Opinion

Bowl ban, skewed priorities

Dear President Shalala:

I have been unwavering in my support for you since the day I walked onto campus for freshman move-in in August 2003.  You were omnipresent on campus during my time at UM, through good times and bad; I remember you at the debates in 2004, and also at the memorial services for two of my classmates.  You have indisputably done great things for my alma mater, from raising the university’s national profile to collecting hundreds of millions of dollars of donations.  At this point, however, your disdain for the football program can no longer be overlooked.

After your first two years in Coral Gables, the Hurricanes won one (or two) national titles.  Since then, you have done everything in your power to hobble the football program.  There were the almost understandable money grabs of moving to the ACC and dumping the historic Orange Bowl like it was nothing more than a bad date at the late, lamented Rathskeller.  And then Nevin Shapiro happened.  You feigned outrage, but took no responsibility.  You pledged an investigation, but have done nothing to defend our players against obviously trumped up allegations.  Now, instead of resigning yourself, you have decided that our brand new coach and his team should bear the brunt of the punishment by forbidding them from participating in the bowl game they earned.  Enough.

Ever since Howard Schnellenberger stepped on campus, The U has been a football school in the public’s imagination, just as surely as Notre Dame or USC are perceived as football schools.  There is no shame in this.  You seemingly equate athletic prowess with academic underachievement.  The University of Miami deserves better.  Every time you throw the athletic program under the bus in order to appease U.S. News & World Report, you reveal yourself as Miami’s false ally.  To echo Jerome Brown’s infamous cry of support for the football program: Did the Japanese sit down and eat with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?  No. We’re outta here.

Patrick Gibbons is a Class of 2007 University of Miami alumnus.
December 1, 2011

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Patrick Gibbons


5 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Bowl ban, skewed priorities”

  1. Ignorant Gibbons says:

    Shalala is the best thing that has ever happened to this school. This school is changing for the better and that means football is no longer king. Long live the queen.

  2. Jay '80 says:

    I think the Penn State program should get the death penalty. Remember when they wanted to give it to U of M, for our minor offences. Penn State still puts the mighty dollar over the victims abuse. We should always keep the higher standard. We will get the National Championships again, just believe.

  3. Moron Gibbons says:

    Name says it all. If you think that a bowl ban is because she hates the program, you’re insane.

  4. AntiGibbons says:

    I agree with previous commenter. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. First of all, skipping whatever “Middle of Nowhere 6-6 Bowl” is going to help us, plain and simple. We might not lose a single scholarship because of the self imposed sanctions (including the player suspensions at the start of the season).

    Also, it has been reported (if you bothered to do any research) in the media that Shalala has personal relationship with some on the NCAA infractions committee, and her reputation and standing with those individuals is only going to make it better for the University.

    While she may not be the biggest advocate of the football program, she and the Athletic Director had the foresight to extend Golden’s contract which has ALREADY paid dividends on the recruiting trail.

    I think Shalala and Eichorst have handled this situation perfectly. The goal here is to minimize the punishment as best as possible which will only benefit our future. Who cares if we miss a bowl game at the end of a 6-6 season. Would you rather it be 6-7?

  5. Not Gibbons says:

    You, Mr. Gibbons, are an idiot.

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