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Bronco

The Stanford decision boils down to two things

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1 hour ago, Bronco said:

Those two things being politics and greed on the part of the administrators at Standford - according to this article by Matt Grocott:

https://www.smdailyjournal.com/opinion/columnists/stanford-s-political-maneuvering-and-greed/article_dd459fc4-90f5-11eb-a64e-afef3cc021d5.html

I'm sorry, but this is one of the most asinine, dumbest things I've ever read. This is starting with two things the author doesn't like, "social justice" and immigration, and retroactively saying that they must be the reason the programs are cut. But even worse, most attempts like this at least try to explain why these reasons make sense. This author doesn't even attempt to do so.

"The reason the programs were cut is because social justice and foreign students because....idk I just don't like those things."

No explanation at all about how cutting the programs allows them to "mold the student body for social justice reasons" (because it doesn't lol). 

And the idea that they wanted to open up 240 spots for foreign students for more tuition is also silly. That accounts for 3% of the student body. If they wanted more tuition from foreign students, they could just admit more foreign students and make even more tuition money because most of these athletes aren't even on scholarship.

Anybody who found that compelling has had their brain melted by culture war politics.

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Obviously I'm against Stanford dropping its wrestling program (I'm on this board after all), but this article is garbage. Drops in the last paragraph that the reason is to recruit more SJWs and foreign students, with no citations or support for these statements.

There's a reason Stanford is dropping wrestling...and I don't know what it is. Presumably not financial, since they have an opportunity to self-fund. Articles like this are designed to support a political agenda. If our goal is to keep Stanford's wrestling program, garbage articles like this hurt the cause.

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Stanford isn't going to keep the wrestling program regardless at this point, they don't even have the class or decency to make a public post on social about Shane Griffith winning an ncaa title and OW for them. They did post a fun video of a dog across platforms most recently though.. what's the saying about silence sometimes speaking volumes?

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28 minutes ago, uncle bernard said:

I'm sorry, but this is one of the most asinine, dumbest things I've ever read. This is starting with two things the author doesn't like, "social justice" and immigration, and retroactively saying that they must be the reason the programs are cut. But even worse, most attempts like this at least try to explain why these reasons make sense. This author doesn't even attempt to do so.

"The reason the programs were cut is because social justice and foreign students because....idk I just don't like those things."

No explanation at all about how cutting the programs allows them to "mold the student body for social justice reasons" (because it doesn't lol). 

And the idea that they wanted to open up 240 spots for foreign students for more tuition is also silly. That accounts for 3% of the student body. If they wanted more tuition from foreign students, they could just admit more foreign students and make even more tuition money because most of these athletes aren't even on scholarship.

Anybody who found that compelling has had their brain melted by culture war politics.

The one meaningful reason I have seen postulated to justify cutting these programs is loosely related to molding the student body.   That reason was athletes represent too large a portion of the student body and their admission qualifications are significantly below the general student population.  That reasoning  has nothing to do with culture war politics.  Also, it has nothing to do with tuition, since they only charge tuition to the uber wealthy. 

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Over the last several months, eight schools have reinstated at least one sports team that they had previously cut.

One school, William & Mary, reinstated seven. Two other schools, Brown and Dartmouth, reinstated five each. Some schools announced the reinstatements just weeks after announcing they were discontinued.

In almost every case, there existed one of two reasons a team was resurrected. Either a team raised enough funds to self-endow or self-fund for several years, or they threatened legal action on gender and race discrimination. Take, for example, Dartmouth. The school reinstated its five sports after accusations emerged that its decision unfairly impacted Asian athletes and women athletes.

In the case of the latter, leaders representing women athletes prepared to file a class-action lawsuit alleging the college was violating Title IX, a federal law that protects against sex discrimination by requiring schools to create equal opportunities and resources for women athletes.

“It’s all about power. Women only have it when they are ready to bring a lawsuit. And when they do, they can make enormous changes,” says Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a former Olympic gold medal swimmer and the founder of Champion Women, an advocacy group for girls and women in sports.

Hogshead-Makar’s group has played a role in nearly every women’s sports reinstatement this year, she says. When a women’s sports team is discontinued, Champion Women springs into action. It often meets with team leaders over Zoom, show them a school-specific presentation of Title IX data and organize the next steps, which many times is connecting them with an attorney.

