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oldnavy
02-24-2013, 06:31 AM
I will openly admit that I refuse to click on the link and read that article for two main reasons. First, I do not want to give them the site hit, and second I already can tell you what they are going to say.

The NYT used to be the paper of record, a LONG time ago. Now it is like most most large media outlets, a mouth piece for spreading the propaganda of the elitist (those who are smarter and know better how to think and therefore run your life than you). Never mind that these people are so far removed from what is really going on in the country at the working/non working man's level that they couldn't make their own cup of coffee if forced to.

My first reaction to the front page article is disgust, the second is, is that rag still in print??

Grey Devil
02-24-2013, 06:51 AM
I will openly admit that I refuse to click on the link and read that article for two main reasons. First, I do not want to give them the site hit, and second I already can tell you what they are going to say.

The NYT used to be the paper of record, a LONG time ago. Now it is like most most large media outlets, a mouth piece for spreading the propaganda of the elitist (those who are smarter and know better how to think and therefore run your life than you). Never mind that these people are so far removed from what is really going on in the country at the working/non working man's level that they couldn't make their own cup of coffee if forced to.

My first reaction to the front page article is disgust, the second is, is that rag still in print??

Well, did you read the article or not? Your last line seems to imply that maybe you read it after all...?

I happen to have found the article an interesting commentary on Duke and K-ville and the struggle that a major university faces in trying to balance the often conflicting interests of big-time athletics and world-class academics. If anything, I would criticize it for being too shallow in it's coverage.

Of course, by starting a thread here about the article you also gave the NYT many more hits....jeeesh! Talk about hypocritical.

cspan37421
02-24-2013, 07:00 AM
In a game of Duke-Hate Bingo, you don't really need a free space on every board - just mark one "privilege" and that's just about as easy to fill.

SMH - so tired of all the running down of people who bust their butts just to have a shot at getting in the most selective schools. I can envision a cartoon of HS classroom in which a kid gets back their "A" test only to have the other kids accuse him (or her) of being an "elitist."

That said, I don't think it's wise to have the athletic tail wagging the academic dog.

davekay1971
02-24-2013, 07:31 AM
I find the article about 25 years too late. It's kind of funny the way the media decides what to pick on and when to pick on it. Is it time to look at K-Ville as a great example of the potentially bad influence of major college sports on education because Duke is jumping from the ACC to another conference for money? Because the quality of education at Duke has deteriorated? Because a study showed that students who tent for the basketball game do more poorly in the same classes than those who don't? Because the University conceived of K-Ville as a publicity stunt to convince top students and their parents that Duke was a better choice than Harvard, Yale, or Princeton? Because somehow K-Ville is functionally and fundamentally a vastly different thing than it was in 1990 when I started tenting?

I hope not, because none of those things are true.

Instead, it's time to write this story about K-Ville because Maryland is jumping ship for cash. Because UNC put athletics above academic integrity. Because Miami got yet another hit from the NCAA. Because important people at Penn State decided to protect a prominent guy in the football program (and the football program) at the cost of kids' safety.

So why pick on Duke and K-Ville? Because it's famous, it'll get hits on the website, and it's an easy target because now, unlike in 1990 when CBS come tent to tent to interview us crazy Cameron kids and talk about what a neat little tradition we had going on there, people prefer to look at Duke as the embodiment of the rich and entitled, not as a school where smart kids bust their butts to get a great education.

Duke76
02-24-2013, 07:53 AM
I find the article about 25 years too late. It's kind of funny the way the media decides what to pick on and when to pick on it. Is it time to look at K-Ville as a great example of the potentially bad influence of major college sports on education because Duke is jumping from the ACC to another conference for money? Because the quality of education at Duke has deteriorated? Because a study showed that students who tent for the basketball game do more poorly in the same classes than those who don't? Because the University conceived of K-Ville as a publicity stunt to convince top students and their parents that Duke was a better choice than Harvard, Yale, or Princeton? Because somehow K-Ville is functionally and fundamentally a vastly different thing than it was in 1990 when I started tenting?

I hope not, because none of those things are true.

Instead, it's time to write this story about K-Ville because Maryland is jumping ship for cash. Because UNC put athletics above academic integrity. Because Miami got yet another hit from the NCAA. Because important people at Penn State decided to protect a prominent guy in the football program (and the football program) at the cost of kids' safety.

So why pick on Duke and K-Ville? Because it's famous, it'll get hits on the website, and it's an easy target because now, unlike in 1990 when CBS come tent to tent to interview us crazy Cameron kids and talk about what a neat little tradition we had going on there, people prefer to look at Duke as the embodiment of the rich and entitled, not as a school where smart kids bust their butts to get a great education.

And send it to their print department as a reply to the editorial....I believe it would be picked up for print in the Monday edition.....well done

oldnavy
02-24-2013, 07:55 AM
Well, did you read the article or not? Your last line seems to imply that maybe you read it after all...?

I happen to have found the article an interesting commentary on Duke and K-ville and the struggle that a major university faces in trying to balance the often conflicting interests of big-time athletics and world-class academics. If anything, I would criticize it for being too shallow in it's coverage.

Of course, by starting a thread here about the article you also gave the NYT many more hits....jeeesh! Talk about hypocritical.



No, I didn't read the article. I was very clear on that. What you are referring to in my last line is a reference to the DBR article on the front page of this website. Please pay closer attentention.

I don't read anything in the NY Times, they have no credibility for unbiased reporting. They are agenda driven like most mega media outlets (refer to multiple polling data if you do not trust me).

Also, I am not sure how you make the connection that starting a thread about an article already on the front page of DBR is being hypocritical. Perhaps if I had discovered the article and linked it you would have a legitmate point, but that is not what happened.

Just out of curiosity, did you find the NYT coverage of the Duke Lacross case an interesting commentary on Duke and Privilege as well? Or was theie extensive coverage into the false accusations of 3 young men too shallow as well?

mapei
02-24-2013, 07:59 AM
I agree with most of the article. It's unfortunate that he chose Duke as his example to skewer, since he easily could have picked any of 50 other schools and written the same article, perhaps about football rather than basketball. Different things would have been exaggerated and satirized. He happened to choose Duke, which kind of sucks. But that doesn't mean that he's wrong.

freshmanjs
02-24-2013, 08:05 AM
No, I didn't read the article. I was very clear on that. What you are referring to in my last line is a reference to the DBR article on the front page of this website. Please pay closer attentention.

I don't read anything in the NY Times, they have no credibility for unbiased reporting. They are agenda driven like most mega media outlets (refer to multiple polling data if you do not trust me).

Also, I am not sure how you make the connection that starting a thread about an article already on the front page of DBR is being hypocritical. Perhaps if I had discovered the article and linked it you would have a legitmate point, but that is not what happened.

Just out of curiosity, did you find the NYT coverage of the Duke Lacross case an interesting commentary on Duke and Privilege as well? Or was theie extensive coverage into the false accusations of 3 young men too shallow as well?

sounds like you have some general problems with the NYT. this particular article is actually a pretty reasonable take on the arguably ridiculous nature of college sports. the last paragraph on privilege and cameron didn't resonate for me though.

oldnavy
02-24-2013, 08:13 AM
I find the article about 25 years too late. It's kind of funny the way the media decides what to pick on and when to pick on it. Is it time to look at K-Ville as a great example of the potentially bad influence of major college sports on education because Duke is jumping from the ACC to another conference for money? Because the quality of education at Duke has deteriorated? Because a study showed that students who tent for the basketball game do more poorly in the same classes than those who don't? Because the University conceived of K-Ville as a publicity stunt to convince top students and their parents that Duke was a better choice than Harvard, Yale, or Princeton? Because somehow K-Ville is functionally and fundamentally a vastly different thing than it was in 1990 when I started tenting?

