Athens, GA (Sept 24, 2008) - There is little question that mainstream media is looking for the lowest common denominator to sell newspapers or increase ratings. The media is dumbing down stories or sensationalizing stories to the point that people are becoming paranoid about shark attacks or their children being snatched away. Even though actual statistics do not support the paranoia, the media is being successful. Part of this success also comes from the media bashing people who have done a perceived wrong. Call it the "Nancy Grace" syndrome if you like.
The last place one would expect to see this type of low-brow "journalism" is in a college football game program. So take a look at this abstract from an article in Georgia Tech's program from September 20, 2008. The article was about Tech's 222-0 win over Cumberland College on October 6, 1916, part of a series on the school's "greatest games":
To the list of greatest sports mismatches -- the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals, the Dream Team and Angola, the truth and Barry Bonds -- place the mother of all mismatches atop that list. Georgia Tech - Cumberland. Coach John Heisman's Golden Tornado versus the ultimate pigskin tomato can. (Click on the image for a full size view)
Imagine if one of Georgia Tech's opponents printed something similar, something like "the truth and Georgia Tech computer science students"? It would be true because in 2002, 186 computer science students at Tech were accused of plagiarism. And after due process was completed, punishment was meted out to 136 of the students who admitted wrongdoing.
Sadly, people have decided Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are guilty of wrongdoing without due process being completed. The question is if what Georgia Tech printed in their program, aside from being in poor taste, was just something that should be sanctioned by an academic institution? Should an institution of higher learning lower itself to the level of Nancy Grace?
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