One of those attorneys is Jeffrey Kessler, the co–executive chairman of the international law firm Winston & Strawn, whose representation helped Brown athletes have their sports restored over discrimination.

“It’s really shocking to see a school like Stanford cut these sports since that school is richer than Midas,” Kessler says. “You really wonder what’s behind this. I don’t see a financial basis for it at all.”

https://www.si.com/college/2021/02/12/stanford-save-cut-sports-movement-ncaa

https://news.stanford.edu/2020/07/08/athletics-faq/

Edited by TheOhioState

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5 minutes ago, TheOhioState said:

Reading this, the official position of Stanford is that this was a financial decision and to a lesser extent remain competitive.

If that were true, they would be more than happy to accept donations to endow a program. They are not happy to accept said donations, therefore their official position is false. They are closing the program anyway, thus they are doing it for other reasons than financials.

If it were about remaining competitive, they would be more than happy to see the status quo is good enough to produce a national champion. They are not happy to see that, therefore their official position is false. They are closing the program anyway, thus they are doing it for other reasons than competitiveness.

Given the fact that they are not being honest and transparent about the reason(s), we are left to speculate as to the true reason. Does anyone have a better explanation that fits the facts than "sjw's run Stanford and its athletic department, and sjw's disproportionately don't like wrestling as a sport"?

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1 minute ago, jdowntown said:

Reading this, the official position of Stanford is that this was a financial decision and to a lesser extent remain competitive.

If that were true, they would be more than happy to accept donations to endow a program. They are not happy to accept said donations, therefore their official position is false. They are closing the program anyway, thus they are doing it for other reasons than financials.

If it were about remaining competitive, they would be more than happy to see the status quo is good enough to produce a national champion. They are not happy to see that, therefore their official position is false. They are closing the program anyway, thus they are doing it for other reasons than competitiveness.

Given the fact that they are not being honest and transparent about the reason(s), we are left to speculate as to the true reason. Does anyone have a better explanation that fits the facts than "sjw's run Stanford and its athletic department, and sjw's disproportionately don't like wrestling as a sport"?

....do you have any evidence that...ahem..."sjw's disproportionately don't like wrestling as a sport"?

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12 minutes ago, jdowntown said:

Reading this, the official position of Stanford is that this was a financial decision and to a lesser extent remain competitive.

If that were true, they would be more than happy to accept donations to endow a program. They are not happy to accept said donations, therefore their official position is false. They are closing the program anyway, thus they are doing it for other reasons than financials.

I'm not sure we can dismiss this so easily. To be self-funded, you need enough cash for wrestling room, coaches, hosting duals, shared services (weight room; medical staff; maintenance; media), scholarships, team travel, probably some other stuff? The $12 million already raised sounds light.

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18 minutes ago, VakAttack said:

....do you have any evidence that...ahem..."sjw's disproportionately don't like wrestling as a sport"?

I searched briefly for hard evidence, one way or the other and did not find any.

Anecdotal evidence: wrestling is a very masculine sport with 2 people in direct physical contact trying force the other into favorable positions. It is the opposite of "safe and controlled". Compare something like soccer where the point is to kick a ball into a net as opposed to forcibly holding down someone's shoulders against the ground. So sure anecdotally, just hearing the phrase "forcibly holding someone down to the ground" probably triggers many sjw's to think about rape.

If football did not bring all the money, crowds, and influence, they would probably try to stop it as well.

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10 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

I'm not sure we can dismiss this so easily. To be self-funded, you need enough cash for wrestling room, coaches, hosting duals, shared services (weight room; medical staff; maintenance; media), scholarships, team travel, probably some other stuff? The $12 million already raised sounds light.

Maybe the number is light, that is not the point. If it were about finances they would have a "wrestling stays is you get to $X" number. Instead their release specifically said the decision is final and not to try to raise money, unless it is for the club level.

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35 minutes ago, jdowntown said:

Reading this, the official position of Stanford is that this was a financial decision and to a lesser extent remain competitive.

If that were true, they would be more than happy to accept donations to endow a program. They are not happy to accept said donations, therefore their official position is false. They are closing the program anyway, thus they are doing it for other reasons than financials.

If it were about remaining competitive, they would be more than happy to see the status quo is good enough to produce a national champion. They are not happy to see that, therefore their official position is false. They are closing the program anyway, thus they are doing it for other reasons than competitiveness.

