Category Archives: American football

July 23, 2012, 8:58 pm

A Temporary Setback for Penn State Football?

Which finger is JoePa holding up? Photo Credit

There goes the statue of JoePa. Bu-bye. Don’t let the door hitcha onna way out.

In the wake of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky’s conviction on child sexual assault charges, and Judge Louis Freeh’s report on the coverup of said actions by the institution, the NCAA has weighed in with penalties designed to punish — but not by any means wreck –the Nittany Lions. Millions of dollars in fines, eliminating Bowl eligibility, reduction of scholarships: what more, you ask, could the ruling body of college sports done? (more…)

May 1, 2012, 11:50 am

It’s Always Football Season In Florida: Computer Season? Not So Much

Every time the state of Florida expresses its contempt for education you wonder how things get worse for students in that state.  But they can. Although Education Week gave the state high marks for standards, assessment and accountability, and good marks for equity, two big F’s stand out: funding and college readiness. However Education Week forgot what the F in Florida education really stands for:  football.

Steven Salzburg at Forbes reported last week that the University of Florida flagship plans to save a cool $1.4 million by cutting its computer science department. (Hat tip to Comrade PhysioProffe.) As Salzburg pointed out, this is a strange way for the state to prepare students for the demands of a 21st century technology and information economy.  ”The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science,” he writes, and is “cutting the…

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February 22, 2011, 12:43 pm

Why Do Small Colleges Need Football? And Why This A Radical Question To Ask At Your College

Photo credit.

Last Thursday, Dave Duerson, a four-time Pro Bowl Safety for the Chicago Bears, killed himself.  He was 50 years old, and it seems that Duerson believed that his brain was deteriorating from the effects of multiple concussions.  He chose a particularly painful and risky way to die, shooting himself in the chest, so that an autopsy might be done to determine whether he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). As Alan Schwarz wrote for yesterday’s New York Times,

Duerson sent text messages to his family before he shot himself specifically requesting that his brain be examined for damage, two people aware of the messages said. Another person close to Duerson, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Duerson had commented to him in recent months that he might have C.T.E., an incurable disease linked to depression, impaired impulse control and cognitive…

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September 22, 2010, 2:11 pm

It’s Not The Football, Stupid: It’s The Dangerous People Who Misplay The Game Of Life

My partner asked me the other day why I don’t really watch football anymore. There is the time factor: how many of us in academia can really set aside whole afternoons or evenings just to watch games that would be 2/3 as long if they weren’t packed with ads? Then there is the concussion factor. I also stopped enjoying professional boxing when I realized that I was watching the very tip of an iceberg of men (and now women) who were being slowly battered into disability and early death in the hope of making slightly better than a working class living as an athlete.

Then there are the steroids, and the enforced obesity in certain positions, since super-sizing yourself is required for success at every level of football. There is the “these men-are-a$$holes” factor, which ultimately caused me to stop watching ice hockey, since it suddenly struck me that normal athletes do not see…

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