Can we presume that Norman Chad doesn’t have Every Day Should Be Saturday bookmarked? Writing in today’s Washington Post, Chad has grown weary of solicitations from alma mater Maryland, insisting “until you change the culture of athletic worship, you cannot meet the challenges of the outside world.”
I know, I know: Who doesn’t lap up the pageantry of college football on a fall Saturday afternoon? Who doesn’t get swept away in March Madness and the Final Four?
Please. The height of hypocrisy — as disingenuous a pursuit as any — college football and college basketball have nothing to do with college. They aren’t student-athletes; they are athletes paid practically nothing to create massive revenue for the school. They are minimum-wage drivers in the getaway car to the bank — and they don’t even have auto insurance.
Our priorities are screwed up. We spend far too much time on fumbles and fast breaks. Why should a football coach be the face of the university? Why not an electrical and computer engineer who is doing breakthrough work in the areas of magnetism, nanotechnology and biochemical detection?
Should a bigger weight room ever be a priority? Do we even need a weight room? They’re student-athletes — have them lift some books once in a while! Start with thin volumes, like “The Cat in the Hat” and “The Old Man and the Sea,” and have them work their way up to “Look Homeward, Angel” and “Moby Dick.” Heck, the O-line should be able to bench-press “Don Quixote” by midseason.
Vanderbilt blew up its athletic department. You know what that’s called? A nice start.
I recently read that Maryland’s American Journalism Review might have to cease publishing — it’s $200,000 in the red. Two hundred grand? That’s three days of meals for the football team. Can’t someone step up here? If the football team gets, say, an extra quarter-million dollars a year in funding, maybe it goes from 7-4 to 8-3. What’s that, the difference between the Meinke Car Care Bowl and the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl? But if AJR gets that same quarter-million dollars, it can actually impact the quality of information that flows through the veins of our fledgling democracy.
I’m going to throw in the first $1,000 to get AJR back on its feet. I’m asking some fellow Terps to follow my lead.
P.S. Beat Wake!