I’m giving again to Stanford now. Why, you ask? Because Stanford produces results; it transforms people and the world; and its students, faculty and staff inspire me. And I want to be part of that, because it makes me feel good and for me it is the right thing to do.
It’s time for us to consider whether Stanford’s policies of heavy investment in athletic programs and recruitment are really in line with the university’s mission. Regardless of what we decide to do, we as a university should have a frank discussion about how much we are willing to sacrifice academics for athletic success.
A few weeks ago, in the aftermath of UConn’s victory over Kentucky in the national championship game, I wrote a piece decrying the blatant unfairness of the NCAA’s revenue model and its rules governing its so-called “student-athletes.” I hesitate to even use the latter term, as it just further engrains the belief that all collegians are students first and that their contributions to their universities’ athletic programs are a secondary priority. That is the NCAA’s goal: to cement the “amateur” status of its players, when in reality those individuals — particularly in revenue-rich sports such as football and men’s basketball — are nothing but cash cows.