natural aptitude with the rifle. I started out at 15 meters, then moved up to 30, 50, 100, 400 then all the way up to," she hesitates, classified meters...."

Anonymous said...

As a recent UVA grad, I can assure you that the school has its fair share of braindead jocks. I think that there is a lot more to it than merely tinkering with the SAT scores. UVA just doesn't have a culture that appeals to big-time athletes. They fit in much better with the rednecks and tards down at Virginia Tek. UVA gladly dumbs down its standards to admit good jocks, but it stops short of dumbing down its entire student body to make the place really appealing to them. They can't, really, because the community is too upscale.

There are many advantages that go beyond the "will of the program", even when you include shady activities like no-show jobs, free cars, and other under-the-table sweeteners. At the end of the day most of these schools will do whatever it takes to get the athletes, and the ones who win out will be the ones that have the most inherently appealing cultures.

Anonymous said...

"Groh's tenure. Lalich was dismissed from the team last season while facing legal issues [underage drinking]"

Apropos of nothing, is it not time to revisit the drinking age of TWENTY ONE in the ostensible Land Of The Free? In most countries it's 18, which would seem reasonable to me.

Where are these people who actually support a drinking age of 21, and what reasons might they possibly give? MADD? DoT bureaucrats? Where is the debate?

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten about the Hornung controversy. They call that a Kinsley gaff. The NY Times columnist went so far as to call his comment "ridiculous". Ridiculous, really? If what Hornung said is so ridiculous, what the hell is the point of affirmative action? If you think "racial profiling" is the height of human evil but support, along with the angels, racial preferences, you're a hypocrite. Period. I'm liberal in so many ways, but the Left's mendacity with regard to issues associated with race make my blood boil.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you've never wrote on the scandalous mandatory 10% of Ethanol in our gasoline. What is up with that?? THat is just straight up special interest.

albertosaurus said...

The solution is simple, just sever the connection between being a student and being a player. Let colleges hire whomever they want for their football or basketball teams. Let other organizations like corporations or foundations also field sports teams. So one Saturday the University of Maine might play the Intel team or a team from the American Cancer Society. We wouldn't expect the middle linebacker from Intel to be a semi-conductor engineer nor would we expect the ACS fullback to be a physician or a cancer victim. Why should we expect someone playing for U of M to be a student there?

Pro sports descend at least partly from games like townball - a precursor to baseball. In that early game everyone on your team was from your town. You knew the players on your side because they were your neighbors. You had the kind of attachment to your team that members of a paleolithic hunting party might have had, or fifth century hoplites. That sort of identification with the group is a very old and deep feature of the human psyche.

We exploit that group identification mechanism with team sports. All you need to do to get the people of "Some City or Other" to support your team is to name your team the Some City Tigers. You certainly don't need to recruit anyone from Some City.

By the sheerest happenstance we have somehow connected certain sports with education. It seems natural to us but in fact it's very odd.

Make the players for a university football team employees rather than cryto-students and all your ethical difficulties evaporate.

John Seiler said...

The real problem is that college athletics is socialist. There's competition, but it's like the "amateurs" in the old Soviet sports system, such as the hockey teams Spartak and Dynamo.

Most of the universities are run by the government; and even those that aren't -- Notre Dame or USC or Stanford -- get so much of the taxpayers' money they might as well be.

In what other occupation does the top talent get paid only enough to survive? And if they get hurt, then their careers are over and they'll be lucky if they can get a job selling insurance to alumni.

Meanwhile, the universities get rich in money and prestige. And the alumni get rich making business deals when they take their buddies to the games.

End the "amateur" farce by directly paying the players a market salary, like the baseball minor-league system.

Bob said...

It also requires that the hucksters who are in the business of sports and superfans themselves convince schools to spend ungodly amounts of money of facilities with claims that ticket sales, TV rights, and alumni donations will eventually pay for them.

There are about 10 very profitable college football programs which spin off money to pay for themselves and all sorts of other things. Like with Wall Street today, athletic directors and college presidents want to gamble, with other people's money, they will be able to break into this tiny and unchanging club.

If the gamble pays off, they can extort bigger salaries or threaten to move to another school or NFL. If it fails, they can blame it on someone else and taxpayers and students pay for their stupidity.

Bob said...

A description of how Berkeley is blowing tens of millions trying to break into the tiny club of profitable big-time football programs from a professor there, whose salary was recently cut, with everyone else's, by 10%:
---
Projections for the current year are for a budget of about $60m, and a loss of $6.4m plus a campus subsidy of $6m.

