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Shooting blood out of my eyes

16feb2012: My undergrad alma mater, TCU, has always spent too much money on football. For years, it has been spending to position its team in a major conference. They bought their way into something called the Big 12. Of course, this spending does not directly make TCU a better college. Yet defenders tout the indirect effect of publicity for the school. People outside Fort Worth know TCU for its football. Admittedly, people in the rest of the country often have one of two reactions when learning that I went to TCU: (a) They hear 'Texas Christian' and conclude that it is a little bible college (It's not.) or (b) they recognize TCU because of its football team and its mascot, the horned frog. (The mascot gives TCU a great avatar. Don't confuse my dissing on football for dissing on horned frogs. Horned frogs are cool.)

Today on the LA Times website, sandwiched between the headlines McDonald's hamburgers lure naked man off downtown tower and Man suspected of killing, eating cats in Kern County, is the headline TCU football players arrested, accused of selling drugs. Similar news items appear, in the midst of other headlines, across the internet.

Publicity? Yes. Good publicity? No.

Fair notice: I never went to a single football game as a TCU student. I remember TCU mostly as an academic community where I learned a lot and made friends. The philosophy department had just four faculty, but a surprising number of philosophy majors went on from TCU to top-notch graduate programs. This and parrallel successes in other disciplines are what redeems TCU as a college, in spite of the money pit of scandalous football.


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