Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Collecting money for nothing, get our chicks for free

by Ken Houghton

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Duke

Any chance that either of my daughters would go to Duke disappears forever:
The [Duke] women's [lacrosse team] plan to wear sweatbands [with the word "Innocent" written on them] on their arms or legs was reported Wednesday by The Herald-Sun of Durham. The teams plays Northwestern in the NCAA semifinals Friday.

"We want to win a national championship for ourselves but definitely also for [Duke] and the men's team," junior Leigh Jester told the newspaper. "They don't really have a chance to play their season, which is a shame."

No. A shame is when an assault conviction is treated as nothing. A shame is when a team that was supposed to get more supervision got less.
Although successive administrators in the Office of Judicial Affairs were generally aware that lacrosse players were often entangled in the disciplinary process, they did not take steps to determine the full extent of the record until the Fall of 2004. When the Dean for Judicial Affairs determined both the number of disciplinary charges against members of the lacrosse team and the number of lacrosse
players against whom charges had been filed, various administrators discussed what to do about it. Eventually, administrators brought the disciplinary record of his players to the attention of Coach Pressler. But neither administrators in Student Affairs nor administrators responsible for the Athletic Department adequately conveyed to Coach Pressler any sense of alarm. Nor did the administrators responsible for the Athletic Department demand that Coach Pressler take
extraordinary action to address the problem. Indeed, after advising Coach Pressler of his team’s problematic disciplinary record, the Athletic Director extended the Coach’s contract for an unprecedented three years. (p. 17)

As I noted earlier, this is primarily a Principal-Agent problem, and my respect for the University of Colorado is going up relative to Duke, where they don't even bother to pretend:
A university spokesman said Wednesday that the school had no objections to either the sweatbands or the invitation to Pressler.

"They don't clear those things with us ever," said John Burness, Duke's vice president for public affairs. "We're not sitting here looking over people's shoulders quite that much."

Or at all, apparently. Hope those licensing fees Present Value to more than the tuition opportunities lost.

UPDATE: Duke's women lost to Northwestern, 11-10 in overtime on Friday. Whether this was, as predicted by ESPN's Daily Quickie, due to their lack of focus ("Are you more concerned with making some big look-at-me statement ... or winning a title?") or some other reason is irrelevant.
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