I hope not, because none of those things are true.

Instead, it's time to write this story about K-Ville because Maryland is jumping ship for cash. Because UNC put athletics above academic integrity. Because Miami got yet another hit from the NCAA. Because important people at Penn State decided to protect a prominent guy in the football program (and the football program) at the cost of kids' safety.

So why pick on Duke and K-Ville? Because it's famous, it'll get hits on the website, and it's an easy target because now, unlike in 1990 when CBS come tent to tent to interview us crazy Cameron kids and talk about what a neat little tradition we had going on there, people prefer to look at Duke as the embodiment of the rich and entitled, not as a school where smart kids bust their butts to get a great education.

All of what you said, plus Class Envy. Duke is viewed as elitist, so tear it down. I wonder where the executives of the New York Times, NBC, ABC, Fox, MSNBC send their kids to school. I am sure they all go to public universities, with average academic standards, right??

willywoody
02-24-2013, 08:15 AM
Is the author the same person with the phot essay on Jay Williams and lives in Chapel Hill?

davekay1971
02-24-2013, 08:17 AM
sounds like you have some general problems with the NYT. this particular article is actually a pretty reasonable take on the arguably ridiculous nature of college sports. the last paragraph on privilege and cameron didn't resonate for me though.

The central problem with this article is certainly not the idea that revenue generation through college sports come into conflict with the mission of education. The problem is the use of K-Ville to illustrate this. Read the article closely and you'll find that the author doesn't make any serious attempt to connect K-Ville to the problem he's discussing. There's a very loose, unsupported connect-the-dots thrown in at the end of the article, and it doesn't remotely hold water. The decision to use K-Ville is entirely because it's famous and will get "hits."

Perhaps a case of revenue generation through internet hits coming into conflict with the mission of quality journalism?

Grey Devil
02-24-2013, 08:17 AM
No, I didn't read the article. I was very clear on that. What you are referring to in my last line is a reference to the DBR article on the front page of this website. Please pay closer attentention.

I don't read anything in the NY Times, they have no credibility for unbiased reporting. They are agenda driven like most mega media outlets (refer to multiple polling data if you do not trust me).

Also, I am not sure how you make the connection that starting a thread about an article already on the front page of DBR is being hypocritical. Perhaps if I had discovered the article and linked it you would have a legitmate point, but that is not what happened.

Just out of curiosity, did you find the NYT coverage of the Duke Lacross case an interesting commentary on Duke and Privilege as well? Or was there extensive coverage into the false accusations of 3 young men too shallow as well?

It is possible that one could read the boards before reading the front page....and since you did not cite any reference I went to the NYT.

And I do share your disgust with the NYT for their pathetic coverage of the lacrosse case. You are free to not support the NYT in any way you choose and to state your opinion about their publication similarly.

But please understand my context as well.

Buckeye Devil
02-24-2013, 08:20 AM
I have a friend back in rural eastern Ohio whose daughter got a full-ride to Duke. This guy is no elitist. No college education. No big time job. Not a person of financial means. Only a minister of a small local congregation. Not exactly the elitist snobbery referred to in the NYT piece.

miramar
02-24-2013, 08:20 AM
I was a grad student at Duke so my experience in Cameron was a bit more sedate than most, but thinking of my daughter, a recent graduate, I had to laugh at the following:

"Cameron, you realize, is not just a basketball arena. It is a tabernacle, a place whose trappings, rituals and exclusivity are perfect to prepare Duke students for the places they are likely to wind up after graduation: big banks and law firms, corporate board rooms and country club locker rooms. No, Cameron is not only a basketball arena. It is a flawless expression of the thing that beats in the heart of Duke and every other elite school in the land: privilege."

She is currently working part-time at a community college while taking creative writing workshops and online courses so that down the road she can get an MFA and become a novelist. She spent her last two years at Duke in tent one, and will never work at a big bank or law firm, and I don't ever expect to see her in a board room or country club. She got good grades, learned a lot, had the time of her life, and her only regret in her four years in Durham is that she never saw Duke beat Carolina in Cameron.

So much for stereotypes and so much for bad reporting. By now the NYT should know that they need to check their biases at the door when they write about Duke.

oldnavy
02-24-2013, 08:27 AM
sounds like you have some general problems with the NYT. this particular article is actually a pretty reasonable take on the arguably ridiculous nature of college sports. the last paragraph on privilege and cameron didn't resonate for me though.

Yes I do, but it is not limited to the NYT. Add in ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Fox, CNN, and just about anyother national multi-million dollar "news" organization. Why, because the news they report is biased towards either what they want to promote or towards what generates a better bottom line (more viewers, sales).

I got this way about 15 years ago.... may be an age thing?

Quick story. When I was doing a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at DUMC back in the mid 90's, we had a TV reporter come to do a story on Vancomycin Resistant Entercoccus (VRE). There were and are few drugs that effectively treat infections caused by that bacteria. I was present during the interviews, and the ID doctor explained very clearly that VRE was an issue, but that it was not the cause of death in any cases at DUMC. He explained that the bacteria is not particularly deadly, and that in all the deaths were the patient had VRE, other causes were responsible for death (usually multi-system failure) and that VRE was more opportunistic than virulent. In other words, yes people died WITH VRE, but not FROM VRE.

The lead story that night on WTVD was "Untreatable Bacteria Causing Deaths at DUMC".

See that is much more scary and interesting, than the truth.

So, no I have little respect for the media.

oldnavy
02-24-2013, 08:33 AM
It is possible that one could read the boards before reading the front page....and since you did not cite any reference I went to the NYT.

And I do share your disgust with the NYT for their pathetic coverage of the lacrosse case. You are free to not support the NYT in any way you choose and to state your opinion about their publication similarly.

But please understand my context as well.

I fully understand you context, just took a little offense to the hypocritical comment, but I will get over it! ;)

It is the differences we have that make this world an interesting place. I would not want to live in a world where everyone shared my views on everything!! How boring would that be?

Listen, I hope you have a very enjoyable Sunday, and let's pull Duke through this afternoon!!

oldnavy
02-24-2013, 08:35 AM
I was a grad student at Duke so my experience in Cameron was a bit more sedate than most, but thinking of my daughter, a recent graduate, I had to laugh at the following:

"Cameron, you realize, is not just a basketball arena. It is a tabernacle, a place whose trappings, rituals and exclusivity are perfect to prepare Duke students for the places they are likely to wind up after graduation: big banks and law firms, corporate board rooms and country club locker rooms. No, Cameron is not only a basketball arena. It is a flawless expression of the thing that beats in the heart of Duke and every other elite school in the land: privilege."

She is currently working part-time at a community college while taking creative writing workshops and online courses so that down the road she can get an MFA and become a novelist. She spent her last two years at Duke in tent one, and will never work at a big bank or law firm, and I don't ever expect to see her in a board room or country club. She got good grades, learned a lot, had the time of her life, and her only regret in her four years in Durham is that she never saw Duke beat Carolina in Cameron.

So much for stereotypes and so much for bad reporting. By now the NYT should know that they need to check their biases at the door when they write about Duke.

With the risk of monopolizing this thread, I have to say, that quote is exactly what I would have expected from the Times. They do not do their homework, they just regurgitate stereotypes that feed into class envy.

Thanks, for sharing.

Rich
02-24-2013, 09:02 AM
With the risk of monopolizing this thread, I have to say, that quote is exactly what I would have expected from the Times. They do not do their homework, they just regurgitate stereotypes that feed into class envy.

