Stanford re-instates varsity sailing...

Alan H

Super Anarchist
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SF Bay Area
This was in our e-mail today, from the Uni. newspaper.

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Stanford will reinstate all 11 varsity programs slated to be discontinued following the 2020-21 academic year, in a shocking reversal that follows months of student, athlete and alumni activism.

The sports; men's and women's fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men's rowing, co-ed and women's sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men's volleyball and wrestling will all retain varsity status next fall, athletes confirmed to The Daily.

Athletes from at least one of the affected teams were informed of the reversal by coaches this morning. The decision was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, and an official announcement from the University is expected later today.


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I'm glad for the athletes and the now re-employed coaches, but the ARROGANCE of the Stanford Athletics department is beyond belief.  I work at the University and I've had the experience of walking into the ~Extremely~ plush Athletics Department offices. The reception area looks like some multibillion dollar corporation. Walk in, and you'll be entirely ignored. It's really eerie actually....like you don't even exist. I guess alumni with million-dollar donations don't get ignored, but the IT guy there to make sure their funding database is clearly no better than dirt.

The original announcement, made a year ago, pointedly stated that the decision was final, that no amount of lobbying or fundraising was going to change the decision...and basically told the athletes to just STFU and deal with it.  It reinforced my low opinion of Stanford Athletics, generally.  I'm glad for the athletes that a year of raising hell has finally dented a couple of football-mad coaches/administrators brains.

 

Crash

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I suspect they found out (from their Alumni) that most Alumni athletes were not Football Players, but rather, sailors, fencers, volleyball players, etc.  They are happy to support Athletics, and the football program AS LONG as their sport is also supported...Stop supporting their sport, and their support as an alumni dries up!

 

Alan H

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SF Bay Area
It probably didn't hurt that during COVID, all football practice was stopped. There have been exactly zero football games in over a year. The stadium has been repurposed as an outdoor fitness center for students and staff.  So much for the big "Revenue Generating Sport", but they're still paying out those full-ride scholarships to third-string linebackers.  Mind you, I know one of those ex "third string" players, a center who was a big guy but played backup to a truly enormous MoFo who went on to a Pro career.  Bert got playing time, I think four times in four years in the local game against San Jose State...a non-conference exhibition.   He's  a good guy, competed in the Highland Games with me after his scholarship obligations ran out but the University laid out about $130,000 dollars to have him train for four years to "add depth" to the team.

$130,000 could buy a whole lot of flying juniors for the sailing team, or new masks and suits for the fencing team.

 

aA

Super Anarchist
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norcal™
certainly shameful that john took the fall for the university, the athletic director got away free and clean, and the university kept the money (but supposedly donated it *rolling eyes*)

on a selfish note, i was happy to hear the sport has been reinstated by the university as it is nice to be able to watch my kids at multiple college regattas a year very close to home

ps...long time alan, hope all is well with you and the family

 
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J_Grove

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Not that it's particularly relevant, but Stanford, like the rest of the Pac12, did play a 6 game football schedule last fall. It was shortened and shifted to late in the year due to Covid. Glad to see that sailing and other non-revenue generating sports were brought back.

 

Sisu3360

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Not sure if anyone is asking, but I'll go ahead and answer the question posed by the (mythical) FP headline: in the US, college sailing has coed (i.e. open - there's no rule on the gender split) and women's divisions. It's actually a really good example of how the boat class, which is just a tad too small for two average college-age men, can force gender parity, at least in numbers. It also makes the sport easier to market to the AD as it counts as a women's sport for Title IX purposes (I think).

 

Bacchus66

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Not sure if anyone is asking, but I'll go ahead and answer the question posed by the (mythical) FP headline: in the US, college sailing has coed (i.e. open - there's no rule on the gender split) and women's divisions. It's actually a really good example of how the boat class, which is just a tad too small for two average college-age men, can force gender parity, at least in numbers. It also makes the sport easier to market to the AD as it counts as a women's sport for Title IX purposes (I think).
Even if there was a separate men's sailing, the answer would be simple. Title IX, which is a good thing. Plus the fact that there are 85 freaking football scholarships allowed, which is not.

So when any div one school in particular drops any men's sport and blames title IX, they are LYING.