Given the fact that they are not being honest and transparent about the reason(s), we are left to speculate as to the true reason. Does anyone have a better explanation that fits the facts than "sjw's run Stanford and its athletic department, and sjw's disproportionately don't like wrestling as a sport"?

 

2 minutes ago, jdowntown said:

I searched briefly for hard evidence, one way or the other and did not find any.

Anecdotal evidence: wrestling is a very masculine sport with 2 people in direct physical contact trying force the other into favorable positions. It is the opposite of "safe and controlled". Compare something like soccer where the point is to kick a ball into a net as opposed to forcibly holding down someone's shoulders against the ground. So sure anecdotally, just hearing the phrase "forcibly holding someone down to the ground" probably triggers many sjw's to think about rape.

If football did not bring all the money, crowds, and influence, they would probably try to stop it as well.

This is nothing more than working backwards from your own political anxieties. Just total nonsense thinking. "So sure anecdotally, just hearing the phrase "forcibly holding someone down to the ground" probably triggers many sjw's to think about rape" is the ramblings of a lunatic.

Just to point out the low hanging fruit, they aren't just cutting wrestling. They cut 11 sports, almost none of which are traditionally masculine.

Your post should have ended with "I searched briefly for hard evidence, one way or the other and did not find any."

Any attempt to ham-fistedly work right wing cultural politics into this just makes you, and any attempt to push back against the cuts, stupid and backwards. It's like me saying the reason the Chicago Bears have never had a competent qb is because of cultural marxism.

 

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3 minutes ago, uncle bernard said:

 

This is nothing more than working backwards from your own political anxieties. Just total nonsense thinking. "So sure anecdotally, just hearing the phrase "forcibly holding someone down to the ground" probably triggers many sjw's to think about rape" is the ramblings of a lunatic.

Just to point out the low hanging fruit, they aren't just cutting wrestling. They cut 11 sports, almost none of which are traditionally masculine.

Your post should have ended with "I searched briefly for hard evidence, one way or the other and did not find any."

Any attempt to ham-fistedly work right wing cultural politics into this just makes you, and any attempt to push back against the cuts, stupid and backwards. It's like me saying the reason the Chicago Bears have never had a competent qb is because of cultural marxism.

 

You blew when you starting railing about "right wing cultural politics."   Keep your political bias out of the forums.

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If we want to talk seriously about this issue, it starts with the fact that many athletica departments/universities don't truly value the minor sports, most of which were grandfathered in from years ago and wouldn't be started from scratch now if they didn't already exist. Often AD's without a background in these sports would love to be able to cut them and funnel their resources into sports that they do care about. We've seen this over and over again.

What I think actually happened: The high level administrators at Stanford don't really care about or value the 11 sport they cut and would much rather see those resources put towards their major sports (like football) or general administrative bloat (i.e. themselves). When the pandemic hit, they saw an opportunity to do something that they would not have been able to do otherwise and took it, counting on the fallout being washed out by the financial fallout of the pandemic. In the end, that's probably what will end up happening. In a year or two, even wrestling fans won't be tweeting at Stanford about the wrestling program. They will have accomplished what they wanted with very little relative heat.

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1 minute ago, TheOhioState said:

You blew when you starting railing about "right wing cultural politics."   Keep your political bias out of the forums.

I said "right wing" because the specific points being addressed are right wing. The point stands just as strongly if somebody tried to tie in irrelevant left wing talking points like "Stanford is cutting wrestling because it threatens capitalism" or any other junk politics that don't make any sense.

Don't let your own political sensitivities blind you here. My point is to remove politics from this discussion in the first place.

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1 hour ago, Plasmodium said:

The one meaningful reason I have seen postulated to justify cutting these programs is loosely related to molding the student body.   That reason was athletes represent too large a portion of the student body and their admission qualifications are significantly below the general student population.  That reasoning  has nothing to do with culture war politics.  Also, it has nothing to do with tuition, since they only charge tuition to the uber wealthy. 

This actually might be the least objectionable reason I could think of. 

Basically, "we're an elite academic institution and the student athletes aren't able to meet our admission standards and remain competitive so we are going to redistribute those spots to students who can." In other words, school first, sports second. If they came out and said that, I'd appreciate the honesty. I do think there are probably some other reasons besides this too.

