Our athletes have won more Director’s Cups than any other school in the nation. There, I said it. Article done, right? But I feel like that’s a cop-out – everyone knows we have the number one athletics program in NCAA Division I. What’s actually newsworthy, what actually matters, is that our athletes are quantitatively and qualitatively the best in the nation. Here’s why.
Our athletes are held to a higher academic standard than those at other schools.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said it best: “We’re looking not for student athletes but scholar-athletes. No other school can carry this banner.”
Take Andrew Luck, for example. Our star quarterback, who by all fair comparisons was robbed of the Heisman Trophy, was his high school valedictorian and is majoring in architectural design. There’s no doubt, as Fox Sports put it, that Andrew “has the smarts to go with the impeccable athletic skills.” Indeed, according to teammate Doug Baldwin, “The only thing Andrew can’t do very well is sing.” Luck‘s likely to be the #1 NFL draft pick and, according to the Mercury News, “it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.” Our beloved scholar-athlete seems like a pretty stark contrast to this year’s Heisman winner Cam Newton and the NCAA controversy surrounding his dubious recruitment.
Our athletes are changing the world.
Chemical engineer Jake Vandermeer is a busy guy. A United States Presidential Scholar and former principal cellist for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, Jake walked on to our #1 men’s volleyball team last year. Just this September, Jake joined the team at the White House celebration of the 2009-10 NCAA championship teams. But what really makes Jake stand out is how he’s radically improving the lives of others. This summer he helped develop a potential cure for Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – a crippling disease that affects about 1,200 children a year. That’s really something to cheer about.