Thursday turkey, today a little crow

Cal won its last two games against good teams, one close and today’s running away, so I have to retract the snarky aside about Tedford’s record in this post.  We will have a winning season, probably win our last game as well, and finish in the upper division of the conference.  The team recovered from a couple of crushing defeats and loss of its star player, and has nothing to be ashamed of in the football-playing department.  If only courage and great ballplaying could fill the financial hole the sports program has landed us in…

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

8 thoughts on “Thursday turkey, today a little crow”

  1. I hate that you Berkeley people are so infuriatingly arrogant that you refer to your campus as "Cal" like it's the only campus in the UC system

  2. It was for about 60 years, and only 70 years have passed since then. Not long enough, I think, for names to change (when will they get around to renaming the Pont-Neuf?).

  3. Tedford is a good coach for Cal, from what I can see. Coaches need to recruit 17 year olds to come play football at their program, often tantalizing them with promises of a future with the NFL. Everyone likes a winner, and he wins enough that even fickle fans are going to games, filling the stadium, and buying merchandise. He runs a clean program that never has a losing season, a rarity for Cal historically. That's a tall order, I think.

    Of course, the broader issue is should Cal or any university for that matter be a club team for the NFL? Should coaches be recruiting 17 year old boys into the NFL training camp at Cal, USC, Florida, Texas or wherever? Maybe coaches shouldn't recruit at all, maybe they should recruit from students on campus and not give purely athletic scholarships at all. Maybe the NFL should start a minor league to recruit high school boys who clearly aren't interested towards academics but are very talented athletes. They could even start earning a paycheck right away. Many of these boys come from very poor backgrounds. Some of them are even supporting a family and have to get money in school illegally by getting money from team boosters. Why should we force these kids to go to schools and fake their way through classes they have no desire to attend or use for, and break the rules to get money, in order to fulfill the sham of collegiate athletics? The NBA, NHL, and MLB all have club teams, why can't the NFL?

    Wasn't foregoing college a good decision by LeBron James? Why should the LeBron James of football waste years in college, and possibly miss the NFL because of it just to go through some charade?

  4. The NCAA and NFL have long since evolved a system where "college" football is the mandatory training ground for 18 to 22 year old prospects. A nearly identical system once existed for baskteball; that one is significantly frayed but not gone. This has been accomplished without an explicit overall agreement between the two sides, and that preserves an element of deniability at key junctures. The pro leagues are relieved from the bother of baseball- and hockey-style minor leagues. The universities get, well they get college football and basketball to enjoy and lose money on. It is a truly strange piece of work, but it has sunk its roots deep in the culture of this county. Perhaps the bit of a glow of home team success to which even Professor O'Hare seems to have succumbed gives us an insight into the process.

  5. I hate that you Berkeley people are so infuriatingly arrogant that you refer to your campus as “Cal” like it’s the only campus in the UC system

    I always hated this too, and did my best as a Berkeley professor not to promulgate this further.

    It takes an effort of will to call it "UC Berkeley" and not just "Berkeley", as if the city and university were one.

  6. Vance,

    Some folks at Berkeley were still referring to UCLA as the Southern California Extension Campus in the 1970s. For all I know, some still refer to UCLA that way. If USC didn't exist, the UCLAn's would really hate UC Berkeley.

  7. The snarky aside wouldn't have been justified even if Cal had lost the last two games. By the numbers, Tedford plainly is the most successful coach Cal has had in the last 50 years. He has a higher winning percentage (.663) than any Cal coach since Pappy Waldorf, whose last season was 1956. The most successful coach (by winning percentage) between Waldorf and Tedford was the recently deceased Bruce Snyder, who parlayed his modest success at Berkeley into a lateral move to Arizona State. While your points about the flaws in intercollegiate football are well-taken, it's beyond reasonable dispute that Tedford is very good at his job, and was beyond reasonable dispute two weeks ago.

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