Sunday, December 18, 2005

University of Colorado, part 5

At the end of the day, the UC Boulder campus has fired their football coach. They didn't fire him because they could implicate him in the non-scandal recruiting scandal. They didn't fire him because he recruited non-student professional grade athletes (ala UNLV). They didn't fire him because he was paying or aware of boosters paying student athletes (ala take your pick). They didn't fire him because he didn't discipline a student athlete accused of sending racist email. They fired him because he lost two games in a row badly. One of those games he was expected to win (by CU fans anyway) and the other he reasonably couldn't have been expected to win.

The regents have, in the same time frame, decided to move from Boulder to Denver to better lobby the state government.

This is a great message for a University. If they had fired him during the non-scandal scandal I would have disagreed but at least understood. I am an NCAA basketball fan, not so much a football fan. I was priveledged to have gone to a university that had a great basketball program during the time I was there. I didn't go there for that reason. I was surrounded by regional schools that had great basketball programs. I chose the one I did based on only two criteria. It was in state tuition and it was ranked extremely well nationally in the course of study I intended to pursue.

Having a great sports program is a good draw for potential 18 year old students. Having a great football or men's basketball program pays for a lot of other "minor" sports scholarships as well as intermurral sports programs for all students. But at the end of the day if you put winning in NCAA sports ahead of academics and societal moral standards you, as a university, have sold your soul to the devil. It may have a short term upside, but it will most certainly have a huge long term down side.

Bear in mind that two games ago the local papers were talking about how strong the CU football program had performed this year. Bear in mind that two games ago people were talking about how high their quarterback, Joel Klatt, would draft in the NFL. Then, two bad games in a row. The second included a serious injury to Joel in a game that nobody expected them to win. To fire a coach under these circumstances says that our university is about money and not about ethics and academia. The move to Denver says, over a bullhorn, the same thing. That statement comes at a long term price, irrespective of what the next coach does or does not do. Winning and losing is the ultimate measure at the professional level, it is not, and should not be at the collegiate level of sports.


CU will move HQ to Denver

CU athletes charged over racist e-mail

Finally, a debacle CU's Barnett can't survive

$3 million ticket out


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