3-point stance: An un-American sentiment

September, 8, 2011
9/08/11
5:00
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1. Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin didn’t need to wrap himself in the American flag Wednesday. “We're being told that, ‘You must stay here against your will,’” Loftin said, “and we think that really flies in the face of what makes us Americans…and makes us free people.” Loftin might think twice about extolling patriotic attributes when A&M is turning its back on a league it pledged to support a year ago. You want to leave? Fine. But Americans like people who stand by their friends through thick and thin, too.

2. Everyone assumes that 16-team leagues are inevitable. There has been little discussion of the logistical nightmares hidden within. Schedules don’t balance. Teams could go seven seasons without playing each other. That’s a conference? “They aren’t conferences. They are consortiums,” Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson told me. His league was created in 1999 when eight members seceded after playing three years in the 16-team WAC. Super conferences may bring riches. But they’ll bring problems, too.

3. The late Ron Schipper began as Central (Iowa) College head coach in 1961. He retired in 1996 with 287 wins and the 1974 Division III national title. Schipper served as president of the American Football Coaches Association and on the NCAA Football Rules Committee. He has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Central will celebrate the golden anniversary of Schipper’s tenure Saturday with a reunion of his first team and a display of memorabilia from his storied career. It’s a fitting tribute to one of the game’s little-known stalwarts.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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