Personally, I enjoy reading the NY Times and thought the article was a fair, although not detailed, view of the push-pull between big time athletics and education. Another quote from the article that represents Duke in a more positive and realistic light:


In “Buck Duke’s University,” a withering satire that appeared in H. L. Mencken’s American Mercury magazine in 1933, W. J. Cash derided the tobacco baron James Buchanan Duke’s school as a “Babbitt factory — a mill for grinding out go-get-’em boys in the wholesale and undeviating fashion in which his Chesterfield plant across the way ground out cigarettes.”

That is a far cry from what Duke is today. It is a diverse institution that attracts qualified and motivated students from nearly every state and some 90 foreign countries. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Duke has a strong reputation for teaching and research, as well as renowned graduate schools of business, public policy, engineering, medicine and law.

sagegrouse
02-24-2013, 10:17 AM
Although I don't consider myself a man of easy virtue, I tend to agree with Mae West that the only bad publicity is no publicity.

I read the article. Even worse, I have read the Times every day for the past 20+ years. I had a question before, during and after the reading of the article. Who the heck is Bill Morris? Here's who I think he is:


Bill Morris is a staff writer for The Millions. He is the author of the novels Motor City and All Souls' Day. His writing has appeared in Granta, the New York Times, L.A. Weekly, the (London) Independent, the Washington Post Magazine and The Daily Beast. He lives in New York City.

One of the pieces I found related a Reynolds Price story from the time he lived in Durham, N.C. So this is the guy.

While I know it will be viewed with sensitivity by folks at Duke and especially at DBR, I thought it was an entertaining and ostensibly well-researched piece of journalism. Nor do I think it portrays Duke or its students or its faculty in an unfavorable light. But what do I know?

I think the story is best viewed as an entertaining narrative on the conflicts (and some synergies) between academia and college athletics at an elite private university. And, as an example at this time of year, Duke is the obvious choice. I guess in November one could write about Stanford.

My main qualm is about the historically poor judgement of the Times sports editors in selecting material for their feature articles. The LAX junk (Selena Roberts, mostly) is the main case, but the tripe written about Tommy Amaker at Harvard was ridiculous, even if less momentous. Morris in not a Times staffer. He submitted it for publication (conversations beforehand, I am sure), and, therefore, there was no requirement to publish it.

Anyway, I thought it was a good read and reasonable balanced given the inherent contradictions between academics and big-time athletics.

sagegrouse
'I did stand next to Brodhead at the San Antonio Final Four, which was just before he became President of Duke. We chatted; he said it was his first Duke sports function, IIRC; and then he was called to the stage to hug the Blue Devil. Chortle, chortle! Welcome to Duke!'

MCFinARL
02-24-2013, 11:39 AM
this particular article is actually a pretty reasonable take on the arguably ridiculous nature of college sports. the last paragraph on privilege and cameron didn't resonate for me though.


Personally, I enjoy reading the NY Times and thought the article was a fair, although not detailed, view of the push-pull between big time athletics and education. Another quote from the article that represents Duke in a more positive and realistic light:


In “Buck Duke’s University,” a withering satire that appeared in H. L. Mencken’s American Mercury magazine in 1933, W. J. Cash derided the tobacco baron James Buchanan Duke’s school as a “Babbitt factory — a mill for grinding out go-get-’em boys in the wholesale and undeviating fashion in which his Chesterfield plant across the way ground out cigarettes.”

That is a far cry from what Duke is today. It is a diverse institution that attracts qualified and motivated students from nearly every state and some 90 foreign countries. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Duke has a strong reputation for teaching and research, as well as renowned graduate schools of business, public policy, engineering, medicine and law.

I agree that this article, on balance, was a relatively fair discussion of a nationwide issue for which Duke provided more a timely and attention-grabbing example than a whipping boy--but the "privilege" meme at the end was disappointing, the kind of lazy strategy used by someone who needs a "thought-provoking" ending.

It is, in fact, a great privilege to be able to go to Duke, and in that sense, all of Duke's students are "privileged." It's also true that, like any high-quality private (i.e. expensive) US university, Duke has its share of students who come from economically privileged backgrounds and of students who will go to futures in banking, corporate law, etc. But that is only a part of the student body, one that has come to be seen, for whatever reason, as much more representative of the entire institution than it really is. And ironically, at least based on what I heard from my children when they were at Duke, there is not much overlap between the Cameron Crazies and the group that are most invested in their roles as the sons and daughters of privilege.

In the end, Cameron Indoor as a symbol of the uneasy relationship between academics and sports at universities is reasonable enough. But Cameron Indoor as a metaphor for socioeconomic privilege is just--a weak metaphor.

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15
02-24-2013, 11:52 AM
Put me in the camp of "no big deal" as well. This article points at the Duke basketball program as more of a easy symbol of the strange relationship between sports and academics. Duke is an easy example, because we strive for excellence in both. I see the article as an indictment of an (obviously) awkward relationship that has been pulling colleges in disparate direction for a very long time, but particularly so in the last two decades. The money associated with sports has become too much for most colleges to turn their nose up at.

As a Duke fan, I see no reason to disparage this article or the NYT in general. There's nothing particularly ground-breaking or snotty in the article itself. It's admittedly a dichotomy that schools struggle with.

Go Duke!

Kewlswim
02-24-2013, 12:20 PM
Hello,

Though I love things about Duke (particularly the athletics)--the University opened doors for me and gave me the tools so by just about any metric I would be judged a very successful person--my four years there were not a particularly fun time for me. I found many of the students insensitive and I felt isolated. I received a scholarship to attend after having attended a public, urban high school. I was not prepared for the rigors of Duke, either socially or academically. Thank you Duke for having an academic skills team to help me.

What kept me going and made my experience tolerable where without a doubt the athletics and the athletes. Coach K had just come to Duke a few years earlier, I got to know him some. (I wish someone had told me that if he teases you, he likes you.) The people in the athletic department were amazingly nice to me. There were exceptions, the "Colonel" who hung around the basketball program was a bit of a tool, but his wife was super nice so I guess it cancels out. D'Armi was a bit of a curmudgeon and I feared every time I had to talk to him, man was he hard to deal with (at times). I met many athletes from the various sports and they were, for the most part, the people I enjoyed being with. This is not to say there weren't others, it is just well, Duke for me was not a happy, oh I love this place so much kind of experience. It was a stress test. How does this relate to the article?

I guess it is understandable that President Brodhead is troubled, as the author of the article, that kids go to Duke because of the basketball team, but perhaps that is too "simple" an explanation? Perhaps kids go to Duke because they know Duke will be hard (as an aside, a Virginia grad once told me that was how one knows Duke isn't that "good," it is because good schools such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton aren't that hard, only the bad schools need to be hard--hmmm, er, um, ok, anyway, I digressed) and need an outlet? Perhaps they attend Duke so that after graduation they still have something to latch on to every Fall and Spring? People who attend the Ivy League don't normally have an alma motta to root for in, say, March. I wanted a place to attend that would have "big time" athletics where my team would play the Big 10, Pac 12, etc. in a myriad of sports while at the same time (Virginia grads analysis of the situation aside) getting an Ivy League education. What is wrong with that? My background in life showed me that lots of things aren't that fun, so I kept my head down and got through it, in the end (as I thought it would) it opened doors that I am forever grateful for having been opened.

Duke's athletics helped me stay at Duke. Today they give me a hobby, if you will, so I have a team to root for that I feel personally invested in and proud of being associated with. I again ask, what's wrong with that?

