March Madness!

As you have a passion for higher education, you no doubt follow March Madness with great interest and/or concern.  So join me in swinging by Culture Making to wrestle with the 5 Culture Making Questions applied to March Madness:

  1. What does March Madness assume about the way the world is?
  2. What does March Madness assume about the way the world should be?
  3. What does March Madness make possible?
  4. What does March Madness make impossible (or at least a lot more difficult)?
  5. What new culture is created in response?

But before you go, what do you think about the promise by Courtney Paris, an all-American center at the University of Oklahoma, to repay the cost of her scholarship if she does not bring the national championship back to her campus? —  Putting a Price on a Title Run Stirs a Debate, by Jere’ Longman, NY Times, 3/23/09.

Is that what investment in athletic scholarships are understood to mean?  Is it too romantic to consider college athletic scholarships as an opportunity to enter and receive the long term value of higher education?  

With regard to financial investment and visibility, star athletes seem to be in a unique situation.  I don’t think a similar promise to produce results or repay (publish or perish, win the Nobel Prize, etc) could be given by those who receive a full ride academic scholarship, grant money, or a named academic chair.

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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    Matt Meurer commented on March 27, 2009 Reply

    Yeah, division I athletics, especially basketball and football have become crazy. Giving back a scholarship for not winning a title is a little out there. All I can guess is that she is a WNBA prospect trying to get more name recognition. The closest thing left to amateur athletics is NCAA Division III, even that is debatable in some instances.

    Mike Hickerson commented on March 27, 2009 Reply

    The idea of giving back her scholarship struck me as odd, too, even if she is aiming for the WNBA. WNBA rookie salaries range from $35,000 to $45,000 according to this web page, which is certainly a nice starting salary, but nothing compared to NBA players.

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