Bias in the A-10
I would like to respond to some of University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s statements in an article regarding the Atlantic 10 restructuring (“Atlantic 10 moves toward expansion,” Sept. 29, p. 16). I am specifically concerned with the statement that the A-10 should look beyond St. Louis and Charlotte as replacements. Also, this article is the first mentioning I have ever seen of Boston University as a possible member of the A-10 instead of St. Louis or Charlotte, and I would like to know Trachtenberg’s reasoning, because he has me baffled as to why he would want Boston University.
I am suspicious about Trachtenberg wanting BU, given his past ties to the school, where he held high positions for eight years. Geography is the only reason I can see to keep SLU out of the A-10, but there are so many more benefits to bring SLU in the A-10 instead of Boston University.
One reason is the Ratings Percentage Index, as the article mentions. The story was incorrect in saying that a team’s record is worth 50 percent. A team’s opponents’ record is worth 50 percent, and their strength of schedule overall is worth 75 percent. Comparing SLU’s SOS to BU’s, there hasn’t been a single season in which BU’s SOS has been better than SLU’s. Also, BU more recently has seen many years of not making the top 200 in the SOS rankings, which is just horrible. BU would be a worse member for the A-10, exponentially, than SLU would.
There are multiple similarities between the schools – they are both urban schools and they both have respectable rankings in U.S. News & World Report. I honestly do not see how Trachtenberg can think BU is significantly better than SLU. If anything, SLU is a better choice than BU, and I would like to know how he sees differently.
Bring back the madness
What a shame it is that this year’s freshman class may never count down for basketball season to begin at the Smith Center. For an administration that claims to try to promote school spirit and a campus community, cutting Midnight Madness is just about the worst thing it could do. Sure, the event has had problems in the past, bringing the teams out past midnight being the worst, but that is no reason to kill it; reform it instead. Keep it simple, with cheerleaders, basketball players and, my favorite, the pep band. Give out boxes of Corn Pops cereal at the door (to help cheer on sophomore forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu). Forget fire-eaters and acrobatic families. Get students excited about GW’s young and talented men’s basketball team, not to mention last year’s Atlantic 10 Champion women’s team touting four out of five returning starters. Make it a Colonials Weekend about Colonials, or call it Celebrities Weekend instead. I can see the Beach Boys on just about any Full House rerun, and Whoopi Goldberg has a new series on NBC. But there is only one place I can see GW basketball. Bring back Midnight Madness, and this alumna will come back for a real Colonials Weekend.
Class of 2003