If you think the “Final Verdict” segments of College Gameday are amazing places for rhetoric and logic, you’re probably excited for the beginning of the Presidential Debates tonight. Me? I’d rather argue about college sports… compared to politics, the BCS makes sense.
Clothing, Part One- Never ones to miss the obvious, the Athletic Department has declared that this week’s game will be a “Scarlet Out”, similar to last year’s homecoming event. Although it’s nice to do one of these “all color events” on nights where the opposing fanbase will unwillingly be assisting (looking at you, Indiana), I’ve got to wonder if this might take a bit of the “home field” advantage away and inadvertently help a team known as “Big Red”.
“And So Forth”- I wonder if I can get WKYC on my cable provider, just so I can enjoy the wisdom and wit that will be the “Off The Vest Show” starring former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. As someone who was regularly lauded for his ability to say nothing for twenty minutes, it will be interesting to see what he comes up with as a part of this opportunity. Seriously, though- I’m really looking forward to seeing these segments, even if it’s only on the YouTubes.
Getting Ready For Nebraska- In the B1G presser today, Coach Meyer talked a little about what they might see against the Huskers, particularly from the Blackshirt Defense. He spoke about Coach Pelini’s “pattern match” secondary philosophy, and how that will create problems for the still developing Ohio State passing game. Coach Pelini addressed the obvious, and said that Braxton will get his yardage, but they’ve got to minimize the scoring opportunities.
Little Sister, Hits The Stage- The real news today was the announcement that Ohio State and Texas Christian have agreed to a home and away series beginning in 2018. The initial game is scheduled for Ft. Worth, but don’t be surprised to see it moved to Dallas and “Jerryworld”- TCU’s stadium holds about 45k in it’s current configuration. Of course, President Gee’s “Little Sisters Of The Poor” comments were dredged up by lots of lazy journalists, who fail to realize that TCU will have been in the B12 for 5 seasons by the time this series begins. If you didn’t think that Gene Smith’s comments about bolstering the schedule were serious, here’s what you can look forward to in the near future: 2013- Vanderbilt, Cal; 2014- Navy, VaTech, Cincy; 2015- VaTech, North Carolina; 2016- Tulsa, Oklahoma; 2017- North Carolina, Oklahoma; 2018- TCU, Cincy; 2019- TCU
Great Work From SkullSessionStudios
Commentary- Life Lessons
We joked a bit about it earlier; that Jim Tressel’s new TV engagement will give him a chance to share wisdom with a new audience, although I’m 100% excited for this to happen. The fact is, even given what transpired to end his career at Ohio State, I’ve talked to too many former players and people who know Tress to be able to overlook the things that he was able to do in their lives. Even from his opening statement, his focus that Buckeyes represent well ” in the classroom, in the community…” speaks about his passion for making the most of the opportunities he had to impact people to become better citizens and better men and women.
Which brings me back to something that’s a well documented struggle of mine- the purpose of big time (read “high revenue”) sports in meeting the educational mission of a University. We’ve talked previously about the ways that the academic values are being compromised for national recognition and dollar signs, and the implication that this has for young adults involved in the program. And, unfortunately, we get to keep reflecting on it- see below for the latest from Chapel Hill, and be on the lookout next week for coverage from this year’s Knight Commission. A piece in today’s Huffington Post highlights some of my concerns and gets at the heart of the matter;
The tragic consequence of this phenomenon is that the leaders of many athletic departments often make decisions based on revenue rather than education. In order for college administrators to recalibrate an athletic department’s actions to its institutional mission, three principles should be adhered to: 1) academic standards and integrity; 2) the best interests of the students; and 3) accountability. Athletic directors must ensure that their departments enhance, and do not distract from, the institution’s mission. Presidents and boards of trustees need to measure the success of the athletic department on academic advising, career services, and the educational experiences of its students as much as they do wins and losses.
As someone who believes firmly that most of the learning and development that happens at college occurs outside of the classroom, the larger message here is one that I really worry about. There’s a lot of research that indicates that young adults are finding new ways to create foundations for their lives, and that they have values that seem more and more utilitarian than civic- “What’s in it for me?” versus “What’s the greater good?” Granted, some of this is a normal part of the pre-frontal cortex development that happens at this age, but you have to wonder if these decisions to delay “maturity” and transition out of an egocentric state might also be at the root of some of the “extended adolescence” issues that we read about: What was normative for people at 18 or 20 (moving out to live on their own, beginning a career and family) are now occurring much later life (hello, 35 year old bloggers living in their parent’s basement!).
So, this shift away from the academic heart of University life to chase prestige and economics is not only depriving students and “student athletes” of the learning opportunities within the classroom, it may also be reinforcing an unhealthy self focus and immaturity in “life matters”. You only need watch Tuesday’s 30 for 30 to see some of the consequences that often results.
Which brings us back to Tress’ comments, and a question: If the classroom is being compromised by the emphasis on “semi-pro” athletics, and the community is being impacted by a shift towards more utilitarian understandings of a person’s worth and responsibility, what will be left to stand on?
Well, other than being proud of their achievements against that team from Ann Arbor, that is.
S!E!C!- I’m mot sure what to do with this video clip… some say that the official in question is actually getting his spot from a ref at midfield, while the official that I talked to indicated that this was not only poor form but also incompetence. Whether or not it’s intentional has not been determined… I’m sure things will get better once the referee strike is over, right?
Oh. Thanks For Clearing That Up- MSU coach Mark Dantonio, on William Gholston returning to play after being knocked unconscious having the wind knocked out of him: There’s “no automatic exclusion from the rest of a game even if a player is knocked out”. Keep that in your records, William, for when you start to have issues resulting from brain deterioration later in your career.
Giving Thanks- Charles Robinson said this week that he expects Miami to hear from the NCAA before Turkey Day. The good news? No one will notice.