A couple of weeks ago, the University of Oregon volleyball team received seven Pac-12 All-Academic awards. When I read the news I wondered to myself, does any sports fan really care about this stuff? My answer: I sure hope so.
My desire to see a Duck football team loaded with front-of-the-classroom-with-hands-in-the-air type students can be reasoned out with one word: cliffharrislegarreeteblountrodneywoods. Okay, I cheated a little bit, but I hope you get the point. These guys have all suckerpunched the reputation of the university, leaving it looking like a school for athletes who pretend to be students. The Pac-12 is one of the strongest academic conferences in the country. And if I’ve learned anything as a duck fan the last 25 years it’s that smart players do fewer dumb things on and off the field. Chip Kelly has done a good job moving away from recruiting JC guys (who tend to have been struggling high schoolers who couldn’t get into a university) and more towards intelligent athletes–Marcus Mariota seems to be a good example. This move will hopefully reduce the Darron Thomas-like stupidity that besmirches those flashy uniforms.
I want the school that’s at the top of my degrees to be at the top of the conference. I want smart guys (and girls) to represent my university and the work I put in there. How about you?