A little heresy is never such a bad thing, and Jerry Beach serves some up on a silver platter over at Defiantly Dutch. Perhaps the purported benefits of hosting a presidential debate aren't worth the costs? (Similar post from 2008.) In that first link, you might notice a link to a New York Times article about the positives an event like this bring to the university. That NYT piece said the following of Hofstra's now defunct football program: "the team turned in lackluster seasons, drew few fans and delivered no revenue..." Suffice to say that Beach refuted all three clauses as part of a Twitter rant. As I wrote nearly two years ago, there exist multiple morsels of evidence that the entire process leading up to December 3, 2009 was driven by the vision of one man - a man who you might have caught a glimpse of over these last few days.
Speaking of that man, I wonder if he saw Michael Weinreb's piece at Grantland today about Rutgers football. The Scarlet Knights are another college team trying to make it in this town that's oriented toward the professional sports, trying to "build the brand," as it were - but now facing serious budgetary pressures. Mr. President Rabinowitz might like to point to the Rutgers experience as evidence that the decision he and the Board of Trustees made in 2009 was the right one. But the argument doesn't hold. Hofstra would not have needed the kind of cash infusion that Rutgers's former administrators insisted on providing. All it needed was for the budget to be maintained - and more importantly, for institutional support all the way through to the top (which existed at least until June 2001). The more I think about this, the more tempted I am to lump President Rabinowitz in with Roger Hull, the former president of Union College, who had a similarly blase attitude about the (non-flying) Dutchmen men's hockey team.
Last but not least, we can't forget Reason's debate drinking game! And I'll close with this comment on Facebook from my high school friend (and fellow trombonist) Elizabeth: "Tonight just might represent the most important showdown that Hofstra University has seen since the Great Northport-Seaford Marching Band Standoff of 1996."