Like the passion of the World Cup? You can have it in your college experience, too!

<p>The USA has advanced in the World Cup and people are watching and getting excited and getting involved from Portland, ME to San Diego, CA. Crazy outfits, loud horns, frequently zany behaviour and lots and lots of positive energy and enthusiasm, all of it offered for free to anyone who wants to get involved. Heck, the party and the overall scene is more fun than the game itself! I hope that you're enjoying it.</p>

<p>If you like this kind of positive stimulation and think it might be fun to have something very similar as part of your college experience, then I strongly encourage you to consider schools that can provide this outlet. Many cannot, including some of the nation's most visible colleges. But many great colleges can and the fun and experiences are there for students and alumni to enjoy on multiple occasions throughout the school year. </p>

<p>So where can you find this kind of energy, excitement and passion? The colleges that can best offer this atmosphere in tandem with a top-level academic experience are:</p>

<p>Privates: Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame</p>

<p>Honorable Mention: Georgetown, USC, Wake Forest, Boston College</p>

<p>State Us: UC Berkeley, U Virginia, UCLA, U Michigan, U North Carolina, Georgia Tech, U Illinois, U Wisconsin</p>

<p>Honorable Mention: U Washington, Penn State, U Florida, U Texas</p>

<p>how did you arrive to your conclusions?</p>

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<p>More like Dishonorable Mention. Since apparently you hadn't noticed:
NCAA</a> sanctions could cost USC millions - Los Angeles Times</p>

<p>Excerpt:
"Citing a history of misdeeds by an out-of-control athletic department, the governing body for college sports hit USC with a string of penalties Thursday that will keep the powerhouse Trojans football team out of bowl games for the next two seasons and could cost the university millions of dollars."</p>

<p>If you like seeing your school in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, by all means go to big sports school.</p>

<p>+1 Hawkette.</p>

<p>You are 100% right. </p>

<p>Why do academic snobs get insecure and jealous just because people love sports? Blame the Romans. They had a good idea about using the Galdiators and all to quell civil unrest. </p>

<p>People like sports even a brutal economy. </p>

<p>You can't spend 24/7 in a library without a tan or a clue about the opposite sex. </p>

<p>You can't deny that people love sports worldwide. It is a growth industry and it gives one a chance to work in a career that they love. Something wrong with that?</p>

<p>I dont question the "overall experience" point that Hawkette is relaying here. But her choice of schools has to be explained (and why others weren't listed.) </p>

<p>Employers like well balanced kids too. People who can get along with other people, not troglodytes who are brainiacs but anti social and misfits in the office.</p>

<p>However, nothing can replace consistent high scholarship in academics, as graduate and professional schools routinely use raw test scores and gpa's in their admissions decisions, despite their claims to the contrary.</p>

<p>Hawkette your state honorable mentions are completely wrong. Utexas and Uflorida as honorable mentions? No! You can put them up and move Illinois and Berkeley down.</p>

<p>Athletics can get out of control. Obviously. The obession to win can get ugly. There are so many examples it is dazzling. </p>

<p>But athletics and great academics can mix beautifully too if there are controls and regulations. Hawkette's list is spot on. I could add more as well but I doubt many reasonable people would deny that the schools he/she mentioned give the general student a fantasic overall experience and do pretty well on the field and on the courts. </p>

<p>The key is not let evey illiterate clown into school just cuz he can run a 4.4 40 or dunk.</p>

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<p>Hawkette cites the same handful of schools (Stanford, Northwestern, ... etc) over and over again. And they are the execeptions that prove the rule. The sad fact is that there aren't enough very bright students who are also top notch athletes to go around. The same handful of schools (typified by Hawette's list) manage to scoop most of them up year after year, leaving the majority of the schools to settle mostly for kids who are either second-rate or third-rate athletes or second or third-rate (or worse) scholars. And if you are running a big time D1 sports program you cannot afford to settle for second-rate athletes or your team will start losing. Thus they all too readily slip into pursuing athletes that have no business being in a college classroom. And then you have the makings of scandal.</p>

<p>coureur,
Point taken. You're probably right. Given what USC has done and how poorly their major sport student-athletes compare in Academic Progress Rates toward graduation, they don't deserve a positive mention. </p>

<p>ghost,
I chose the colleges that are considered the premier academic destinations, eg, USNWR Top 50 and then further sorted by those that compete at a national level in major sports and offer an athletic environment that is well supported locally and involves games that are relevant nationally. </p>