GO DUKE!

cruxer
02-24-2013, 12:29 PM
As a Duke fan, I see no reason to disparage this article or the NYT in general. There's nothing particularly ground-breaking or snotty in the article itself. It's admittedly a dichotomy that schools struggle with.

I read the article and would have to agree. Duke is a somewhat odd example to choose of what everyone agrees is a problem in college athletics. Camping out is an especially odd example even at Duke since one of the reasons camping out is necessary is that Duke plays in a 70+ year old facility that doesn't actually support the level of demand for tickets among the students (Not that we would change that!).

At the same time, it's not exactly like the author chose someone in FCS or the Ivy League either. There is a pretty serious commitment to athletics at Duke and lots of money is raised/spent supporting that commitment. Most of the people quoted in the article are actually Duke people who've studied and written on the overall issue. There were some easy, snide and stereotypical remarks made about the students in general, which certainly could easily offend, but I didn't see it as a hatchet job on Duke.

-c

PS: Since I'm a fan and not an alum, that certainly colors my perception.

weezie
02-24-2013, 12:31 PM
Hhmm....two weeks ago NYT publishes a fine article about Jay Williams and this week a clucking article about basketball's supposed influence on the university. K as supportive, loving friend vs. K as warload military commander. Broadhead wringing his hands vs. Broadhead sitting in the best seats in the house.

Tomorrow the paper will be in my recycling can or maybe I'll wrap last night's fish bones in it for the garbage.

dukelifer
02-24-2013, 01:40 PM
Although I don't consider myself a man of easy virtue, I tend to agree with Mae West that the only bad publicity is no publicity.

I read the article. Even worse, I have read the Times every day for the past 20+ years. I had a question before, during and after the reading of the article. Who the heck is Bill Morris? Here's who I think he is:



One of the pieces I found related a Reynolds Price story from the time he lived in Durham, N.C. So this is the guy.

While I know it will be viewed with sensitivity by folks at Duke and especially at DBR, I thought it was an entertaining and ostensibly well-researched piece of journalism. Nor do I think it portrays Duke or its students or its faculty in an unfavorable light. But what do I know?

I think the story is best viewed as an entertaining narrative on the conflicts (and some synergies) between academia and college athletics at an elite private university. And, as an example at this time of year, Duke is the obvious choice. I guess in November one could write about Stanford.

My main qualm is about the historically poor judgement of the Times sports editors in selecting material for their feature articles. The LAX junk (Selena Roberts, mostly) is the main case, but the tripe written about Tommy Amaker at Harvard was ridiculous, even if less momentous. Morris in not a Times staffer. He submitted it for publication (conversations beforehand, I am sure), and, therefore, there was no requirement to publish it.

Anyway, I thought it was a good read and reasonable balanced given the inherent contradictions between academics and big-time athletics.

sagegrouse
'I did stand next to Brodhead at the San Antonio Final Four, which was just before he became President of Duke. We chatted; he said it was his first Duke sports function, IIRC; and then he was called to the stage to hug the Blue Devil. Chortle, chortle! Welcome to Duke!'

Except for the last paragraph - the content was pretty balanced. That said there was nothing really there that has not been said many times before. Revenue generating sports are businesses inside universities. They are not what they used to be and the money is so big now that the difference in salaries between coaches and faculty is absurd. Coaches are effectively untenured educators in the University system. But this is not the reality of how they function or how they are valued. While the revenue generating sports bring visibility and a sense of community - the money stays internal to athletics and does not benefit the university directly. Most universities need to subsidize at a high level. The rise in coaches salaries is probably the single most unjustifiable change in college athletics.

sagegrouse
02-24-2013, 02:26 PM
Except for the last paragraph - the content was pretty balanced. That said there was nothing really there that has not been said many times before. Revenue generating sports are businesses inside universities. They are not what they used to be and the money is so big now that the difference in salaries between coaches and faculty is absurd. Coaches are effectively untenured educators in the University system. But this is not the reality of how they function or how they are valued. While the revenue generating sports bring visibility and a sense of community - the money stays internal to athletics and does not benefit the university directly. Most universities need to subsidize at a high level. The rise in coaches salaries is probably the single most unjustifiable change in college athletics.

The author (or more likely, his editors) needed to find a way to end the article. If it were about you (or me), the only persons that take the last paragraph seriously are you and your Mom. Your spouse and your Dad would say, "Oh, yeah. I didn't even read it." The substance was in the more factual paragraphs well ahead of the close.

In the Duke athletics context, only a few of us DBR guys would analyze every word and react to any slight, real or otherwise. It was a good, entertaining article for the NY Times readers -- which number more Fordham grads than Yalies.

Fact is, if you replaced the word "nuts" with "besides the point of education," even the past para. would have read OK to even the diehard defenders of Duke.

The only real howler was the statement that said, '[Brodhead] had spent his entire career in the Ivy League, where there are no athletic scholarships...." Oh, yeah! I knew a kid who went to an interview at UPenn and was told that the only reason he and the other recruits were even being considered by Penn was that they were athletes. The wealthy schools of the Ivy League administer their athletic scholarships out of the general fund. Now Harvard and a few others have a fig leaf, by giving huge amounts of financial aid to kids from families with average incomes or below. Here's how bad it really is: Division III Univ. of Chicago decided to put more emphasis on winning at football and began recruiting. Supposedly, and I tend to believe them, the admissions department gives no preference but does give an immediate answer to a possible recruit. The thing is, no one but recruited athletes are allowed on the football team -- no walk-ons!

sagegrouse

g-money
02-24-2013, 02:55 PM
The author (or more likely, his editors) needed to find a way to end the article. If it were about you (or me), the only persons that take the last paragraph seriously are you and your Mom. Your spouse and your Dad would say, "Oh, yeah. I didn't even read it." The substance was in the more factual paragraphs well ahead of the close.

In the Duke athletics context, only a few of us DBR guys would analyze every word and react to any slight, real or otherwise. It was a good, entertaining article for the NY Times readers -- which number more Fordham grads than Yalies.

Fact is, if you replaced the word "nuts" with "besides the point of education," even the past para. would have read OK to even the diehard defenders of Duke.

The only real howler was the statement that said, '[Brodhead] had spent his entire career in the Ivy League, where there are no athletic scholarships...." Oh, yeah! I knew a kid who went to an interview at UPenn and was told that the only reason he and the other recruits were even being considered by Penn was that they were athletes. The wealthy schools of the Ivy League administer their athletic scholarships out of the general fund. Now Harvard and a few others have a fig leaf, by giving huge amounts of financial aid to kids from families with average incomes or below. Here's how bad it really is: Division III Univ. of Chicago decided to put more emphasis on winning at football and began recruiting. Supposedly, and I tend to believe them, the admissions department gives no preference but does give an immediate answer to a possible recruit. The thing is, no one but recruited athletes are allowed on the football team -- no walk-ons!

sagegrouse

Sage, the problems I have with the last paragraph are: 1) This is the same type of reckless stereotyping that got the NYT into trouble in the lax case; and 2) It was completely irrelevant with respect to the rest of the article.

I didn't mind the rest of the article, but that last paragraph ticked me off.

cspan37421
02-24-2013, 03:54 PM
I have a friend back in rural eastern Ohio whose daughter got a full-ride to Duke. This guy is no elitist. No college education. No big time job. Not a person of financial means. Only a minister of a small local congregation. Not exactly the elitist snobbery referred to in the NYT piece.

Ditto here. My Duke roommate was bright and insatiably curious son of a mailman, earned a full scholarship to Duke (A.B. Duke).

