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John Feinstein Is Very Unhappy with His Alma Mater

And since I am perpetually unhappy with said institution (Duke), it makes for some interesting reading. It's heavy on typical almuni grousing you can read on any school's message board, and tosses out some things I'm not sure Feinstein thought through - I don't think reinstating a cancelled lacrosse season is nearly as easy logistically as he imagines, and I'm not sure that arguing Duke is losing its integrety really meshes with castigation for not hiring Bobby Ross - but nonetheless, it's the most enjoyable thing I've read from the man in quite a while.

It of course, revolves around the Duke lacrosse scandal, which I as a matter of policy have never mentioned on this blog, and will continue to not comment on. My reasoning at the time is very simple. I wasn't there that night. Nor was I in the state for the resulting furor, and I ducked as much media coverage as possible because it wasn't a subject I wanted to emerse myself in. I have a viceral dislike of Duke, and to a lesser extent the sport of lacrosse, so I wouldn't be fair in reaching any conclusion and there's absolutely no opinion I could voice on the subject that couldn't be found in a multitude of places on the internet. So I took a pass on the whole thing, and wouldn't even bring up the Feinstein piece here if it didn't raise another question I'm interested in hearing more about:

Is the antipathy directed at a lot of athletic directors these days a new phenomenon, or one that's always existed? Because you can't throw a rock nowadays without hitting a cluster of alumni wanting to fire the guy running their university's sports teams. Dick Baddour caught holy hell online for Doherty's and Bunting's performances, Feinstein just punched out a couple hundred words of Joe Alleva hate, and entire blogs have been built on the Wolfpack fans' desire to run Lee Fowler out of town on a rail. Has it always been this way. When fans were burning Dean Smith in effigy, was the same vituperation being tossed at the AD at the time? Hell, I can't remember who held the post before Swofford - is it a function of age or the lack of an interent, or was the athletic director position really not in the line of fire until recently? I mean, how stressful could a job be if Jim Valvano had the gig for three years?

Of course, AD questions aside, I couldn't avoid mentioning Feinstein's column completely, if only for this line:

Trust me when I tell you graduating from Duke isn't all that hard.

Someone go tattoo that somewhere where Dick Vitale is sure to read it. There's probably a spot on a certain Blue Devil coach that'll do nicely.