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1 hour ago, Plasmodium said:

The one meaningful reason I have seen postulated to justify cutting these programs is loosely related to molding the student body.   That reason was athletes represent too large a portion of the student body and their admission qualifications are significantly below the general student population.  That reasoning  has nothing to do with culture war politics.  Also, it has nothing to do with tuition, since they only charge tuition to the uber wealthy. 

It all comes down to that meaningful reason you mention: trading student slots to optimize revenue. The "politics" reason he cites may or may not be true; we will never know, but it's a secondary consideration at best.

It is not true that the aforementioned meaningful reason has nothing to do with tuition. A top university funds maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of its annual expenses through tuition, so that is in fact a very significant factor. I'm not saying other sports' athletes pay tuition but the 11 sports that were cut don't. You can contribute financially either directly or indirectly (by contributing your credentials to the school's brand, thereby stimulating more financial contribution from alumni, who are largely motivated by getting their kids in while maintaining the elitism of their alma mater, two conflicting goals with one solution: money). 

If tuition covers a minority of the operating expenses, then what drives the rest? A portion of their multi-billion dollar endowment and the critical "annual fund", the administration of which every Ivy+ school treats as a core competency, especially the HYPS schools. Who donates most to these annual funds and also to the endowment via an even more scared institution: the multi-year capital campaign for [insert hoity toity cause here]? Rich alumni. Why? To create legacy, so their kids and their kids' kids can get preferential treatment during admissions. At academically elite schools, these capital campaigns literally create major facilities and even new schools from single donors almost every time they're run. People who have a track record of running these campaigns successfully are among the most sought-after employees in higher education and are therefore among the highest paid.

So what does all this have to do with the article? First, international students are important for tuition reasons since they usually pay fully, so the author got that right. However, second, legacy students are much more important (tuition + annual fund + capital campaign), and he didn't mention them. Third, it is important to note that wrestling alumni from Stanford have generally come from less privileged backgrounds (that part he definitely got right, and ironically, it was a selling point of the Save Stanford Wrestling campaign), so they are less likely to contribute financially in the future. But most importantly, fourth, the cut athletes are double whammies to the negative: not only are they less likely, based on history, to contribute financially in the future, they are also bringing down the academic elitism of the school because they get favorable admissions treatment (I know the grades and SAT scores of some of the kids on the team and let's just say their wrestling got them in). And they don't have a major patron alumni base of donors behind them. In other words, Stanford wrestlers on average are lesser financial assets that can be traded for superior financial assets.

While this may seem like a cynical view to some, I worked in the industry on the endowment management side for a portion of my career and it is accurate.

This is largely why sports like beach volleyball were saved, and partly why some sports were cut but only for one sex (e.g. men's volleyball but not women's, women's sailing but not men's).

Alumni banding together to raise $12 million (or even $20 or 30 million, for that matter) is a factor, but it pales in comparison to a history of consistent donations that in aggregate far exceed that number. Also, every university rightfully discounts funds raised because commitments do not equal donations. It's a lot easier to say you'll write a check than to actually write it.

Finally, I will say there is some honesty to the statement that prior success was a factor too. Stanford really values athletics, much more than its peer schools. They are arguably the most successful sports school overall, or one of the handful of best. But a big part of the reason sports are valued is because the sports in which they are successful drive a ton of alumni engagement. Alas, wrestling is not one of those sports. 

Edited by wrestlingnerd

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2 hours ago, uncle bernard said:

I'm sorry, but this is one of the most asinine, dumbest things I've ever read. This is starting with two things the author doesn't like, "social justice" and immigration, and retroactively saying that they must be the reason the programs are cut. But even worse, most attempts like this at least try to explain why these reasons make sense. This author doesn't even attempt to do so.

"The reason the programs were cut is because social justice and foreign students because....idk I just don't like those things."

No explanation at all about how cutting the programs allows them to "mold the student body for social justice reasons" (because it doesn't lol). 

And the idea that they wanted to open up 240 spots for foreign students for more tuition is also silly. That accounts for 3% of the student body. If they wanted more tuition from foreign students, they could just admit more foreign students and make even more tuition money because most of these athletes aren't even on scholarship.

Anybody who found that compelling has had their brain melted by culture war politics.

He is not talking about immigration.  He is talking about big money international students.  I used to work at a school with a fairly high endowment and had some knowledge of the admissions and financial aid pieces.  Most of the international students are "full payers" and often have a tremendous amount of money.  I'm talking kids from Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc.  This was also prior to many Chinese students enrolling as they do today.  These students pay full tuition and usually return home after college, but remain generous for the rest of their lives.  

