Sunday, October 7, 2007

Stanford Football

Several weeks ago, columnist 'Betting Fool' posed his 'Question of the Week':
How do you fix the Stanford football program? Is is worth fixing? How long should it take to have a winning season?
Some choice responses:
Drop the educational idealism nonsense and make the football program a "Football" program. No one with dreams of playing in the NFL will go to a school that doesn't make football the priority. Top programs groom their players for the NFL. Stanford makes them students first and football players second. Maybe it is "the right thing to do" but that is not the question here. If they are the only ones with STUDENT Athletes instead of ATHLETE students, the talent won't show and neither will the wins.

Simple answer: Have Stanford Admissions Dept. let in the same quality of student athlete that Cal does.

The way to fix Stanford football is take schools like Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke, Baylor, Tulane, Notre Dame, and the Military Academies, and form the only 1-A college football conference where players actually go to class. Don't give the conference a BCS berth, but give the conference winner an automatic bid to the CarQuest Bowl. As Ross Perot was fond of saying, problem solved!
How shocking that Stanford would do the right thing on several points:

- Embracing 'Educational Idealism' rather than making football the priority.
- Making sure the players are in fact STUDENT-athletes.
- Maintaining admissions standards.
- Forcing players to go to class.

With these thoughts in mind, lets congratulate the Stanford Cardinals (graduation rate 91%) and Coach Jim Harbaugh on their 24-23 win over #2 ranked USC (graduation rate 54%) last night. Do not, however, hold your breath on the sentiments expressed by commenter sean2834 at
Stanford's win confirms the cardinal rule of college sports: coaching matters. The winning stopped in Palo Alto with Willingham's departure, and it looks like Harbaugh is putting the Teevens/Harris Era to bed. Now maybe we can stop hearing about how Stanford can't recruit the right talent owing to high academic standards.


Mr. B. said...


You can have low academic standards and STILL not have a good football team. BigU has recently dumped an All Big Ten Academic player, who lettered last year. This at an institution that is at the bottom of the BigTen with respect to graduation rates of football players.

More info?

Northwestern seems to be doing pretty well, also, in spite of having high academic standards.


Profane said...

Indeed - some of the worst programs in the country in both Football and Men's Basketball are at schools with cellar-dwelling graduation rates.

And thanks for the info on the BigU scholarship case. Beyond the ethics of the situation, it seems bizarre considering that the so-called APR (Academic Progress Rate) for football currently stands at 919 - below the level which is needed to escape scholarship loss.