That said, and getting back to the article, I don't know about the effect on tenting in K-ville on students' academic endeavors. It's hard to imagine it would not have been detrimental in my case, and in my day (pre-WWW). In fact, in 1987 (I think), I remember getting in line for the UNC game on a weekend day, early in the AM on the same day as the game. There were not that many people in front of us. So we lost a couple hours sleep and the entire morning to standing in line, and the first half of the afternoon. Then it was back to normal. I don't know how I'd keep up with my courseload having to spend so much time in a tent.

Some other thoughts come to mind - probably well known to more recent graduates -

Could enterprising student tenters sublet their dorm rooms?
Why not allow them to tent all semester, and convert the dorms to other use. Heck, create a new residential campus - the REI quad.
Tenters could get manufacturers of camping equipment to sponsor them and have their tents' UV resistance tested.
Deodorant manufacturers might also find k-ville a good testing ground.

it's a different world there at Duke now.

davekay1971
02-24-2013, 04:14 PM
In the end, Cameron Indoor as a symbol of the uneasy relationship between academics and sports at universities is reasonable enough. But Cameron Indoor as a metaphor for socioeconomic privilege is just--a weak metaphor.

No, no, I get it. See, people who are born rich are really well known for living in small, old houses rather than spending big $$$ to get into a larger, flashier house. Perfect analogy by the author. Spot on.

MCFinARL
02-24-2013, 05:18 PM
The author (or more likely, his editors) needed to find a way to end the article. If it were about you (or me), the only persons that take the last paragraph seriously are you and your Mom. Your spouse and your Dad would say, "Oh, yeah. I didn't even read it." The substance was in the more factual paragraphs well ahead of the close.

In the Duke athletics context, only a few of us DBR guys would analyze every word and react to any slight, real or otherwise. It was a good, entertaining article for the NY Times readers -- which number more Fordham grads than Yalies.

Fact is, if you replaced the word "nuts" with "besides the point of education," even the past para. would have read OK to even the diehard defenders of Duke.

The only real howler was the statement that said, '[Brodhead] had spent his entire career in the Ivy League, where there are no athletic scholarships...." Oh, yeah! I knew a kid who went to an interview at UPenn and was told that the only reason he and the other recruits were even being considered by Penn was that they were athletes. The wealthy schools of the Ivy League administer their athletic scholarships out of the general fund. Now Harvard and a few others have a fig leaf, by giving huge amounts of financial aid to kids from families with average incomes or below. Here's how bad it really is: Division III Univ. of Chicago decided to put more emphasis on winning at football and began recruiting. Supposedly, and I tend to believe them, the admissions department gives no preference but does give an immediate answer to a possible recruit. The thing is, no one but recruited athletes are allowed on the football team -- no walk-ons!

sagegrouse

Well, I see your point, an maybe it is a semantic difference, but the Ivy League really does not give athletic scholarships. Most , maybe all, give only need-based financial aid (no academic merit scholarships either). But their financial aid policies are generous enough that only athletes whose families were quite well off would not receive financial aid.

On the other hand, no one ever claimed that Ivy League schools do not take athletics into consideration for admission purposes--they certainly do.


No, no, I get it. See, people who are born rich are really well known for living in small, old houses rather than spending big $$$ to get into a larger, flashier house. Perfect analogy by the author. Spot on.

Ooooh, I hadn't thought of the "old money" angle--their kind has sort of gone underground in the face of the onslaught of hedge fund jetsetters and celebutantes. I suspect you may give the Times writer more credit than he deserves, though....;)

LSanders
02-24-2013, 05:32 PM
Articles like this aren't meant to recount truth. They're meant to incite emotional reactions. The sad thing is the article is built upon a foundation of tired stereotypes, which some readers will use to reinforce their own ignorant prejudices.

What frustrates me about articles like this is that they miss the basic point that tenting at Duke, full moon on the quad at Stanford, and hundreds of other traditions at other universities have nothing whatsoever to do with elitism or misplaced values. They are about bonding. They are about joining a family. They are about building relationships that, in some cases, will last a lifetime.

If the college experience was limited to libraries and study halls, those four magical years would be pretty lonely and empty. Participation in and support of sports teams enriches the experience and helps bond student to institutions. How much smaller would the Duke Endowment be if K-ville, et al, never existed? How many endowed chairs and research grants would evaporate (at all major universities) is athletics were eliminated?

Wonder what the writer's undergrad experience was like?

77devil
02-24-2013, 05:45 PM
Although I don't consider myself a man of easy virtue, I tend to agree with Mae West that the only bad publicity is no publicity.

I read the article. Even worse, I have read the Times every day for the past 20+ years. I had a question before, during and after the reading of the article. Who the heck is Bill Morris? Here's who I think he is:



One of the pieces I found related a Reynolds Price story from the time he lived in Durham, N.C. So this is the guy.

While I know it will be viewed with sensitivity by folks at Duke and especially at DBR, I thought it was an entertaining and ostensibly well-researched piece of journalism. Nor do I think it portrays Duke or its students or its faculty in an unfavorable light. But what do I know?

I think the story is best viewed as an entertaining narrative on the conflicts (and some synergies) between academia and college athletics at an elite private university. And, as an example at this time of year, Duke is the obvious choice. I guess in November one could write about Stanford.

My main qualm is about the historically poor judgement of the Times sports editors in selecting material for their feature articles. The LAX junk (Selena Roberts, mostly) is the main case, but the tripe written about Tommy Amaker at Harvard was ridiculous, even if less momentous. Morris in not a Times staffer. He submitted it for publication (conversations beforehand, I am sure), and, therefore, there was no requirement to publish it.

Anyway, I thought it was a good read and reasonable balanced given the inherent contradictions between academics and big-time athletics.

sagegrouse
'I did stand next to Brodhead at the San Antonio Final Four, which was just before he became President of Duke. We chatted; he said it was his first Duke sports function, IIRC; and then he was called to the stage to hug the Blue Devil. Chortle, chortle! Welcome to Duke!'

The problem with the article is Duke is a poor illustration of the issue the author is supposedly trying to exemplify. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that he had another agenda that the editors at the Times were willing to indulge.

I've chatted with Broadhead a few times. I can't imagine a more insufferable experience than having to be next to him for an entire basketball game. You must have high tolerance.

sagegrouse
02-24-2013, 06:34 PM
The problem with the article is Duke is a poor illustration of the issue the author is supposedly trying to exemplify. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that he had another agenda that the editors at the Times were willing to indulge.

I've chatted with Broadhead a few times. I can't imagine a more insufferable experience than having to be next to him for an entire basketball game. You must have high tolerance.

It was at the pre-game party, a bit of a pep rally, at the Longhorn Saloon in San Antonio. We were standing next to each other until it became time for him to hug the Devil.

As to the article, I suppose Morris's real point was that basketball as practiced at Duke is wildly out of proportion to the mission of Duke but appears to cause no real harm. I believe the NYT published it because it was an entertaining piece and people would read it, not necessarily because there is an agenda. Kind of a modern-day version of boaters, raccoon coats, red yachting pants, goldfish swallowing, moonshine, etc.

But, hey, have at the New York Times -- I am sure it's guilty of something.

sagegrouse

MCFinARL
02-24-2013, 11:24 PM
It was at the pre-game party, a bit of a pep rally, at the Longhorn Saloon in San Antonio. We were standing next to each other until it became time for him to hug the Devil.

As to the article, I suppose Morris's real point was that basketball as practiced at Duke is wildly out of proportion to the mission of Duke but appears to cause no real harm. I believe the NYT published it because it was an entertaining piece and people would read it, not necessarily because there is an agenda. Kind of a modern-day version of boaters, raccoon coats, red yachting pants, goldfish swallowing, moonshine, etc.

