Someone pointed out there are only 100 days till SMU at Texas Tech.
SMU won American Football Coaches Association's 2006 Academic Achievement Award because the 2000-01 class (Cavan’s last class) had a 100% graduation rate. Any time SMU receives an award like this, you should be proud. I have always paid attention to this award for some reason. I always thought it was interesting that SMU had never won it before (honorable mention 11 times). It is also interesting that Texas Tech, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado State, Florida State, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami (Ohio), Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia were honorable mention; these are good football schools that still graduate 70% of its football players. And if SMU were able to graduate no more than that, it should still be proud as that exceeds the graduation rate of the University as a whole. I call that academic integrity. And you can still have it and be good on the football field. As long as people at SMU think the terms are mutually exclusive, SMU is going to struggle.
On a related note, SMU president Gerald Turner was named co-chairmen of The Knight Commission.
“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.” Noble goal. To the extent the commission seeks to emphasize the “student” in student-athlete, I am all for it. Where the Commission loses me is in crap like this- a white paper discussing whether success in sports increases applications and alumni donations. I don’t have a problem with a study such as this per se, but when the author comes out and says universities can cut athletic funding without fear of losing applications or donations, and that statement is completely unsupported, I have a big problem with that. Long story short, I don’t think of this organization as anything more than an academic Pollyanna convinced that if not for the football teams, they would be cruising between classes in solar powered Segways.
As for Turner being a chair, I have no problem to the extent he tries to change college athletics. We all need hobbies. But if he were ever to pull a Pye and try to make SMU a beacon of light in the darkness of college athletics, he can rest assured that he won’t have the support of most SMU alumni.
SMU football has apparently landed its first recruit for 2007. Josh LeRibeus, who is 6-foot-3 and 321 pounds, also had scholarship offers from Baylor, Boston College, Colorado State, Houston and Stanford. Justin Smart, LB from marshall signed a LOI to play for SMU starting next year.
Likewise, on the last day of the signing period, Matt Doherty signed Cameron Spencer of Orange, Texas to a LOI for next year. Doherty also got his first commitment for 2007: William Eddie III , a 6-1 junior guard from Detroit Cass Tech. Detroit is a long way from SMU. Ranked the 22nd best player in michigan as a Junior; don't know where he ranks now as a recruit.