I'm sorry, but the answer isn't that Title IX forced them to do it. The answer is that there aren't enough athletic directors willing to stand up and question whether football really needs the equivalent of four full teams on scholarship at all times? Wouldn't 50 or 60 be enough? Like it our not, that's two or three men's sports right there that could be "saved". They choose not to fix this disparity, and try to blame Title IX for their own failings.

 

crashtack

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This honestly probably saved the entire Stanford program. They fly to regattas almost every weekend - hard to imagine doing that on a club sport budget. The real question is, do they have anyone left to sail? I think a good deal of their students fucked off to do olympic campaigns during 2020

 

ChrisJD

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Boston, MA
It was a weird, rushed decision in the first place. A large part of Stanford's identity is tied up in the fact that it's won the (née Sears) Directors Cup - for the top overall athletic program in Division I - every year for nearly three decades, which allows a fairly nerdy school with only occasional success in the money sports to cultivate an image as an athletic powerhouse.  The university is crawling with Olympians in random sports working on Human Biology majors between training sessions.

That said, my main memory of the sailing program when I was there was a fairly stand-offish group of preppy kids who drank beer out of overturned frisbees in parties that nobody else was invited to.

 

Donkey687

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This honestly probably saved the entire Stanford program. They fly to regattas almost every weekend - hard to imagine doing that on a club sport budget. The real question is, do they have anyone left to sail? I think a good deal of their students fucked off to do olympic campaigns during 2020
A few sailors took the year off, but they still have plenty of talent. The women's team just finished fifth at Dinghy Nationals and second at singlehanded. The coed and team race teams should do just as well if not better in the next two weeks.  Recent Stanford grad Luke Muller is gearing up to represent USA in the Finn class in Tokyo.

 

keving

New member
It was a weird, rushed decision in the first place. A large part of Stanford's identity is tied up in the fact that it's won the (née Sears) Directors Cup - for the top overall athletic program in Division I - every year for nearly three decades, which allows a fairly nerdy school with only occasional success in the money sports to cultivate an image as an athletic powerhouse.  The university is crawling with Olympians in random sports working on Human Biology majors between training sessions.

That said, my main memory of the sailing program when I was there was a fairly stand-offish group of preppy kids who drank beer out of overturned frisbees in parties that nobody else was invited to.
Granted it was 20 years ago, but I remember going to Stanford's post race party. If I recall correctly, most (if not all) of the teams were there.

 

Delta Dog

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Football eats all the mens scholarship at any major football school and at schools w/o football, Mens Basketball does roughly the same thing.  In general, Mens Football and Mens Basketball are really the only sports with substantial alumni support.   Certainly exception to this but in most places, this is the draw.   These are the sports that bring the presiege which draws donor money.    Woman have roughly double the number of scholarships in most of the non-commerical sport (e.g. track, cross country, soccer, tennis, etc.) to offset the number of scholarships that these two mens sports chew up.  

 

RATM

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I suspect they found out (from their Alumni) that most Alumni athletes were not Football Players, but rather, sailors, fencers, volleyball players, etc.  They are happy to support Athletics, and the football program AS LONG as their sport is also supported...Stop supporting their sport, and their support as an alumni dries up!
Interesting observation and I would have to concur. Football and male basketball players that end up making the HUGE $$$ view college as their stepping stone. Most don't get anywhere close to a degree. They'll never donate.

 

AJ Oliver

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Sandusky Sailing Club
certainly shameful that john took the fall for the university, the athletic director got away free and clean, and the university kept the money (but supposedly donated it *rolling eyes*)
If the coach knew that sailors on his team were there only because of their family's $'s. 

He was doing wrong. 

Funny how those lofty principles of meritocracy get tossed out the window when it comes to the kids of our corporate overlords. 

 

kai_

New member
Granted it was 20 years ago, but I remember going to Stanford's post race party. If I recall correctly, most (if not all) of the teams were there.
I'm a current college sailor on the pacific coast, and this doesn't happen anymore. Stanford only hosts parties for themselves, and they don't go to parties hosted by other schools either unfortunately.

 

jimx

Member
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If the coach knew that sailors on his team were there only because of their family's $'s. 

He was doing wrong. 
There is no evidence that anyone was ever on the team, or even admitted because of donations.  John V. Has stated that there were not.

The AD on the other hand seems to have been doing all sorts of dealings.

Who is the more likely culprit of a pay to admit scheme - a regular Joe sailing coach (who can’t give scholarships) or an AD of a huge football and basketball team used to wheeling and dealing on the shady edge of the NCAA?

 

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