Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ivy vs. Division I, Part 2

Jim Harbaugh is Stanford's new head coach

"Michigan is a good school, and I got a good education there,'' Harbaugh said. "But the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in and, when they're in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They're adulated when they're playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won't hire them.''

-Jim Harbaugh, Michigan alum, former NFL star, current Stanford Head Coach

Here's the link to the full story, (and thanks to Bruce Wood of Big Green Alert for alerting us to this story).

Harbaugh is trying to make the case that Stanford will be recruiting more treu scholar-athletes and not set up so many courses and majors for athletes only. I'm not sure that's all true, but I applaud his candor.

Harbaugh talks about how the Ivy League schools are serious academically but "lack weight" athletically... and I'm not sure if he meant that literally of figuratively. Of course I disagree with that point either way, as starring on an Ivy League team is not something that will be overlooked by NFL coaches on draft day.

But far be it from me to only add ammunition to my own guns. I just read a story about how the biggest weakness for most blogs is that they usually only provide one side of the story. Here is a story about a West Virginia player who apparently turned down the Ivies and is excelling on the field and in the classroom, (I still think he'd be better off at an Ivy, but congrats to him).

Also, I want to correct and clarify a point I made about total costs to go to an Ivy, which I put at about $240k yesterday. Obviously, that's overkill as the price is more like $160k for four years, and that's before the usually pretty generous grants and other financial aid packages kick in. I have fixed that figure in my original post, but I wanted to make sure everyone sees the change. But there is no getting around the fact that many students graduate with a lot of debt and I still think tuitions are crazy... but not crazy enough to make playing at a Division I school the better choice for most athletes.

Eat and Greet

My daughter Jordan and I will be at the Columbia alumni BBQ on campus on Saturday July 21st. I'd really love to meet anyone who wants to talk football that day. I should be easy to find as I will be the one with the crazy curly-haired 4-year-old having a ball! Please join us! You can register for the BBQ online here.

Another Chance to meet Coach Wilson

Another event you might want to attend is Coach Wilson's visit with the Northern New Jersey branch of the alumni association in Springfield, NJ. Details are below:

NORRIES WILSON Head Football Coach visits with NNJ Alumni and Friends at Scotty's

Date: August 14, 2007 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm EDT
Location: Scotty's, The Place for Steaks, 595 Morris Avenue, Springfield,NJ

A hot and cold buffet eith soda and iced tea, with a cash bar.

Cost: $30 for members and their guests

$35 for non-members

$40 anyone at the door without a pre-paid reservation

RSVP to Paul Gomperz, Treasurer

35 Woodbine Road

Florham Park, NJ 07932



At Fri Jul 13, 12:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tricky thing is that those who are capable of getting a slot at an Ivy League school are more than likely dedicated, hard working students and would more than likely do well at a D-1 school. I'm not discounting the fact that an Ivy education and degree wouldn't help them tremendously, I just think you seem to be leading on that if they pass on an Ivy slot and take a scholarship they won't get good grades and will drop out of school after their last football season without graduating.
Kids that are capable of getting into the Ivy league will more than likely do well at the D-1 school they choose. And the ones who go D-1 and dont have the Ivy opportunity, well they're going to college (For a couple of years at least, but staying in school is a whole different animal.

At Fri Jul 13, 12:44:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

I think that's a legitimate argument... but the temptations to take the easy-track courses are just too strong in my estimation. And the networking isn't as good post-graduation for the REALLY good jobs. Networking, even for the most qualified people is key.

At Fri Jul 13, 02:08:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The simple fact is that D1 coaches usually tell their players that football is a job, that they will lose their scholarships if they don't make the two deep and want to quit, that they are required in a lot of cases to live in athletic dorms, and are basically mercenaries at most schools. My concern is that we are beginning to see more self segregation at the Ivy schools. In the 60s there really wasn't much self segregation, but now I'm not so sure. See Bill Bowen's several books on this subject.

At Fri Jul 13, 03:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is no more self-segregation among athletes than there is among the anarchists and socialists who seek to overtake the university and undermine it in the public eye.


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