It’s Time To Drop the “C” From NCAA

College football uses its stadium about 8 days a year. It stands as a monument to Higher Education's waste of resources.

College football uses its stadium about 8 days a year. It stands as a monument to Higher Education’s waste of resources.

Athletes making more appearances in court than in class. Millions of dollars spent to recruit athletes, only to have them jump to a professional league before they graduate. Athletes that have paid staff minders to make sure they go to class, do their homework, and study. Money donated by alumni to only benefit major athletic programs. When will universities admit that big sports is not compatible with higher education?

Money for nothing. Donors giving to big sport programs

Money for nothing. Donors giving to big sport programs

The excuses are wearing thin. The NCAA tries to sell the idea during the televised college football or basketball game, the athletes on the field or court will become great scientists, doctors, and lawyers. Of course, the examples are all athletes of every other sport.

Maybe a donor that will only give to athletics is not the person to associate with higher education?

Maybe a donor that will only give to athletics is not the person to associate with higher education?

The marriage between sports and colleges is a joke and it’s time for a divorce. The National Athletic Association (NCAA) should become the National Athletic Association (NAA.) We know college basketball and football athlete’s first, second, and third priorities are in pursuit of a big professional contract. To deny this is just an excuse to make us feel better when they sit in the back of the college classroom playing on their phones.

Make the professional leagues pay for bringing along young athletes and let higher education focus on education.

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Too Much?

Housing on the University of Nevada campus looks great from this view, but things are about to get ugly

Housing on the University of Nevada campus looks great from this view, but things are about to get ugly

347°  I was on the University of Nevada’s campus today to take pictures for my next article. Nevada will be adding almost 1500 student beds in on and off campus housing in the next two years. They claim the need for more housing is justified, but the numbers do not add up. If they are wrong, rental and housing prices will take a nosedive in the Reno community. The impact to local renters could be severe enough to cause a new foreclosure crisis.

More to come. 

Public Building Names

Coming Soon: Another building with a ridiculous name

Coming Soon: Another building with a ridiculous name

182°  Public buildings are the prostitutes of the world of architecture. In today’s world, buildings are named after the person who gives the most money. I can live with that, because the family name associated with the building will eventually take on a life of its own. The name will be shortened, abbreviated, or changed completely by the people who use it. Few will know anything about the person for which it was named.

On the campus of the University of Nevada in Reno, the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center will join the Pennington Health Sciences Building and the Pennington Medical Education Building. If you haven’t guessed it by now Pennington was a Nevada gaming tycoon. Since the newest Pennington building will be near the center of campus, it would not be surprising if it becomes referred to as Penn Center, but time will tell.

What I do take issue with is the rest of the name. Some organizations seem to be in a contest for the most complicated building name. The University of Nevada must be winning. “Student Achievement Center” is one of those titles that scream, we’re-trying-to-disguise-the-reason-this-building-exists. The National Security Agency doesn’t have a building they call ‘Spy Operations,’ but you know they have at least one.

In this case, the name is used to refer to all those programs and services that are required to help Nevada’s under educated high school graduates. It’s a great idea and I can understand why they wouldn’t call it ‘Pennington Stupid Students Senter,’ but isn’t the university being a little optimistic by calling it an ‘Achievement Center?’

I guess if they called it for what it is, no one would give money for the building, but if smart people don’t understand the name, how are the intellectually challenged going to understand it? Maybe they should call it the Pennington Party Center and put neon signs in the windows that say, “Free Beer,” and “Ladies Nite.” The students who need ‘achievement services’ will be able to find it blindfolded with one leg tied behind their back. 

Progress Is Painful

Progress starts with noise and farewells

Progress starts with noise and farewells

290°  Long standing organizations have icons that remind people of the continuity of the entity. Such was the Getchell Library at the University of Nevada. Most people who attended the university in the past several decades will note time spent inside the library to study and research.

Getchell was closed several years ago when the new ‘Knowledge Center’ was built, but it remained as an icon until about a month ago. Now it is a construction site in the middle of the campus and it will serve as the definition of who attended UNR when libraries were actually relevant.