… I don’t buy the belief at [Louisiana State University] and elsewhere that athletics serve as the front porch of a university, drawing attention to the academic kitchen. It is a hopeful sentiment, but I don’t see any supporting evidence. In fact, the opposite seems to be true.

Football does not appear to provide an open window but rather a closed shade, reinforcing L.S.U.’s athletic standing while secluding its academic reputation, however inadvertently. In my travels, I cannot remember a single person outside of Louisiana knowing or mentioning that L.S.U. aspires to be as competitive in the classroom as on the football field.

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