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28 minutes ago, jdowntown said:

I searched briefly for hard evidence, one way or the other and did not find any.

Anecdotal evidence: wrestling is a very masculine sport with 2 people in direct physical contact trying force the other into favorable positions. It is the opposite of "safe and controlled". Compare something like soccer where the point is to kick a ball into a net as opposed to forcibly holding down someone's shoulders against the ground. So sure anecdotally, just hearing the phrase "forcibly holding someone down to the ground" probably triggers many sjw's to think about rape.

That's just silly.

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8 minutes ago, AHamilton said:

He is not talking about immigration.  He is talking about big money international students.  I used to work at a school with a fairly high endowment and had some knowledge of the admissions and financial aid pieces.  Most of the international students are "full payers" and often have a tremendous amount of money.  I'm talking kids from Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc.  This was also prior to many Chinese students enrolling as they do today.  These students pay full tuition and usually return home after college, but remain generous for the rest of their lives.  

I know how it works. I actually work at a university. My point was that he probably doesn't like the idea of bringing in more foreign students because he doesn't like the idea of foreign students in general. 

Overall, the point was that he was looking for ways to tie in his own personal politics to an issue where they don't apply. 

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28 minutes ago, wrestlingnerd said:

It all comes down to that meaningful reason you mention: trading student slots to optimize revenue. The "politics" reason he cites may or may not be true; we will never know, but it's a secondary consideration at best.

It is not true that the aforementioned meaningful reason has nothing to do with tuition. A top university funds maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of its annual expenses through tuition, so that is in fact a very significant factor. I'm not saying other sports' athletes pay tuition but the 11 sports that were cut don't. You can contribute financially either directly or indirectly (by contributing your credentials to the school's brand, thereby stimulating more financial contribution from alumni, who are largely motivated by getting their kids in while maintaining the elitism of their alma mater, two conflicting goals with one solution: money). 

If tuition covers a minority of the operating expenses, then what drives the rest? A portion of their multi-billion dollar endowment and the critical "annual fund", the administration of which every Ivy+ school treats as a core competency, especially the HYPS schools. Who donates most to these annual funds and also to the endowment via an even more scared institution: the multi-year capital campaign for [insert hoity toity cause here]? Rich alumni. Why? To create legacy, so their kids and their kids' kids can get preferential treatment during admissions. At academically elite schools, these capital campaigns literally create major facilities and even new schools from single donors almost every time they're run. People who have a track record of running these campaigns successfully are among the most sought-after employees in higher education and are therefore among the highest paid.

So what does all this have to do with the article? First, international students are important for tuition reasons since they usually pay fully, so the author got that right. However, second, legacy students are much more important (tuition + annual fund + capital campaign), and he didn't mention them. Third, it is important to note that wrestling alumni from Stanford have generally come from less privileged backgrounds (that part he definitely got right, and ironically, it was a selling point of the Save Stanford Wrestling campaign), so they are less likely to contribute financially in the future. But most importantly, fourth, the cut athletes are double whammies to the negative: not only are they less likely, based on history, to contribute financially in the future, they are also bringing down the academic elitism of the school because they get favorable admissions treatment (I know the grades and SAT scores of some of the kids on the team and let's just say their wrestling got them in). And they don't have a major patron alumni base of donors behind them. In other words, Stanford wrestlers on average are lesser financial assets that can be traded for superior financial assets.

While this may seem like a cynical view to some, I worked in the industry on the endowment management side for a portion of my career and it is accurate.

This is largely why sports like beach volleyball were saved, and partly why some sports were cut but only for one sex (e.g. men's volleyball but not women's, women's sailing but not men's).

Alumni banding together to raise $12 million (or even $20 or 30 million, for that matter) is a factor, but it pales in comparison to a history of consistent donations that in aggregate far exceed that number. Also, every university rightfully discounts funds raised because commitments do not equal donations. It's a lot easier to say you'll write a check than to actually write it.

Finally, I will say there is some honesty to the statement that prior success was a factor too. Stanford really values athletics, much more than its peer schools. They are arguably the most successful sports school overall, or one of the handful of best. But a big part of the reason sports are valued is because the sports in which they are successful drive a ton of alumni engagement. Alas, wrestling is not one of those sports. 

I made no mention of trading student slots to optimize revenue.

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