Jacology: SLU Basketball And Biondi
(KPLR) – In Monday’s Jacology, Charles Jaco looks at loyalty at SLU and the difference between the basketball team and the faculty!
There are two stories going on simultaneously over at your friendly neighborhood Jesuit university. One is the college sports feel-good story of the year, as the St. Louis University Billikens have rocketed into basketball’s national rankings, following the death of coach Rick Majerus. The other story has all the charm of a cold sore. It concerns SLU’s autocratic president, Father Lawrence Biondi, dissident faculty and students and a SLU board of trustees so conservative it makes the Vatican look like the ACLU.
First the good story. SLU’s men’s basketball team has played with grit and resilience since the December death of Coach Rick Majerus. The coach of Butler said this team’s good enough to go to the final four. The kids from midtown with the ridiculous mascot are now ranked number 18 in the country. They’re playing for each other, for coach Jim crews and for their late coach Rick Majerus.
Then you have the faculty and student revolt at SLU against the high-handed management style of SLU President Lawrence Biondi. The basketball players may be willing to walk through fire for their coaches. But the faculty atSLU wouldn’t walk across the street for Biondi. They’ve called on him to resign, saying his management has hurt SLU’s academic reputation.
The board of trustees at SLU supports Biondi all the way. The trustees insulted the head of the faculty senate when she tried to talk about faculty grievances. The trustees chairman even walked out while she was speaking. Faculty deans have resigned. Students are worried. Biondi and the trustees say nothing’s wrong. In basketball terms, maybe it’s time for Biondi to be benched.
I’m Charles Jaco and that’s Jacology.