But, hey, have at the New York Times -- I am sure it's guilty of something.

sagegrouse

Q.E.D.

toooskies
02-25-2013, 01:59 AM
I think the article points out a lot of facts that are presented to skew the story towards saying, college athletics are a detriment to the school.

First, he claims students only tent for tickets. I knew several students who tented, however, who had little interest in the game itself; they tented because the experience itself was culturally valuable. A later dig, that no one studies in K-ville, is news to me-- I certainly did during day shifts. Probably studied better there than in the library...
He mentions justification for "big time sports" but never enumerates what those arguments are, only that they apply more to larger universities than Duke.
He presents spending on athletics growing without mentioning that for the most part, revenue has kept up with the spending.
He uses library attendance as an indicator of academic intensity of the student body. It isn't a measure of what he thinks it's measuring, and is intentionally deceptive.
The building he uses for financial excess for sports is, in fact, used as academic support for 10% of the student body (I.e. student athletes).
All quotes from academics are portrayed as anti-sports, or quoted as such. At best, he's presenting one side of the argument; in truth, he's probably portrayed a few taking positions which they haven't taken.
He goes through the effort to describe Coach K's power at Duke without taking into account who he is and why he's important to the community. Part is basketball success, but he teaches at Fuqua, he's a pillar to charities locally, and anyone who follows the team knows that his most important lessons are applicable to more than just basketball. Which means, following Duke basketball can, in fact, give you an important education.
And, finally, he gets down to stereotyping Duke as privileged lawyers and bankers. Privileged, I guess, because they get to wait outside for a month to get in to see the game.


In summary: he's upset that it's hard to get tickets to a game.

ice-9
02-25-2013, 02:44 AM
Cameron, you realize, is not just a basketball arena. It is a tabernacle, a place whose trappings, rituals and exclusivity are perfect to prepare Duke students for the places they are likely to wind up after graduation: big banks and law firms, corporate board rooms and country club locker rooms. No, Cameron is not only a basketball arena. It is a flawless expression of the thing that beats in the heart of Duke and every other elite school in the land: privilege. And privilege comes with prerogatives for students, including the freedom to do things that seem to have nothing to do with getting an education. Things that are, quite simply, nuts.

Ummm...what's wrong with this paragraph? He didn't write that everyone at Duke are/were rich, snobby kids. He wrote that Duke is an excellent training ground to prepare Duke students for a life of privilege.

To which I say, AWESOME!

Duke students ARE privileged. You can choose to view that only through a material lens, but I don't. The Duke name will open doors; the education will enable you to make a difference in life; the friends you make will last you a lifetime; the degree probably means you never have to go hungry again. What's wrong with these things? What's wrong with being privileged? (Assuming you don't use that privilege to do evil.)

I want my kid to get a great education and be a moral and balanced person. Give back to the world. But I also wouldn't mind if they did those things while at big banks, law firms, corporate boardrooms and country club lockers, as long as they remain good people. Buy your dad a Ferrari kids, I wouldn't say no! :P


Specifically, he was learning that the most powerful person on campus is the men’s basketball coach. Realizing that losing Krzyzewski would not be the ideal way to start his tenure, the scholarly Brodhead swallowed hard and joined a crowd of students chanting, “Coach K, please stay!” Brodhead was also part of a human chain forming the letter “K” outside Cameron.

Starn, the professor of the anthropology of sports, said at the time, “What you saw there was the lay of the land.”

Here's the part of the article that I have issue with, that somehow in a perfect world a basketball coach should be less important than a professor.

In general, that might be true, but Coach K is no average coach.

He is a basketball coach, yes, but he is also a leader, and I would pay a lot of money to learn from him. More than I would most professors, and that's not because I want to learn basketball X and Os. He has a lot to teach outside of the basketball court: leadership, team building, how to execute a plan...the guy is an organizational genius! And I hope one day he would do that. He is an important part of the Duke brand and culture, and Brodhead was a good leader to recognize that and act upon it.

Reilly
02-25-2013, 07:18 AM
Does anyone think that Brodhead chanting and forming a human "K" had any bearing on K's decision to stay? Does anyone think K wanted him to do that? In some respects, Brodhead's a clown, and his clownishness is a reflection of nothing more than himself ... not of the larger sports/academic mix at Duke.

Are there excesses associated with big-time college sports? Yeah. Should sports be drastically de-emphasized at our campuses? Maybe (and I'm as big a fan and as guilty of contributing to the current culture as anyone). Is tenting emblematic of all that is wrong? Not at all. Are kids ignoring their studies? No more than they ever have, and probably a lot less than they used to ... where's Bill Brill and his comment that he drank beer nearly every day of his undergraduate existence.

redick4pres
02-25-2013, 07:51 AM
Pardon me if this has already been brought up, but I need to vent for a minute.

Let me get this straight...the same publication that not only covered, but helped promote the "Occupy Wall Street" movement where people were literally breaking laws every hour of the day, urinating on police cars, and having wild sexual escapades like they were back at Woodstock is the same publication trying to belittle and call for the ending of Krzyzewskiville? This makes no sense at all. This publication should have been put out of business years ago with their propaganda and extreme spinning of almost everything that is printed in their paper or on their website. They are a joke!

I understand that some people who work in higher education are jaded by the fact that basketball is king at Duke. But take it from someone who works in higher education them self, college is not just about going to class and spending countless hours with your head in a book. College is about preparing for the real world where you have to find a balance in what you call work and what you call play. How do you spend adequate time working on that project for work and still make it to the Duke/Miami game on Saturday? Or for that matter, how do you get your work done and still make it to your kids' games this weekend? Life is about far more than how much knowledge you can cram in your brain...it's more about how you apply what you learn to your field of study and how you work with the time constraints you're given by not only your boss, but by your life in general.

College prepares you for these things and Krzyzewskiville is part of the college experience at Duke. If you don't like it, don't send your kids to Duke! Believe me, Duke will be a better place for it.

Mike Corey
02-25-2013, 08:11 AM
The attacks of the Times seem unnecessary here. They don't bolster the obvious counterarguments to the inclusion of the ironic assertions of Kirwan, who steered the athletic conglomerate at Ohio State before moving on to Maryland, nor do they bolster the obvious counterarguments to the suggestion that spending time with peers in a tent city where homework is done and where articles are not pulled up from the library with the same frequency as they might be reviewed on other days of the week.

Duke is conspicuous, as is Krzyzewskiville; that it manages to foster high academic achievement while also fostering a fun social outlet is a curiosity. It is easier to belittle it as pointless rather than to acknowledged that which helps to separate Duke from its older peers in the Ivy League.

All college students are privileged in one degree or another, but the snide implication from the article was that Duke students in Cameron are so priviliged that they have time to waste in a tent rather than at study. This strikes me as foolish. Are college students to be working at every waking hour? What constitutes a waste? At what point do we crossover from acceptable stress relief to ungrateful expense of that most precious resource of time?

I think that the practice of being a Duke student, and letting students find their balance of work and play is an appropriate and perfectly normal college experience; looking down one's nose at the way a particular group of students spends their time by reviewing its activities superficially most certainly is not.

There are arguments to be had over the proper balance of athletics in higher education. Lamenting school spirit's expression and the development of community does not seem to have much of a place at that table.

formerdukeathlete
02-25-2013, 11:31 AM
The author (or more likely, his editors) needed to find a way to end the article. If it were about you (or me), the only persons that take the last paragraph seriously are you and your Mom. Your spouse and your Dad would say, "Oh, yeah. I didn't even read it." The substance was in the more factual paragraphs well ahead of the close.

