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Strategic Plan Approved For Athletics

The board of trustees approved the Strategic Plan for Athletics on Saturday, which means that Duke will for the first time approach athletics systematically and with a vision.

Well, that's not entirely true: Duke has tried for a long time to take the combination of athletics and academics seriously. With the changing environment, however, with costs going through the roof and the many changes in collegiate athletics, it's really vital to have a coherent plan (and to adjust it when necessary, too).

Duke has become a global presence at least partly because of basketball. If John Wooden had coached at Duke instead of UCLA and won 10 titles here, people in Japan and China would never have known. ESPN and satellite broadcasts coincided with Coach K's rise to greatness at Duke, and consequently, as college basketball has developed fans worldwide, Duke was on the cutting edge.

The entire athletics program, and the university, are really in debt to what the basketball program has accomplished, but there's no guarantee that that remarkable success will continue, and no guarantee that basketball can pull the entire train alone. So it makes sense to plan thoroughly.

It comes at an interesting time. Whoever the new A.D. is going to study this carefully. Here's the full document.