Simply put, it makes sense to say no to intercollegiate athletics and yes to intramurals. If we're trying to follow the Greeks' sound-mind-and-body ideal, why should it just apply to a handful of elite bodies?
Remarkably, Spelman College in Atlanta just made this very decision, announcing its withdrawal from Division III intercollegiate athletics. "Hoping to replace organized sports for the few with fitness for all," as the New York Times put it, Spelman determined it made little sense to spend $1 million annually on 80 student-athletes when it could redirect time and money to the physical welfare of the entire 2,100-student body.
I realize my College Park brethren - who refuse to rise and revolt against the athletic industrial complex that rules the day - will reject this option. So I have a more pragmatic proposal that keeps Maryland in the ACC and solves the fiscal crisis:
Open a casino on campus!
(You don't even have to recruit "student-gamblers" - they're already there.)
Maryland voters just approved Las Vegas-style table-games gambling. Replace vending machines with slot machines and library tables with blackjack tables, and we're talking a new weight room for the football team within 18 months!!!
At a minimum, I'd open a card room in the Student Union. Heck, the gent who just won the World Series of Poker Main Event, Greg Merson, briefly went to Maryland. So let's break ground on the Greg Merson Poker Room - of course, first I'd make him come back to College Park and complete his degree.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Jack Taylor or Jimmy Chitwood? (Josh Prewitt; Milwaukee)
A. I don't want to take anything away from a fella who scores 138 points in a game, but afterward he said, "It felt like anything I tossed up was going in." Really? He missed FIFTY-SIX shots.
Q. I know it's Division III, but do you rank Jack Taylor's 138-point night on par with Kobe Bryant's 81 against the Toronto Raptors in 2006? (Jim Anderson; Fishers, Ind.)
A. Again, I don't mean to denigrate Taylor's feat, but from a defensive standpoint, once a guy reaches, say, the 85-point mark, don't you start to double-team him?
Q. You're an L.A. guy and a D.C. guy - how come Gloria Allred always shows up at the scene of a crime? (Patrick O'Leary; Penn Hills, Pa.)
A. She's a bright lights/big city ambulance-and-Lincoln-Town-Car chaser. And if she ever represents the Washington Wizards, then you'll know they've hit rock bottom.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail asktheslo...@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!