Content is King!
Balancing top academics with top athletics
01-20-2011 07:41 PM
Universities with exceptional academic reputations can also be a force in the world of sports
What do Condoleezza Rice, John Elway, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Jim Plunkett all share in common? All four showed up for Stanford’s Orange Bowl to support the Cardinal in its 40-12 dismantling of Virginia Tech on Jan. 3 in Miami.
The Cardinal’s romp was impressive in its own right, ignoring the impressive list of names roaming the sidelines. Andrew Luck, Stanford’s redshirt sophomore quarterback and the consensus No. 1 prospect in the country heading into the NFL draft this April, put on a clinic. Luck completed 18 of 23 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns in leading his team to 27 unanswered points in the second half. Fourth-year head coach Jim Harbaugh completed his turnaround of the school’s once woebegone football program. The Cardinal, who went 12-1 this year, finished 1-11 in 2006, the year before Harbaugh took over the reigns.
For me, though, the most striking part of the game did not take place on the field. As the action winded down on the field, Stanford began to flex its muscles as an all-around institution off of it. The school showed there is no sliding scale between academics and athletics, a lesson that critics of big-time college sports at the nation’s top universities—including Columbia—would do well to heed.
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