Disgusted with the vileness of Southeastern Conference-type university athletics, and embarrassed for his alma mater, the University of Southern California (current target of one of the NCAA’s random sanctioning fits), a professor proposes a new league:

Stanford and Notre Dame could take the lead in establishing a national conference of first-rate academic institutions that offer athletic scholarships only to true student athletes, as defined, largely, by an iron-clad commitment to graduate with their classmates in four years. An invitation to join this conference could be extended to other private institutions with both high academic standards and proud athletic traditions – such as Northwestern, Duke, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Brigham Young (which could substitute a suitable variation on the four-year graduation policy to accommodate Mormon missions). The three United States service academies might also be asked to join.

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12 Responses to ““Whenever one finds oneself part of a corrupt organization or group, and one lacks the power to change it, there is a moral obligation to absent oneself from that system.””

  1. anon Says:

    Pitt’s a public university. By charter it’s a quasi-public, like other Pennsylvania publics (Penn State and Temple). But it’s safe to say that Pitt considers itself a public. By the way, where’s the link on this one?

  2. Bill Gleason Says:

    The so-called BigTen had Pitt as one of their possible schools for addition. Unfortunately, Pitt would embarrass at least half the schools in the BigTen – academically – by outperforming them. We couldn’t have that, could we? Ergo, Nebraska.

  3. GTWMA Says:

    Before we get all gushy over Pitt…




  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    anon: Thanks – link is now in.

  5. Bill Gleason Says:

    GTWMA – that would make Pitt fit right in with many BigTen Schools that have their own share of scandals.

    Failure to disclose financial links to industry?

    Faked data in papers?

    Interference with the admission process for political donors?

    I could go on, and on, and on and UD has already done serious spade work.

    Academically, I am afraid Pitt still has a slight edge over Nebraska. And they usually have a competitive football team.

  6. GTWMA Says:

    I am second to none in my admiration for Pitt academics, however your views on their football team are misguided. In the last five years, Pitt finished with more wins than Nebraska a total of zero times. Over the last ten years, it was just two times. And that doesn’t even get us to the early 1990s, when Nebraska had two #1 rankings.

    Maybe I just hit on the real reason πŸ™‚

  7. Bill Gleason Says:

    My point is that Pitt usually has a competitive football team, not that they they are currently of the caliber of Nebraska.

    As Wiki puts it:

    “Pitt has claimed nine National Championships,[1] is among the top 20 college football programs in terms of all-time wins,[2] and its teams have featured many coaches and players notable throughout the history of college football, including, among all schools, the eleventh most College Football Hall of Fame inductees,[3] the eighth most consensus All-Americans,[4] and the seventh most Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees.[5]”

    Pitt has retired 8 jerseys of former outstanding football players

    * #13 Dan Marino, Quarterback, 1979–1982
    * #33 Tony Dorsett, Running Back, 1973–1976
    * #42 Marshall Goldberg, Running Back, 1936–1938
    * #65 Joe Schmidt, Linebacker, 1950–1952
    * #73 Mark May, Offensive Tackle, 1977–1980
    * #79 Bill Fralic, Offensive Tackle, 1981–1984
    * #89 Mike Ditka, End, 1958–1960
    * #99 Hugh Green, Defensive End, 1977–1980

    Not chopped liver…

    We’d best let this drop. UD will be pissed.

  8. Bill Gleason Says:

    Full disclosure:

    I grew up in Pittsburgh. My first job was at Pitt as a lab tech. It was that or working in the analytical chemistry department of a coal mine. Niels Jerne was the chairman of the Microbiology Department. He later won a Nobel Prize. In this department, Jonas Salk did his outstanding work on the polio vaccine. Before Salk, polio was a terrible scourge and many of my friends wore arm (and leg) braces from its effects. Go PITT!

  9. GTWMA Says:

    I’ll risk her wrath.

    Ancient history. You’ll notice those retired numbers end in 1982, and that’s when good Pitt football ended, too. Since 1981, they have a record of 141 and 123.

  10. Mr Punch Says:

    The Big 10’s fixation on Nebraska is evidently a desire to add a “marquee name” to the football schedule to get more money in the next TV contract (cf. Notre Dame). There are much better fits out there in terms of academics, overall athletic program, geography, etc. (I’d have gone for Maryland, as there are advantages to having games in the DC area). Since football reputations rise and (mostly) fall, and changing leagues can hurt as well as help, the Nebraska choice may prove short-sighted.

  11. theprofessor Says:

    There is a potential natural rivalry between Nebraska and Iowa. The Cornhusker faithful are also known for being willing to travel a long way for away games, and some of the perennial weak sisters in the Big Ten with not-so-great attendance are also within a day’s driving distance: e.g., Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana.

  12. Bill Gleason Says:

    Yes, indeed, Nebraska fans love to visit the U of M(innesota).

    Think numbers like 84-13, 56-0 …

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