Midmajor success and its spoils

Butler’s back-to-back trips to the Final Four have raised their profile as well as their expectations.  New Butler president James Danko however wants to work with the right people at the right time while leaving behind the financial impacts:

“There’s so much good that comes out of college athletics,” he added. “It’s the unfortunate reality of money that has tainted the whole thing. But when you look at sport at its fundamental core, the development aspect of athletics is so powerful.”

Powerful, yes, but potentially destructive without the wisdom and perspective of strong leaders willing to rein in the emperor coach and take on an athletic program that has become disconnected from university authority.

Butler and V.C.U. notwithstanding, institutions are engaged in a relentless tug of war with athletics. The recent spate of scandals makes the call for a great awakening in sports seem like a far-off, far-flung dream.

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