Thursday, August 25, 2005

Geeks & Jocks

For over the past 24 hours, every news station, radio station and conversation around the water coolers in Cincinnati has been about the "removal" of Bob Huggins as the Head Coach of the University of Cincinnati Basketball team. Even in Miami, Florida, this made the news.

Needless to say I'm am not, nor ever have been a big sports enthusiast. I've been to a few Reds games, one Bengals game and I have never been to a college sports game. It may have to do with the fact that in High School we had a very "important" basketball team. As I worked diligently to maintain my grades, the "jocks" on the basketball team were able to float through their classes, maintaining the same grade as I, and many times weren't even in class. A double standard that still exists in that High School to this day.

Jump ahead 25 years and now the major news story of the day in Cincinnati is the ouster of the head coach. Granted, Bob Huggins has done a lot for the school and the city. Before his tenure, UC Basketball was nowhere on the map. They are now a National name. But just last year he was arrested for a DUI twice! What kind of role model is that? The bottom line for me, is he left UC with 3 million plus. The average salary for a tenured professor at UC is only $80,000 a year. A head coach, who's graduation rate for his players is only about 45% leaves or is ousted and gets 3 million plus and National Headlines. Yet, a professor who educates our next generation of doctors, lawyers, engineers, and possible new governors and senators only makes about $72,000 to $80,000. But when they resign, retire or are let go, does that make the news?

It's sad to think that entertainment is more important than quality education. It's not only in Cincinnati, but across the nation. This was the case in 1978, and will continue to be the case 25 years from now. Entertainers, sports stars and the like will continue to make the money, while those of us that work every day just to get by will continue to live as we have for years. Thank goodness for the few geeks like Bill Gates and those like him that made it based on their intellect. There is a chance for some of us.

To Bob Huggins, I say goodbye to an era and enjoy your 3 million. To Pres. Nancy Zimpher of UC, who is academically minded and who doesn't like Huggins' history or philosophy...I say hats off.

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