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Maryland: Not A Monopoly On Hypocrisy, But An Impressive Standard Nonetheless

Well this is interesting: the Knight Commission wants the NCAA to more closely monitor D-1 sports in order to overcome the sense that people are losing confidence in the organization.

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The Commission is very concerned with “The fragmented oversight for the highest level of college football, and for the billions of dollars in revenue it produces..."

The report also maintained that "...board members are expected to represent their conferences’ competitive and financial interests first, instead of what may be best for college sports as a whole."

This presumably refers to the number of schools jumping conferences seeking bigger paydays. You know, schools like Maryland.

The chairman of the Commission? University of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan, who said this when Maryland left the ACC: "Most people, when they first hear about it, think, ‘Why would you do it? It doesn’t make sense? But the more you think about it and understand the advantages and think about the way the world’s changing, and the ACC isn’t the ACC any more."

Translation: "screw integrity and tradition. We're in it for the money, losers."

Hypocrisy is nothing new to college sports or the NCAA. But the Knight Commission is supposed to represent a higher mission, a focus on getting past filthy lucre and back to education and integrity. Remember? No? Well, this is from their mission statement:

"The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 in response to more than a decade of highly visible scandals in college sports. The goal of the Commission was to recommend a reform agenda that emphasized academic values in an arena where commercialization of college sports often overshadowed the underlying goals of higher education."

So in other words, while Maryland's chancellor is running the commission which tut-tuts about integrity and academics and rampant commercialization, he fully approves of Maryland going for as much money as the athletics program can raise.

Standards, apparently, are for other people.

This is very much the inverse of Maryland's traditional ACC whining, that they are constantly getting the dirty end of the stick and that other schools in the conference (read the Big Four) win because the deck is stacked against Maryland and poor College Park just can't get a break.

Now that the Terps have a lot of prospective income, Kirwan feels free to lecture other schools. But it doesn't change the fact that he essentially pimped his university to get the privilege.

*****

Also from the article linked above:

"The commission’s study revealed broad agreement that college sports provide tremendous benefits to our universities and to college athletes. However, nearly all respondents expressed serious concern that the quest for revenue in Division I is undermining academic and institutional ideals."