In the Duke athletics context, only a few of us DBR guys would analyze every word and react to any slight, real or otherwise. It was a good, entertaining article for the NY Times readers -- which number more Fordham grads than Yalies.

Fact is, if you replaced the word "nuts" with "besides the point of education," even the past para. would have read OK to even the diehard defenders of Duke.

The only real howler was the statement that said, '[Brodhead] had spent his entire career in the Ivy League, where there are no athletic scholarships...." Oh, yeah! I knew a kid who went to an interview at UPenn and was told that the only reason he and the other recruits were even being considered by Penn was that they were athletes. The wealthy schools of the Ivy League administer their athletic scholarships out of the general fund. Now Harvard and a few others have a fig leaf, by giving huge amounts of financial aid to kids from families with average incomes or below. Here's how bad it really is: Division III Univ. of Chicago decided to put more emphasis on winning at football and began recruiting. Supposedly, and I tend to believe them, the admissions department gives no preference but does give an immediate answer to a possible recruit. The thing is, no one but recruited athletes are allowed on the football team -- no walk-ons!

sagegrouse

That is pretty much true at Harvard. Even if a kid were recruited for, say Lacrosse, and had not taken up one of the Football team's admissions slots (30 a year, 120 overall), Harvard Football does not want the kid to show up at fall camp, unless invited to do so. Football would have to take a look at film, evaluate the prospect, before committing to allowing the prospect to go out for Football. Roster spots are limited, etc.

Des Esseintes
02-25-2013, 12:07 PM
Pardon me if this has already been brought up, but I need to vent for a minute.

Let me get this straight...the same publication that not only covered, but helped promote the "Occupy Wall Street" movement where people were literally breaking laws every hour of the day, urinating on police cars, and having wild sexual escapades like they were back at Woodstock is the same publication trying to belittle and call for the ending of Krzyzewskiville? This makes no sense at all. This publication should have been put out of business years ago with their propaganda and extreme spinning of almost everything that is printed in their paper or on their website. They are a joke!

This paragraph is emblematic of what I hate about Times threads. It's a PPB war being waged by proxy on the basketball board because the PPB no longer exists. There are plenty of places on the internet for inaccurate political vitriol, but there are specific rules against it here.

Lar77
02-25-2013, 12:30 PM
Why is it an easier to "justify" big time sports at a big state school?

As a taxpayer, I might have a differing view, especially when the big state school is trying hard to tamp down an athletics/academic scandal.

Li_Duke
02-25-2013, 12:33 PM
Hello,

Though I love things about Duke (particularly the athletics)--the University opened doors for me and gave me the tools so by just about any metric I would be judged a very successful person--my four years there were not a particularly fun time for me. I found many of the students insensitive and I felt isolated. I received a scholarship to attend after having attended a public, urban high school. I was not prepared for the rigors of Duke, either socially or academically. Thank you Duke for having an academic skills team to help me.

What kept me going and made my experience tolerable where without a doubt the athletics and the athletes. Coach K had just come to Duke a few years earlier, I got to know him some. (I wish someone had told me that if he teases you, he likes you.) The people in the athletic department were amazingly nice to me. There were exceptions, the "Colonel" who hung around the basketball program was a bit of a tool, but his wife was super nice so I guess it cancels out. D'Armi was a bit of a curmudgeon and I feared every time I had to talk to him, man was he hard to deal with (at times). I met many athletes from the various sports and they were, for the most part, the people I enjoyed being with. This is not to say there weren't others, it is just well, Duke for me was not a happy, oh I love this place so much kind of experience. It was a stress test. How does this relate to the article?

I guess it is understandable that President Brodhead is troubled, as the author of the article, that kids go to Duke because of the basketball team, but perhaps that is too "simple" an explanation? Perhaps kids go to Duke because they know Duke will be hard (as an aside, a Virginia grad once told me that was how one knows Duke isn't that "good," it is because good schools such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton aren't that hard, only the bad schools need to be hard--hmmm, er, um, ok, anyway, I digressed) and need an outlet? Perhaps they attend Duke so that after graduation they still have something to latch on to every Fall and Spring? People who attend the Ivy League don't normally have an alma motta to root for in, say, March. I wanted a place to attend that would have "big time" athletics where my team would play the Big 10, Pac 12, etc. in a myriad of sports while at the same time (Virginia grads analysis of the situation aside) getting an Ivy League education. What is wrong with that? My background in life showed me that lots of things aren't that fun, so I kept my head down and got through it, in the end (as I thought it would) it opened doors that I am forever grateful for having been opened.

Duke's athletics helped me stay at Duke. Today they give me a hobby, if you will, so I have a team to root for that I feel personally invested in and proud of being associated with. I again ask, what's wrong with that?

GO DUKE!


Thanks for the reply and sharing your experience. I came to Duke from a public, urban high school as well (where I attended only half my classes my senior year due to fire alarms being pulled multiple times every day, where stabbings happened regularly and even one shooting death). I too found myself unprepared for Duke socially and academically. But Duke paid most my way, gave me an opportunity to learn without the feeling of constant danger, and gave me (a child from a poor immigrant family who spent most my childhood sharing a two bedroom apartment with 12 others) an opportunity to lose myself in following a great basketball team whom I'd get to have court side seats to see for FREE. Trappings of the rich and privileged, perhaps -- but the rich and privileged have the money to enjoy these events regularly. For folks like me, it was a welcome luxury.

Billy Dat
02-25-2013, 02:13 PM
As Sage said, the only bad publicity is no publicity. The Duke brand is really powerful.

Aside - I love that the author used the term ziggurat to describe Schwartz-Butters. Somewhere, Fred Schneider is smiling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymmqisvThhk

I was most interested in the following, which others have commented on:

"There have even been timid steps to let some of the air out of Duke basketball. Richard H. Brodhead, a former English professor and dean at Yale who was named Duke’s president in 2004, recently said he found it “foolish” and “disheartening” when high school students listed the men’s basketball team as the primary reason they applied to Duke. The comment set off a typhoon of response — some of it positive, most of it negative — among students and alumni."

I haven't seen a survey that asks this specific question, but I am guessing that an equal or greater number of students would say that they are going to Duke because they want to get a job that pays a lot of money. Considering the cost of a 4 year Duke education is close to $250,000, that is not an unreasonable criteria - but is it anti-intellectual, which is what the following quote seems to be saying about big time college sports:

“For a big state school, there’s some justification for big-time sports; for a private institution like Duke, it’s a little harder to figure out,” said Charles T. Clotfelter, a professor of public policy, economics and law at Duke who has written a book called “Big-Time Sports in American Universities.” “Why are we here?” Clotfelter added. “We’re here to educate people. There has been a lot of new chatter about this in the past three years. I think it’s better for us to come clean and say, yes, we do commercial sports.”

I wonder if the same professors who decry the anti-intellectualism of big time college sports would feel the same way about the desire for wealth that motivates many an undergraduate? Considering how much time a University President spends fundraising, and how many times the school contacts me asking me to donate money, I'd think prospective students saying they wanted to go to Duke to make a lot of money after college would be a banner headline in all University materials.....but somehow I've never seen that headline.

lotusland
02-25-2013, 04:00 PM
As Sage said, the only bad publicity is no publicity. The Duke brand is really powerful.

Aside - I love that the author used the term ziggurat to describe Schwartz-Butters. Somewhere, Fred Schneider is smiling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymmqisvThhk

I was most interested in the following, which others have commented on:

"There have even been timid steps to let some of the air out of Duke basketball. Richard H. Brodhead, a former English professor and dean at Yale who was named Duke’s president in 2004, recently said he found it “foolish” and “disheartening” when high school students listed the men’s basketball team as the primary reason they applied to Duke. The comment set off a typhoon of response — some of it positive, most of it negative — among students and alumni."