<p>Go ahead and add some schools if you like. I'm not so much seeking to limit the group as my objective is to encourage prospective students to consider the full range of experiences that they will get in college both inside and outside of the classroom. This will be true at all levels of selectivity.</p>

<p>mitan,
IMO U Texas is the premier athletic life school in the country. I placed them in the Honorable Mention category only because I was trying to combine both the academic side and the athletic side. I think that one can make an argument to move them up, not to mention adding several more State Us to the list, eg, Honors programs at Ohio State, Texas A&M, U Georgia, Clemson, etc.</p>

<p>Cour,</p>

<p>Your comments are from the 70's. College athletics is far cleaner and truer to its intended mission than it used to be. </p>

<p>And please lets not pretend holier than thou academics is without scandal and sin and the equivalent of "back room deals."</p>

<p>Student-athletes today, at selected schools, are respecatble. More later. In class myself.</p>

<p>Cour,</p>

<p>Scandals at places like USC and FSU happen. No doubt. But each of those scandals involved a small group of Stu-ath. The vast majority of caoches/admin/jocks benefit greatly from sports and play by the rules some of which are ridiculous. </p>

<p>Do you deny that? </p>

<p>Are you going to indict the whole industry based on a few bad apples? </p>

<p>Using that flawed logic I guess all bankers are bad too? </p>

<p>And all politicians are crooked too. </p>

<p>I could go on and on. </p>

<p>Get some perspective. </p>

<p>The bottom line is MOST people love sports.</p>

<p>Forgot to add:</p>

<p>Admission standards are far better (prop 48, etc.) than they used to be. The coaches all whined and complained when the rules were first put into place but they have worked. </p>

<p>There are still abuses. Of course. But generally, academics and athletics can be a very profitable (that might be another reason you dislike it. You hate anything that makes a profit am I right) and beneficial to the fans and the jocks alike. </p>

<p>Suwanne used to be in the mighty SEC. Now they are some timy little ignored D3 football playing school. Brilliant. Just brilliant. The U of Chicago turned it's back on football but then, lo and behold, discovered that the place was too stiff an dboring without it so they brought it back. No one cares but they still play. </p>

<p>Ignore football at your peril. </p>

<p>You have to give people some reason to be cold 10 months out of the year.</p>

<p>I'll give another example of a school that de-emphasized football because of the mistaken notion it would hurt the school's academic rep. Holy Cross and Boston College used to have a great football and sports rivalry. A few minority but vocal memebers of HC's board got football de-emphasized. </p>

<p>BC took the other path. </p>

<p>BC realized that athletics enhance not detract from the U's mission, if done right. BC is now a proud member at the ACC which just signed a gigantic TV deal with ESPN/ABC. </p>

<p>HC plays football in the Patriot League in front of high school sized crowds. </p>

<p>Tell me again all the problems with mixing athletics and great academics. </p>

<p>And it isn't just the huge revenue streams from TV deals. Alumni feel connected to their schools and continue to live and die with the teams after graduation. That isn't a bad thing. Those same alumni send their sons and daughters to those schools and contribute. </p>

<p>A great sports program has helped a school like Villanova, which won the football FSC national championship last year, seperate itself from the other nameless, forgettable schools in Pennsylvannia. </p>

<p>Yet some people just dwell on the incidents of abuses and ignore all the other obvious positives a great sports program creates. Talk about missing the point. Talk about being stone cold wrong.</p>

<p>hawkette is at it again!</p>

<p>She continues to use Rice as an example of a school that students should attend because of its great athletic program.</p>

<p>Rice has one of the worst athletic programs in Division I, ranking **#124 **out of 278 Div. I schools in the recent Directors' Cup Standings.</p>

<p>The only decent team that Rice has is baseball and most of the exciting baseball games in the NCAA occur in June during the playoffs and World Series, when most of students are long gone for their summer vacations.</p>

<p>truly unbelievable!</p>

<p>Rice is an great school, but please don't use their athletics as a reason to attend to college.</p>

<p>well if I had a choice to go to either Dartmouth or Rice, I would go to Rice because even if it has a mediocre football team, at least it has a D1 football team.</p>

<p>But yeah, Rice's sports are awful. Notre Dame, Stanford and Vanderbilt would be much better places for competitive sports and academics.</p>

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<p>No, you are wrong. I've never met an honest profit I didn't like. It's the ones based on cheating and lowering of academic standards that I don't like.</p>

<p>The problem arises when schools get confused over what their actual mission and business is. Do they exist primarily to educate students or to sell lots of football tickets and get a big TV deal? Is their purpose to turn out the next generation of educated young adults or is it to act as a free minor-league farm system for the pro leagues? (This thread is aptly titled - your school can be just like pro scoocer. Wouldn't that be swell?).</p>

