Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Notre Dame: Number One Times Two

Allow me to brag a bit on my alma mater. 

As I write this, the University of Notre Dame's football team is currently ranked #1 in BCS standings and will play for the national championship. For Notre Dame fans, that's a big deal, but for everyone else, so what? Teams play for a national championship every year.

Here's the kicker:  Notre Dame also has the highest graduation rates of any Division I football team in the country (cf here).

It's the first time a team has ever been ranked #1 in both football and graduation rates. In a season rocked by scandals at Penn State, Ohio State and Miami, that's something that all college football fans should applaud, whether you're an N.D. fan or not.

Here's a video that explains how Notre Dame does it:

Many of us tend to think of academic and athletic excellence as "either-or," as if, in our heads, there's a math formula that says "athletic excellence + academic excellence must equal a constant," so that if a school's athletic program is getting better, it must be because the academic program is getting worse, or vice-versa.

Institutions such as Notre Dame prove it's possible to strive for excellence in both without compromising the other.

Go Irish!