Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One Question for Condoleezza Rice

As the New York Times reports, former national security advisor and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice will certainly be able to utilize her diplomatic skills in her position as a member of the college football playoff selection committee.

Rice is also the former provost, the chief academic officer,  of Stanford University.

If by chance in addition to all the cheerleaders who will wait to report the committee's selections an actual reporter shows up, here's a question for Ms. Rice.

"When you were provost of Stanford University, would you have approved a course that causes brain damage?"

The silence of America's provosts on a college sport that causes brain damage is not the fault of academia.  It's clearly understandable why we see one athletic scandal after another across America's campuses.   One doesn't expect a university to have standards, but the press should. Reporters across the country  should be asking university presidents and provosts to explain how a sport that causes brain damage is consistent with a university's mission.   

If a university's mission is to be a cost-free training ground for the NFL, then America's universities are doing a superb job.  If a university's mission is education, then how do you explain the silence of America's university presidents and provosts with what medical science has shown happens to the human brain when it's repeatedly exposed to football?

When journalism fails, bad things happen.


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