Monday, July 16, 2007

Isn't it just a little bit ironic that an attack on big-time sports at Rutgers is being published by Penn State University Press??

If it weren't for big-time college football, would anyone outside of the Keystone State even know there was a Penn State University?

Confessions of a Spoilsport: My Life and Hard Times Fighting Sports Corruption at an Old Eastern University, by William C. Dowling will be published by Penn State University Press at the end of this week. Some Rutgers football fans may remember Professor Dowling as the leader of a group known as Rutgers 1000 that opposed the entry of Rutgers into the Big East. The group didn't call for an end to intercollegiate athletics at RU, but they felt that the athletic program should be kept in its extracurricular place; they pictured the State University of New Jersey joining the small colleges of the Patriot League and bringing back a golden age of uncommercial competition between true student-athletes. In the years directly preceding Brian Leonard and Greg Schiano, William Dowling probably earned more ink for Rutgers football in the pages of the New York Times than anyone else.

I have a confession to make too. As someone who attended classes On the Banks when our football competition was Princeton, Columbia (OK, Columbia was NEVER competition; they were just an easy 72-0 win), Bucknell, Lehigh, et al., and as a Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts graduate whose pride in Rutgers has always been primarily an academic pride, I saw the point that this group was making. I was on their mailing list. I believed . . . I still believe, that big-time sports can corrupt a university and cause it to lose its core educational values. But, I don't believe that big-time sports have to be a corrupting influence. I believe that schools like Penn State and Rutgers can help show that you don't have to sink to the level of some of our great southern and midwestern football factories in order to compete. Joe Paterno and Greg Schiano can help show the country the way a college football program should be run. And as fans, we can take as much pride in our league-leading APR as we can in our star running backs and receivers. We should continue to hold our team to those high standards, and let the school know that athletic success is great, but not at any cost, and certainly not at the cost of our academic soul.

1 comment:

Edmund said...

I was at Rutgers from 94-97 and remember the Rutgers 1000 well ...

There was a point in that its nice to see your name next to Princeton, Columbia, Lehigh and Lafayette in the paper but glad it didn't come to anything.

Its ASTOUNDING how far the program has come since then ...

But on the other side wish Rutgers would have kept Fencing, and Men's Swimming, Crew and Tennis ...

I know unlike former golf coach Fred Gruninger.. Mulchahy wants to spend time on the big sports, but he should just have an Assitant AD for Olympic Sports .. Good site!