...

Among a student body of about 30,000, there are between 500 and 900 of them. Every athletic activity for the other 29,100 except sitting in seats watching games, from throwing a frisbee to pickup or intramural basketball, is not covered by this program (and quietly starving in degrading and shrinking facilities).

The athletic department (DIA) is flogging long-term seat subscriptions for football to pay for a stadium renovation that will cost about $300m and will begin next year. The sole function of the stadium is to have six football games a year, though there is a perfectly nice stadium down the road, with convenient rapid transit access, that the Raiders never use on Saturdays
...
DIA is already building something called a Student Athlete High Performance Center, which is about a sixth that (exclusively for the lucky 900), half football offices and facilities, and another sixth party venue for players, donors and boosters, which will cost about $136m. As I understand it, this was a requirement to keep our $3m/yr football coach, who has brought the team all the way to the top of the bottom half of the PAC-10, and to number 25 in the BCS rankings this week (AP and Coaches, not so much, but we did get a few votes).

We are paying for these projects with bonds backed by the campus as a whole that will cost about $31m per year to retire. DIA proposes that it will find this money and close the $12m deficit from new contributions and ticket sales, a rosy expectation of almost tripling ticket sales and gifts, from$25m for '09-10 to $68m, every year for two decades. Every penny by which they fall short will come out of the teaching and research activity of the campus. The total exposure from this plunge is about $13,000 per faculty member per year, well more than the furlough salary we left on the table this year.

Anonymous said...

Virginia had their chance for a national championship in 1990-1991-with Herman Moore WR and Shawn Morre at QB. It's one of the biggest gags ever against georgia tech who went on to get a share of the title with Colorado. Amazing game I forgot the details.

MD has a national title albeit in the 50's- but we'll atke it- one of the few schools with a basketball and football national titles

David said...

> Basically, the battle for the national championship in college football comes down to who is willing to a tradeoff between the SAT score of the students versus the SAT score of the football team. <

You left out willingness to pay bail.

Whiskey said...

Perhaps the National Championship, year after year, but Football is a team game.

Just as important: assistant coaches who enforce discipline and assist in recruiting and also well, COACH.

Look at USC: it has really no standards but has had problems with the exodus of assistants under Carroll leading to lack of dominance in Defense (too many penalties/blown plays) despite lots of large/fast Black guys.

Moreover, the success of Bowl-busters like Boise State, TCU, and other WAC/Mountain West teams (Nevada) that are not BCS busters but certainly play at a high level despite not having tons of fast/huge Black guys is data against your theory.

Sure, having huge/fast Black guys, IF THEY ARE COACHED WELL, can lead to dominating defense. But football being a team game, zone/scheme defenses that emphasize trickery, deception, and coverage can compensate. Not enough to compete for national championships year in and year out, but enough to compete at a high level.

Anonymous said...

There should be no scholarships for sports. There should be many more pro teams with a country as big as the US.England has 92 pro teams in 4 divisions in soccer with promotion and relegation, so teams move up and down. Sure, the big teams like Man United won't be relegated now, but others will.They also have conference teams below that and England only has about 50 million people. If they had 300 million people, they would have over 500 pro soccer teams. The US only has 32 pro football teams and about that in basketball. The US has 119 Div 1 football teams. Make these pro along with the NFL and have promotion and relegation with 4 or 5 divisions 1,2,3,4,5. Teams will move up and down and you won't have this worry about student athletes.

Truth said...

I read somewhere that Georgia Tech's football team has the highest SAT score of any BCS conference team; yet they are #7 in America.

Their coach came from Navy (which is also rated this year, beat Notre Dame and came within 10 yards of beating Ohio State) and runs an offense which favors 270lb linemen, blocking receivers and a lot of confusion and misdirection. Georgia Tech is the only non-service academy school that runs that offense because the boosters don't like it (little passing).

"Not sports related, but here's someone who recognizes that talent contributes to being the best in something (the soldier being interviewed here is a woman):"

How many people truly believed that that wasn't the case...I mean, let's stay on the planet earth for a second.

keypusher said...

The frustrating thing is that neither Berkeley nor UVA needs anything that success in football can bring them. They are already great schools. But the alums want this for some reason. What a waste.

anony-mouse said...

Rahm Emmanuel went to Sarah Lawrence University. Wonder how their football team is doing? Probably beating the stuffing out of Bryn Mawr.

