Class at Schreyer House

Thank you to President Spanier for welcoming us into his home this past Monday. I really enjoyed the visit, and the food was pretty good as well.

We talked about a number of things that I find interesting, and clearly are on the minds of college students today. Specifically, it seems, binge drinking and college football.

We spent a good deal of time on both topics. Not knowing President Spanier’s full work history I was very interested in learning about his role in creating the BCS. Personally, I understood the reasoning behind what President Spanier had to say. Penn State has so much athletic infrastructure that a playoff system with shared revenue would be detrimental to us. That is understandable, but I believe there is still a real desire in the country, at least on the fan level, for a playoff system. However, as President Spanier said, most coaches don’t want one, universities don’t, and athletic directors don’t. This is an interesting juxtaposition because in order for a football program to be successful, it needs a fanbase. If fans become disenchanted with the postseason, revenue will go down. On the other hand, I understand that oftentimes, a team would be happy to play in the Fiesta Bowl for instance and take a good deal of money as a result, than play in a playoff system and have a shot at the national championship, albeit with less money going back into the coffers of the athletic department. We must remember that out of all the departments of the University, Athletics is clearly a business in a way the Philosophy department is not. It’s certainly a difficult issue.

On the binge drinking topic, I was tickled that President Spanier said, for a moment at least, that Onward State was responsible for creating State Patty’s Day. Regardless of the binge drinking that results from the celebration of that “holiday” we would have gotten more pageviews as a result. Maybe we’ll be on the frontlines of creating a new fake holiday.

Moving past that, it was a treat to hear President Spanier bestow his wisdom upon us. His advice on building relationships and their importance, I definitely took to heart. I am saddened that our time as a class together has come to an end for now. In my next post I will be looking back on the semester that was, and in the one after that, I will be looking towards the future.

Good luck on Finals everyone!

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