Oh, I feel for the university leaders who must decide what to do about football. It’s so expensive but such a crowd pleaser. Look how Univ. of Chicago disappeared from the national consciousness after it turned its back on Alonzo Stagg’s legacy. The Ivy League, the greatest brand ever created, is just a collection of 8 football teams and their schools.
Our most esteemed visitor sporting the nom de guerre of Higby pointed us toward Rachel Bachman’s reporting on Berzerkley’s plan to rebuild its football stadium to be a glorious place to spend 6 or so Saturdays a year. Oh sure, it sits right on top of one of the great geological fault lines that could crack any second, but that’s no reason not to spend $321 million adding fancy luxury boxes and all of the other accouterments of athletic power.
The alumni were supposed to rush forward to pay for all of this by purchasing the seats in advance. This was supposed to raise $270m but only $31m is in the bank after three years of arm twisting. As Scooby Doo says, “Ruh roh.”
I normally don’t mind the athletic department because, to me, chasing a football is just as much a worthy human endeavor as chasing subtexts in Jane Austen. But,thank goodness, we haven’t spent $321m on a new lab or library. (I may be wrong here…)
Read on for more about just how the university is subsidizing this pursuit of a team that can match up with Stanford. Sigh.