Actually I doubt the wonks in DC would ever care how well their college teams were doing.

alonzo portfolio said...

Maryland has a mean SAT score of 1270? Seems high; isn't Berkeley's 1280?

Helene Edwards said...

well you know, Bob, football being one of two ways for blacks to make it into Berkeley and "diversity" being the dearest goal of the ex-SDS faculty, 13K per member seems like a small price to pay for the acculturation imbuing to the rest of the student body. I mean, where do you expect the kids to meaningfully mix with the brothas, in chem lab?

The Bear said...

There were a bunch white guys on Notre Dame's 1988 defensive team: Michael Stonebreaker (leading tackler), Frank Stams, Wes Pritchet, Scott Kowalkowski, Jeff Alm and Stan Smagala (a cornerback!). They weren't fast, but they were mean and nasty. In the Fiesta Bowl against West Virginia, the Irish committed eight personal fouls.

Forget speed. Notre Dame is just plain soft under Weiss.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but what's the deal with the bowls? How much profit do they make? How hard would it be to cut them out and just schedule the season-ending games (or playoffs or whatever you want to call them) through mutually agreements or through the NCAA??

Also, sports is the opiate of the masses.

John Seiler said...

I attended the University of Michigan in the fall of 1973 and was visiting a friend of mine at West Quad, where a lot of football players stayed. My friend and I went to lunch. We walked through the chow line and got our beef and potatoes from the server, another student working his way through college.

Behind me was a huge football player, probably an offensive lineman. After the server put slice of beef on the player's tray, the player said, "I'd like some more."

"First eat that, then you can come back for seconds," the server said.

The football player then picked up the beef with his right hand, stuffed it all in his mouth, swallowed it, then belched, "I'm back."

He got another piece of beef.

keypusher said...

Is there a Toby Gerhart update in the future of this blog? I'm guessing yes. :-)

Anonymous said...

Your theory has a fatal flaw.

The reason New Yorkers don't put our energy into college football is because we are smart enough not to give a crap about college football and have nothing but contempt for the thugs and date-rapists who play it. In fact it would be fair to say that every single child-rearing decision we make from birth to SAT prep courses is done for the sole purpose of getting our kids into the kind of college where being good at football entitles you to absolutely nothing.

Why would you expect having a big-time college football team in New York to change that? If we wanted to invest anything in college football we'd be perfectly capable of doing so for our own alma maters. We don't do it because we don't care.

eh said...

maybe it would be better if all schools adapted the ivy model and de-emphasized football,...

Probably not practical. Even for an ACC also-ran like Virginia, revenue sharing (a lot of it TV money I guess) still helps pay for many Title IX mandated sports that in no way pay for themselves.

There are about 10 very profitable college football programs...

I wonder about that.

Uncle Peregrine said...

What's the point of being part of the New York/Washington elite and then competing in a field where Florida, Alabama, and Texas are serious rivals?

guest007 said...

The difference between the South versus the Northeast and California are hangers-on to the sports program.

Schools like Alabama, Tennesse, Florida, and Georgia benefit from having people buy season tickets and give money to the athletic departments who have no connection to the university other than the sports teams.

In the northeast, people do not care about universities that they or their family members did not attend.

The upper middle class professionals living in Montgomery County Maryland could not care less about the Maryland Terrapins unless they or their children attended Maryland. If the professionals follow college sports, they follow the school they attended or the school their children attend.

Yet the upper middle class white professionals living in Huntsville, Alabama will be fans of Alabama, Auburn, or Tennessee even if they never attended the universities.

Anonymous said...

"We don't do it because we don't care."

To steal a chant from Duke's Cameron Crazies..."Don't go away mad, just go away."

Anonymous said...

"There are about 10 very profitable college football programs...

I wonder about that."

Me too. There are sixty-five schools in the big six conferences; I would be shocked if any on them lose money on their football programs.

Anonymous said...

NO one knows the mean SAT scores of major universities. All only report the medians (or even less informatively the mean of the 25th and 75th percentiles). I'm surprised the top schools can't do more to hide their low SAT athletes in the bottom (and hence unreported) 25%. I believe that's what Stanford and the Ivies do.

Steve Wood said...

Let colleges hire whomever they want for their football or basketball teams. Let other organizations like corporations or foundations also field sports teams. So one Saturday the University of Maine might play the Intel team or a team from the American Cancer Society.

