Thomas Hauser’s piece criticizing West Point’s NFL policy generated quite a stir. Enough that he was compelled to write a follow-up. It’s worth a read, although you’ve already heard most points on both sides of the issue. Some of his readers’ comments make me laugh. Among my favorites:
The decision to offer the alternative service option was made at very senior levels in the Army. Unlike you and I, these general officers are responsible for the accomplishment of the Academy’s mission. Every day, they balance competing priorities and resource constraints to meet the needs of the Army for a new class of West Point graduate lieutenants each May. Inspiring the best and brightest young Americans to seek an appointment to the Academy is part of that mission. If it takes a successful football program to do that, then so be it.
Remember kids, you aren’t responsible for the accomplishment of the Academy’s mission, so keep your opinions to yourself. There are generals making these decisions! And generals never make mistakes!
I also like the strawman about a “successful football program,” as if opposition to this policy equals a desire to see Army lose. Clearly, if a winning program is good, that must mean that anything done in the name of winning must also be good! Don’t argue with me. It’s science.
ESPN will air a piece on this new policy tonight on their E60 show, which is sort of their attempt at a 60 Minutes for sports.