April 24, 2004
Academics and athletics at Rice
So there's been another faculty report at Rice which is critical of athletics there. Wasn't the first one, won't be the last. Typically, this one makes no recommendations except for "more study".
I'm a fan of Rice sports, but I'm not an alumnus. I think Rice gets more value out of its programs than any McKinsey study can quantify, but I also think that it will be increasingly difficult for a school like Rice to be a meaningful competitor in college sports because the big money schools don't really care if Rice plays or not. We're not a big draw, we don't have a big fan base, we don't have desireable facilities outside of baseball.
Whatever, though, this is much ado about nothing. I don't see there being enough support among administration, trustees, alumni and fans to make any changes - quite the contrary, in fact. That's fine by me. As befits a true Rice fan of any sport, I'm ready for next year. Go Rice!
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 24, 2004 to Other sports
Honestly, I don't see how Rice can compete long-term in Division I-A football. I have my doubts about whether UH can do so after so many years of bad ADs (before Dave Maggard) making bad choices.
But I see no reason that Rice can't compete in other sports like they do in baseball, or why men's basketball couldn't be a revenue-generator if an investment were made in facilities (and maybe a coach -- hard to say, because Willis Wilson has been crippled with that basketball court). Given the high-school basketball talent in Houston alone, why couldn't Rice strive to be a Duke or Tulsa in basketball terms (but even more competitive academically of course)?
Oh, Autry. Never mind. :)
The baseball team will be here early next month; I hope to see the Sunday game, and it ought to be good.
I'm curious whence their assertion that the massive athlete violations of the Honor Code in 2002 almost caused the Honor Council to stop functioning. I'm sure it was stressful, but stop functioning?
From talking to an Honor Council member at the time all that was happening, it was indeed very stressful for them. There was a fair amount of criticism about how teh Council handled that situation, mostly having to do with the details about the case that were published, since Honor Council matters are supposed to be secret. I don't recall if there was anything more than noise, though.