I like this idea in principle because I would love to sever the connection between colleges and big-money sports. The problem is that, in Albertosaurus' plan, you would soon have only corporate teams. No university or non-profit would be able to outspend, say, Microsoft, and escalation of salaries and facilities would quickly price them out of competition. We would end up with leagues of corporate teams playing each other - just like in Rollerball. Would anyone even care whether Dell beat Proctor & Gamble?

UVA just doesn't have a culture that appeals to big-time athletes. They fit in much better with the rednecks and tards down at Virginia Tek. UVA gladly dumbs down its standards to admit good jocks, but it stops short of dumbing down its entire student body to make the place really appealing to them. They can't, really, because the community is too upscale.

I think there's something to be said for this theory, along with the other comments that relate to the culture of the big cities of the Northeast. UVA and the University of Maryland - which I'm sure Mr UVA would put in the same category he puts "Virginia Tek," but the idea still applies - draw their students heavily from the DC suburbs. This is not an area where people generally place sports above academics. The state schools reflect the culture of the states themselves. Besides, DC has the Redskins - craptastic though they are these days - which pretty much absorbs the local football energy. If you live in Omaha, you NEED the Cornhuskers because who else are you going to root for? Kansas City? Denver? Chicago? If you live in DC, Philadelphia, NY or Boston, you are well-supplied with local pro teams. You might welcome success by a local college team, but it's not like you have no one to root for without it.

David Davenport said...

.... Berkeley ...

When commenting about its football team, sportswriters usually call it "Cal," not Berkeley.

Berkely -> pinko fruitcake Commies

Cal -> another red-blooded American state U.

Inference: If enough of its alumni continue to care about Cal's football prowess, there's hope that heartland America's cultural gravity will one day recapture wandering planet UC Berkely, and, by extension, California.

ben tillman said...

However, no departure was more costly than Peter Lalich, who was the best pro-style quarterback recruited during Groh's tenure.

As bad as NC State's QBs were between Rivers and Wilson, Lalich might be the worst quarterback to see the filed in the ACC this decade. The loss of Lalich saved Groh's job last season.

ben tillman said...

Virginia had their chance for a national championship in 1990-1991-with Herman Moore WR and Shawn Morre at QB. It's one of the biggest gags ever against georgia tech who went on to get a share of the title with Colorado. Amazing game I forgot the details.

The details relect a classic George Welsh come-from-ahead defeat. Shawn Moore's subsequent thumb injury was a really bad break, both for UVA and for Georgia Tech, whose championship resume was unjustly tarnished by UVA's losses after Moore's injury.

ben tillman said...

As a recent UVA grad, I can assure you that the school has its fair share of braindead jocks. I think that there is a lot more to it than merely tinkering with the SAT scores. UVA just doesn't have a culture that appeals to big-time athletes.

This culture can be traced to UVA's founder, Thomas Jefferson:

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind."

They fit in much better with the rednecks and tards down at Virginia Tek. UVA gladly dumbs down its standards to admit good jocks....

One laughs at UNC alumni (of all people) complaining about UVA snobbery, but ultimately one is sympathetic to their plaints.

ben tillman said...

I read somewhere that Georgia Tech's football team has the highest SAT score of any BCS conference team; yet they are #7 in America.

All graduates of the Georgia Institute of Technology must pass calculus.

Anonymous said...

nice work Ben- I just remember being mystified that the Cavs lost that game- they did go on to lose 2 more ( a classic season ender to my Terps btw)

Dan in DC

ben tillman said...

I am sure the 'east coast elite' (wink) love the fact that nearly all educated gentiles spend a considerable part of their time and money watching football.

And I am sure that you are wrong. Otherwise, Title IX, which -- according to judges and bureaucrats -- imposes a 100% tax on all college-football-related expenditures, would not have been enacted or, at least, would not be interpreted as it has been.

They would like us to watch the NFL, yes, but college football is something different entirely. The point of college football is the cultivation of gentile group allegiances, which is the last thing your "East Coast elite" would want.

ben tillman said...

The reason New Yorkers don't put our energy into college football is because we are smart enough not to give a crap about college football and have nothing but contempt for the thugs and date-rapists who play it. In fact it would be fair to say that every single child-rearing decision we make from birth to SAT prep courses is done for the sole purpose of getting our kids into the kind of college where being good at football entitles you to absolutely nothing.

