Author Topic: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"  (Read 1990 times)

Offline Ron Boerger

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Interesting article:   https://slate.com/sports/2017/12/wesleyan-university-football-is-good-business.html

Focuses on some of the D3 topics we all know and love.   Some partial quotes:

"Among Wesleyan’s peers in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, Colby has announced plans to build a $200 million athletic complex; Williams spent $22 million to renovate its football stadium; Amherst spent $12.5 million on its stadium; and Middlebury has a new $46 million athletic fieldhouse."

"[...]Wesleyan’s quest to recruit better athletes has essentially created a school within a school. Nearly 25 percent of those 3,000 undergrads play varsity sports, and close to 10 percent of each class is admitted through a process that gives preferential treatment to athletes. " (emphasis mine)

"While [Wesleyan President] Roth may look askance at the massive sums rival schools have spent on athletics, he is fully aware that a better football team and a stronger sports culture are good for the university’s bottom line. Wesleyan, which phased out need-blind admissions in 2012 and whose $800 million endowment is less than half that of its rivals Amherst and Williams, feels it needs all the money it can get. Biddiscombe, the former athletic director, says the fundraising response to Wesleyan’s football success has been 'significant.' "

"NESCAC rules allow schools to grant admission to a certain number of athletes who fall below typical academic qualifying standards [...] SAT scores for this group of students tended to be in the 1,100 range on the 1,600 scale compared to around 1,400 for other students."

Wonder how many other conferences (or schools) have similar rules for athletes.    Probably a good number.

More on Colby's new 350,000 sf facility, complete with indoor track and Olympic pool:   http://www.colby.edu/news/2017/04/27/colby-to-break-ground-on-all-new-athletic-complex/

Offline jknezek

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 11:32:51 am »
I'm betting not too many conferences have a rule about what schools can do, because the conferences themselves contain a much wider disparity in the academic quality of the schools. The NESCAC, as little as I want to add to their already massive egos, isreally a conference that is only comparable to the Ivy League in terms of academic quality and standards top to bottom. So this type of conference wide limit is much more important to them than it would be to any other conference.

What point would there be in setting academic bands in the ODAC with W&L and, say, Va Wes? Those schools have to be free to set what is acceptable to them in terms of lower bands of student athletes.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 12:34:23 pm by jknezek »

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 02:51:42 pm »
I would say that the UAA is D3's closest analogue to the Ivy League, not the NESCAC, given that the Ivy League is basically a collection of top-tier private research universities, as is the UAA.

As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline jknezek

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 02:59:56 pm »
I would say that the UAA is D3's closest analogue to the Ivy League, not the NESCAC, given that the Ivy League is basically a collection of top-tier private research universities, as is the UAA.

As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).

I didn't really consider the UAA. But my comparison was more from an athletic perspective. In conference athletics is pretty important to the Ivy alums and the NESCAC alums, at least in the premiere sports. I'm not sure the UAA schools and alums have the same passion, therefore it probably isn't the same importance to have the kind of league wide admissions restrictions the NESCAC has mandated.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2017, 03:12:37 pm »
That's true. The general attitude towards intercollegiate sports in the UAA seems to range from complete unawareness to benign indifference.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Warren Thompson

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 04:24:26 pm »
As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).

What! You cite Carleton above but not its cross-town rival (and my wife's alma mater)?  :o

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 04:38:22 pm »
As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).

What! You cite Carleton above but not its cross-town rival (and my wife's alma mater)?  :o
St Olaf won the Cereal Bowl this year. Apparently there has been sufficient improvement in the football program such that it disqualified their academic prowess.

Offline Warren Thompson

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 05:18:29 pm »
As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).

What! You cite Carleton above but not its cross-town rival (and my wife's alma mater)?  :o
St Olaf won the Cereal Bowl this year. Apparently there has been sufficient improvement in the football program such that it disqualified their academic prowess.

And yet the St. Olaf choir can still sing better than any choral group from the other side of Northfield. Um-yah-yah and Uffda;)

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 05:30:15 pm »
As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).

What! You cite Carleton above but not its cross-town rival (and my wife's alma mater)?  :o
St Olaf won the Cereal Bowl this year. Apparently there has been sufficient improvement in the football program such that it disqualified their academic prowess.

And yet the St. Olaf choir can still sing better than any choral group from the other side of Northfield. Um-yah-yah and Uffda;)
Merry Christmas, to you, Warren, and your lovely bride.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdSQzO811Hw&list=RD31ej08ocqTw&index=2

Offline Warren Thompson

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 05:43:58 pm »
And Merry Christmas to you, Ralph. Lutherans love to sing, don't they?

Thanks for your mention of my "lovely bride" (of 50+ years). She's an Ole '64 and a veteran of the US Army Nurse Corps (Ft. Sam Houston, 1964-65; 93rd Evac Hospital, Long Binh, Republic of South Viet Nam, 1965-66; Walter Reed US Army Hospital, 1966-67).

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 06:44:47 pm »
As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).

What! You cite Carleton above but not its cross-town rival (and my wife's alma mater)?  :o
St Olaf won the Cereal Bowl this year. Apparently there has been sufficient improvement in the football program such that it disqualified their academic prowess.

And yet the St. Olaf choir can still sing better than any choral group from the other side of Northfield. Um-yah-yah and Uffda;)

As soon as WT raised his hue and cry, I knew that there would be a "the Oles can outsing anybody!" (or somesuch) declaration hard upon its heels.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Mr. Ypsi

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 07:16:43 pm »
As a collection of top-tier private liberal arts colleges, the NESCAC really doesn't have an analogue in D1. Its peers are mostly scattered throughout D3 (Grinnell, Carleton, Washington & Lee, Swarthmore, possibly a few others), with a very precious few peers in D1 (Colgate and Davidson are the only two that come to mind).

What! You cite Carleton above but not its cross-town rival (and my wife's alma mater)?  :o
St Olaf won the Cereal Bowl this year. Apparently there has been sufficient improvement in the football program such that it disqualified their academic prowess.

And yet the St. Olaf choir can still sing better than any choral group from the other side of Northfield. Um-yah-yah and Uffda;)

As soon as WT raised his hue and cry, I knew that there would be a "the Oles can outsing anybody!" (or somesuch) declaration hard upon its heels.

At least he only claimed "better than ... other side of Northfield."  iwu70 won't have to chime in about Titan opera! ;D

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 07:29:35 pm »
I doubt that he would ever find his way over here on his own ... and I trust that you'll keep this our little secret from him, Chuck. ;)
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Mr. Ypsi

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 09:40:48 pm »
I doubt that he would ever find his way over here on his own ... and I trust that you'll keep this our little secret from him, Chuck. ;)

Ooh!  SO tempting to PM him, but I won't. 8-)  I can't recall him ever posting except on CCIW boards, but who knows what he may read?  On the other hand, he is still an active academic, while I'm long retired, so maybe he does only read CCIW stuff.

Offline smedindy

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 12:51:06 am »
Back to the article - football IS good business for many D3 schools, because of the enrollment and retention that come with it.

But I don't think the article would be written about the MIAC  - or the NCAC when their schools started to invest in athletics / wellness centers on-campus.

I think of the Patriot League (the original, really, the non-scholarship version when it first existed) when I think of the NESCAC - Army, Navy, Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Colgate, Bucknell, Fordham), though American, BU, and Loyola-MD aren't exactly dumbing down the league.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 01:57:14 am by smedindy »