Sports Travails at U. of Kansas, SUNY-Binghamton

September 25, 2009

When teams are winning and things are good, sports programs can bring colleges and universities publicity they couldn't afford to buy. But it cuts the other way, too, as the University of Kansas and the State University of New York at Binghamton are learning -- painfully -- right now. Both universities have been embarrassed in recent days by the high-profile misbehavior of their athletes, leading to broader questioning about priorities. That's especially true at Binghamton, where the arrest of the university's star men's basketball player on felony drug charges has some faculty members questioning the basketball team's approach of giving "second chances" to troubled athletes and emphasis on sports there, The New York Times reports. (A Times article last spring documented a string of problems and included suggestions from faculty members that the university had sharply lowered its admission standards for athletes.) At Kansas, meanwhile, campus administrators were forced to respond to a series of fights on campus involving athletes. The Wichita Eagle reported that while the brawls appeared to erupt recently, tensions between football and basketball players have long troubled the campus.

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