<p>Here are some warning signs that suggest a school is losing or has lost its way:
1. When the incoming academic stats and/or outgoing graduation rates are significantly lower for the athletes than the school average.
2. When the football or basketball coach gets paid more than the school president.
3. When the new stadium has no trouble getting funded and built but there isn't enough money to endow professorships or build the library annex.
4. When athletic excellence and achievment is valued and celebrated by the school, students, and alumni more than academic excellence and achievement is. </p>

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<p>Well, check out that list from Sport Illustated linked above. Here's a quote from it:</p>

<p>"But let's be real here: Scandals are ingrained in the culture of big-time college sports. So which ethical failures rank as the worst over the past couple of decades? With the help of some insight from past and current NCAA enforcement folks, here is a top-10 list. Let the debate begin...."</p>

<p>I applaud the handful of schools that actually manage to combine reasonably-high academics and reasonably-high athletics (Hawkette's endlessly-repeated short list), but those few exceptions do nothing exonerate the dozens, perhaps hundreds of other schools that fall far short.</p>

<p>AC,
I share your enthusiasm and regard for those who successfully compete at the highest levels of college athletics and also are successes in the classrooms of some of America's top colleges. Impressive people who are providing an experience that benefits many constituencies of the college (students, employees, alumni, maybe even the faculty who don't resent athletes).</p>

<p>As for your comments on coureur, IMO you're being overly harsh. She and the Ivy fans are rightly proud of their colleges' historical standing and are understandably reluctant to cede too much to competitors who might be able to offer a differentiated…and maybe better…undergraduate experience. And as many have pointed out to me, a lot of the Ivy people don't care about sports and sporting events. In fact, some (incorrectly IMO) see a good athletic life as incompatible with academic excellence. </p>

<p>I would agree with you that, for any student who thinks that they might enjoy having such experiences as part of their undergraduate years, not to mention the lifelong benefits that alumni can get from their college's athletic life, the Ivies would be sub-optimal choices. IMO, Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame would lead the list of colleges that might be good alternatives.</p>

<p>Why is Rice on the list? I wasn't aware Rice had any good sports teams.</p>

<p>Cour,</p>

<p>Are you kidding me? The handful of schools? You're joking, right?</p>

<p>You've got your knickers in a wad about how bad collegiate athletics is and you cite an article of the absolute worst scandals in the last 20 years and one of the "scandals" is that the coach was a tax cheat? </p>

<p>Are you kidding? </p>

<p>Is that the best you can do? </p>

<p>So you ignore ALL the other good coaches/players because a FEW players got paid over the last 20 years? </p>

<p>That is hilarious. </p>

<p>Can you honestly say the examples I used (U of Chicago, Suwannee, Holy Cross) made good decisions by de-emphasizing football? </p>

<p>By the way, I agree with some of what you say. I personally think it is a joke what some of the D1 coaches earn. No coach should make more than $2 mil per year I don't care what his teams gross revenues are. </p>

<p>I recognize the ethical challenges but at least half that list is made up of the actions of a TINY percentage of the participants, exactly what I said. What about all the good things that are being accomplished? </p>

<p>Again, what the heck did Holy Cross accomplish by de-emphasizing football? They quit and then came back to it? Why? What made them come back if it is so bad? Did they realize they need it for school spirit or else the place has a lot in common with a state prison?</p>

<p>I am sorry if I am being harsh. Everyone is entitled to what they believe. Certainly, athletics can divert funds from academics, that is one of the downsides, but here again it can work the other way too. </p>

<p>I think it is a joke that taxpayers partially pay for professional franchise stadiums. Same thing. Those limited resources are needed for other more important things. Yet it happens over and over. </p>

<p>It makes you wonder about how much people really do love sports at any level. </p>

<p>Lastly, trust me, the 70's in conferences like the now defunct Southwestern Conference and the SEC, were like the Wild West compared to the standards in place today. It turns out the tired arguments about the dangers of intercollegiate athletics are pretty much bunk when held up to the light. </p>

<p>Princeton has a brand new football stadium. </p>

<p>But Princeton, and the rest of their Ivy League buddies, play in front of crowds about the size of my son's high school team. It's about TV and TV dollars and TV exposure. Therefore, teams like Wake Forest in the ACC have pretty much check mated Princeton and the Ivies. </p>

<p>Some supposedly smart places missed the boat on the proper role of athletics at a great Univ.</p>