James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Reason to Hate Duke

A non-basketball observation about the NCAA Tournament . . .

Although I missed it myself, I heard about #2 seed Duke's narrow victory over #15 seed Belmont. An ESPN commentator said he was at a bar last night and everyone was cheering for Belmont.

Which is understandable. Duke has been a very successful program for well over two decades. People get tired of seeing them win all the time, and although the program obeys the rules and graduates its players, many are turned off by some perceived arrogance from the program.

I don't know about that. I respect coach Mike Krazewski (as Jim Rome calls him), who is one of the greatest of all time. And while Duke would never be a sentimental favorite, and I, too, would have been cheering for any #15 over any #2, I don't hate Duke because of its basketball program. there is another reason to hate Duke:

Which is, the treatment of Duke's faculty and administration toward the Duke lacrosse team amid rape allegations two years ago. The entire season was canceled because three teammates were charged with rape. Although they were put through a year of hell by prosecutor Mike Nifong, they were exonerated.

The way Duke as an institution behaved was disgraceful, and revealed the worst of Political Correctness and of the state of the modern American university. For over 100 years now people have complained that somebody should clean up college athletics, but often it's the colleges themselves that are disgraceful. The federal government ought to stop encouraging students to go colleges and universities with financial aid and guaranteed loans. If universities had to compete with each other in a free market, you might still get a lot of dumbing-down and other silliness that you get now, but at least it will be at much lower cost. And you probably wouldn't get the kind of rank, unjust behavior of the kind Duke exhibited two years ago.

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