I haven't seen a survey that asks this specific question, but I am guessing that an equal or greater number of students would say that they are going to Duke because they want to get a job that pays a lot of money. Considering the cost of a 4 year Duke education is close to $250,000, that is not an unreasonable criteria - but is it anti-intellectual, which is what the following quote seems to be saying about big time college sports:

“For a big state school, there’s some justification for big-time sports; for a private institution like Duke, it’s a little harder to figure out,” said Charles T. Clotfelter, a professor of public policy, economics and law at Duke who has written a book called “Big-Time Sports in American Universities.” “Why are we here?” Clotfelter added. “We’re here to educate people. There has been a lot of new chatter about this in the past three years. I think it’s better for us to come clean and say, yes, we do commercial sports.”

I wonder if the same professors who decry the anti-intellectualism of big time college sports would feel the same way about the desire for wealth that motivates many an undergraduate? Considering how much time a University President spends fundraising, and how many times the school contacts me asking me to donate money, I'd think prospective students saying they wanted to go to Duke to make a lot of money after college would be a banner headline in all University materials.....but somehow I've never seen that headline.
I think there always has been and always will be a legitimate concern in academia about disproportional emphasis on athletics. My father is a retired fine arts professor and I've heard it from him many times over the years. He was on the faculty at Tennessee Wesleyan College in the mid-70s when he exhibited a painting of two UT football players rolling dice for Jesus' clothes at the foot of the cross to make a not so subtle point. An article about the exhibit including a photo of said painting was published in the local paper which received less than warm responses on the editorial page to say the least. Anyway I think the tension is a good thing as we have seen at UNC what can happen when a university loses sight of its primary purpose.

just a lemma
02-25-2013, 05:14 PM
People here still read the NYT after the crazy stuff it consistently pulled to aid and abet Nifong's perpetuation of the lacrosse hoax through misinformation and innuendo (and worse, never really fully correcting it)? This does not mean that everything in the NYT is wrong, but it does mean that it's worthless as a reliable source of information. Let's not forget the Jason Blair fiasco either.

How can anyone associated with Duke take the NYT seriously anymore? Are most people that trusting or am I being unreasonably paranoid?

Duvall
02-25-2013, 05:17 PM
People here still read the NYT after the crazy stuff it consistently pulled to aid and abet Nifong's perpetuation of the lacrosse hoax through misinformation and innuendo (and worse, never really fully correcting it)? This does not mean that everything in the NYT is wrong, but it does mean that it's worthless as a reliable source of information. Let's not forget the Jason Blair fiasco either.

How can anyone associated with Duke take the NYT seriously anymore? Are most people that trusting or am I being unreasonably paranoid?

Citing two reporters as reason to reject a century of world reporting does seem a bit unreasonable.

MCFinARL
02-25-2013, 05:20 PM
As Sage said, the only bad publicity is no publicity. The Duke brand is really powerful.

Aside - I love that the author used the term ziggurat to describe Schwartz-Butters. Somewhere, Fred Schneider is smiling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymmqisvThhk

I was most interested in the following, which others have commented on:

"There have even been timid steps to let some of the air out of Duke basketball. Richard H. Brodhead, a former English professor and dean at Yale who was named Duke’s president in 2004, recently said he found it “foolish” and “disheartening” when high school students listed the men’s basketball team as the primary reason they applied to Duke. The comment set off a typhoon of response — some of it positive, most of it negative — among students and alumni."

I haven't seen a survey that asks this specific question, but I am guessing that an equal or greater number of students would say that they are going to Duke because they want to get a job that pays a lot of money. Considering the cost of a 4 year Duke education is close to $250,000, that is not an unreasonable criteria - but is it anti-intellectual, which is what the following quote seems to be saying about big time college sports:

“For a big state school, there’s some justification for big-time sports; for a private institution like Duke, it’s a little harder to figure out,” said Charles T. Clotfelter, a professor of public policy, economics and law at Duke who has written a book called “Big-Time Sports in American Universities.” “Why are we here?” Clotfelter added. “We’re here to educate people. There has been a lot of new chatter about this in the past three years. I think it’s better for us to come clean and say, yes, we do commercial sports.”

I wonder if the same professors who decry the anti-intellectualism of big time college sports would feel the same way about the desire for wealth that motivates many an undergraduate? Considering how much time a University President spends fundraising, and how many times the school contacts me asking me to donate money, I'd think prospective students saying they wanted to go to Duke to make a lot of money after college would be a banner headline in all University materials.....but somehow I've never seen that headline.

Because your statement about "professors who decry the anti-intellectualism of big time college sports" comes right after a quotation from Charles Clotfelter, I just want to point out that his approach to the subject is much more balanced than the kind of reflexive opposition that phrase suggests and is solidly based in extensive economic and policy analysis. As his quotation above suggests, his focus is primarily on acknowledging the economic realities of big time college sports in order to tackle issues about their role head on. For anyone who is interested, here is the link to the website about his book. http://sites.duke.edu/bigtimesports/

just a lemma
02-25-2013, 05:25 PM
Citing two reporters as reason to reject a century of world reporting does seem a bit unreasonable.
That would seem reasonable until you consider that the reporters were not lone gunmen. They did not just get to post articles like bloggers do. The editors at the NYT either allowed this to happen or missed it. Either way, that makes them unreliable. Furthermore, I think that it is unreasonable for the current staff at NYT to get a pass because of the work done by their predecessors 40 years ago (or 100 or whatever). Okay, 1 vote for paranoid. I suppose people are just different.

sagegrouse
02-25-2013, 07:38 PM
People here still read the NYT after the crazy stuff it consistently pulled to aid and abet Nifong's perpetuation of the lacrosse hoax through misinformation and innuendo (and worse, never really fully correcting it)? This does not mean that everything in the NYT is wrong, but it does mean that it's worthless as a reliable source of information. Let's not forget the Jason Blair fiasco either.

How can anyone associated with Duke take the NYT seriously anymore? Are most people that trusting or am I being unreasonably paranoid?

Uhhh..... The offending articles were on the NY Times sports pages, which are undistinguished. The offending LAX pieces were commentary IIRC (and there is always a first time). One was by Selena Roberts who took the opportunity to write a gimme column (totally offbase, of course) that played on the compelling themes of black-white, town-gown, rich-poor, south-north, jock cultures, sex and violence at a would-be Ivy League university. I can't remember who wrote the other column.

These were not news articles by the national and international reporting staff. I have read the Times for decades and almost never even look at the sports section.

sagegrouse
'At least the sports pages WERE undistinguished before they devoted four pages to Jay Williams a couple of weeks ago'

oldnavy
02-25-2013, 07:42 PM
That would seem reasonable until you consider that the reporters were not lone gunmen. They did not just get to post articles like bloggers do. The editors at the NYT either allowed this to happen or missed it. Either way, that makes them unreliable. Furthermore, I think that it is unreasonable for the current staff at NYT to get a pass because of the work done by their predecessors 40 years ago (or 100 or whatever). Okay, 1 vote for paranoid. I suppose people are just different.

I'm with you. There are probably more errors of omission than we could get into, but just look at the lack of interest in the whole Benghazi episode. Anyone who views any major media outlet as being fair and unbiased these days are being led down the prime rose path IMO. But hey, the first amendment is there for a reason and I support the right for the Times to publish whatever they want, I just won't be reading it.

-jk
02-25-2013, 08:04 PM
I think this one is veering too PPBish, now.

-jk