There are schools that are more academically rigorous than the Ivy League schools, and there are schools where the students take their studies more seriously (Haverford and Swarthmore come to mind), but I you're full of it if you're trying to convince us that New Yorkers in general aspire to cram their numerous progeny into tiny 1000-student schools like the two mentioned above.

No, you and your New York cohort include Ivy League institutions among the schools you deem worthy, and if you had in fact attended such an institution you would know that being good at football entitles you to plenty at Ivy League schools, such as admission to the university under relaxed standards.

At Virginia (which is not an Ivy League school but is a focus or the article), football players find friendly professors in the Rhetoric department. At Brown, it's Classics. There is preferential treatment, but on a different scale.

Alticor said...

Did you ever read rick Telander's book, The Hundred Yard Lie?

Truth said...

"All graduates of the Georgia Institute of Technology must pass calculus."

That's interesting. Of course one does not need to be on a graduation track to sit in a classroom for four years though; although an athlete who didn't desire an education probably would not attend GT.

Jack said...

Stanford is not competing for a National Championship but had a great year with its star QB AND RB both being high school valedictorians.

I get the feeling white football players, especially, tend to be fairly smart. Basketball teams, even Duke, take players who have no business on a college campus. Supposedly academic Vanderbilt has a team that looks like a prison lineup. Boston College has had similar teams.

The main problem is scale, of course. You need tons of football players, and pretend they are real students.

Truth said...

"I get the feeling white football players, especially, tend to be fairly smart."

Fairly smart, but generally not smart enough to attend the schools that they attend. It's been quantified many times.

David said...

ben tillman said

> The point of college football is the cultivation of gentile group allegiances <

Then gentiles are cooked. Even if college ball were all gentile to begin with, it's a sorry hook to hang a culture on. Say, you're not having us on, are you?

AustinMD said...

To add to Bob's report from Berkeley:

Miles Brand, then president of the NCAA, stated in an address at Tulane University in November 2003 that "fewer than a dozen universities, in any division, profit from athletics." It goes without saying that these are all BCS conference schools.

I came upon this quote in a report that the Board of Trustees at Steve's alma mater commissioned in 2004 to assess the options for the future of its athletics programs. The report goes on to state:

"The desire to yield competitive teams leads to significant reinvestment ... and athletic budgets and facilities grow larger and more complex as a result." ... "Even with success, though, the net result is almost always higher expectations, more investment, and athletic budgets that are regularly subsidized by university operating funds." And wacko boosters - see T Boone Pickens and Phil Knight - who seem not to populate the East Coast so much. The NCAA seems to exist mostly to encourage this arms race.

For example, within Rice's second or third tier conference, C-USA, despite meager attendance and television revenues both Tulsa and SMU have in recent years hired head football coaches at salaries over $1,000,000/year and incurred much larger expenses to upgrade their athletic facilities. We'll see how that works out, especially since the report concludes, like Steve, that for schools that want to maintain academic standards:

"The bottom line is demographics. There are precious few athletes who can both play at the Division I level and score above 1250 on the SAT, and every school wants this same group of athletes. After removing a few schools from the mix," with legacy/geography advantages "such as Stanford, Notre Dame, and Duke, there are not many top athletes left for the Vanderbilts, Baylors, Tulanes, and Rices."

Or UVA, which lost to my daughter's William & Mary Tribe to open the season. Looks like even Notre Dame has fallen off of that list. Stanford is blessed with a mix of geography, legacy, and alumni network that seems unique and unbeatable.

Anonymous said...

"Miles Brand, then president of the NCAA, stated in an address at Tulane University in November 2003 that "fewer than a dozen universities, in any division, profit from athletics." It goes without saying that these are all BCS conference schools."

'Profit from athletics' does not mean profit from football. You will probably find that a profitable program in a sport people actually watch ends up financing sports that nobody watches (they seem to offer more women's sports than men's at American universities.).

Carney said...

Why doesn't the NAACP make a bigger stink about the NCAA and the total rotten-ness of college sports? If we had instead, for the big three sports, a system like the English soccer pyramid, with lots of layers of minor league teams, a lot more low-IQ blacks could earn a working class, middle class, or even affluent living playing sports without ever making the big time and its mega millions. Surely that would be preferable to the status quo, where thousands of black men risk their health or lives chasing a will-o-wisp, spending some of their prime athletic years playing without pay for institutions that earn millions from their efforts and sacrifice?

Christopher said...

Hofstra, on Long Island (Nassau County, about a 30-45 train ride from the City) drops its program:
http://tinyurl.com/yd8t7hn