Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Open Letter To Villanova Faculty

Dear Faculty of Villanova University,

Upon reading the Report of the Faculty Football Survey it was no surprise to me that faculty opinion was overwhelmingly against a potential move to the Big East.  What was a surprise to me was the fact that so many intelligent people uttered such ridiculous and shortsighted arguments against such a move.

Paraphrasing some of these comments made by Faculty:
  • Football is too violent.
  • Football somehow contradicts with Villanova's mission.
  • Football should be dropped entirely.
  • One faculty member went so far as to single out the poor performance of one of the football players they had in their class.
  • Villanova should move to Division III.
  • Athletics have become the "tail that wags the dog"
  • Big time football somehow compromises a school's academic integrity.
Those are just a few of the arguments made against the move that made me feel anywhere from skeptical to outraged (outrage in the case of the professor talking about the individual "linebacker").

I cannot claim that I lack bias in this matter because I have always felt that Big East football would be a tremendous opportunity for Villanova to elevate itself into a national university while also protecting Basketball, which whether the faculty is willing to admit or not is the single most important asset the school has to recruit new students.  One faculty member in favor of the move pointed out how the school's average SAT scores have increased by 200 points since the 1985 NCAA Championship.

Do not get me wrong, strong academics are an integral part of Villanova's identity, but the schools that Villanova considers its peers (Notre Dame and Boston College) prove that strong academics and Catholic values can coexist with a big time football program.  In order to continue growing as a university, Villanova must put its basketball team in the position in which it is least vulnerable to the changing landscape of college athletics, and upgrading football is the most obvious vehicle through which that can happen.

I would simply like to ask the faculty to not completely dismiss such a move, and I would like to remind them that if they do not like the conditions at Villanova, then there are plenty of other institutions of higher education (ones with neither the football nor the national reputation) that would welcome their services.

Sincerely,

An Educated Fan Tired of Penis Envy by Academics Directed Toward Intercollegiate Athletics

5 comments:

  1. The first question of many i would ask is "before we start this survey" what is a linebacker? If they can't answer that dismiss their reponses. Remembering some of the professors there my guess is they have no clue.

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  2. Do these fools eralize half the students in their class went there because of athletics? job security!!! idiots!

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  3. We should make our Arts and Sciences professors take a business class... some of them are just idiots when you take them outside their one specialized subject.

    I think some of these people also think that if we didn't have the Davis Center, that money would have been donated for some Philosophy headquarters. Get real. Sports are the major tie to our alumni base, and this could be a major driver for building better giving rates.

    Another huge point that no one brings up is who are we trying to please, the people who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend Villanova or the people who over the years are paid similar amounts to work there? I don't know about my classmates, but my work doesn't ask me about what I think about potential mergers and acquisitions.

    I'd imagine most of the pro-football faculty see this is as an opportunity. The Villanova brand directly impacts their careers and it could greatly benefit them. I'm not sure if the naysayers understand the power of branding, except maybe the etymology of the word. Holy Cross probably has a few openings if you want to go to a once dominant school whose name means very little to people outside the Northeast.

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  4. Truthfully, I can understand how the faculty could complain that football goes against the school's values. I mean, we're talking about a Catholic University that (I believe?) has a "no penetration" rule for students. At least as far as on-campus life goes, a high profile football program strongly supports all the fun things in life that aren't all that religion friendly: beer, violence, tailgating, meat, slurs of all kinds and (hopefully) sex. Not exactly strong Catholic values (even though most of the Augustinians and certainly Father Peter himself are likely in support of most of those).

    But with all respect to the faculty of the school, FUCK THAT SHIT.

    High profile sports teams are what make a small university a national university. High profile sports teams bring in alumni donations. In many situations, high profile sports bring in higher quality applicants. It's far from a no-brainer, but as long as the financials are there, there's no reason not to strongly consider this move.

    And the last thing that should be a major factor in that decision is a bunch of academics arguing that the ethical and religious values of the school will be tarnished.

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