The Carmelo Center?

Syracuse University is currently building a new practice facility which should be completed in September of next year (Syracuse.com, 9/25/08).  The name of the new building – The Carmelo Center!  Now there is quite an established history of naming buildings on college campuses after famous alumni, particularly those who are willing to donate large amounts of money back to the university.  I assume that Carmelo Anthony is doing just that to have his name appear on the building, and I truly believe that his intentions are genuine in helping his alma mater.

My concern is on the side of Syracuse University.  What type of statement does it make about the school’s priorities in naming the building after Carmelo, an athlete who never had any intention of staying and graduating from the school?  I know that collegiate athletics is big business, and that every school’s athletic department needs to walk that fine line between pursuit of athletic success and maintaining a high level of academic integrity.  But to me, featuring an alumnus (actually, is he even considered an alumnus?) whose only purpose at the university was athletics, is sending the wrong public message.  I’m curious to know what the Syracuse faculty and alumni think of this.  I guess the ones who follow college basketball won’t mind, but the Dean of the English department might object.

3 thoughts on “The Carmelo Center?

  • September 26, 2008 at 1:48 pm
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    I guess Harvard should not accept donations from Bill Gates, who left that institution early to begin his professional career. Carmelo did indeed donate the lion’s share of the funds for the new facility, which is named after his father. And as a Syracuse graduate, I am thankful for his support and proud of Carmelo for recognizing the positive impact Syracuse University had on his life. Lot’s of good messages here for young people who follow the careers of athletes.

  • September 26, 2008 at 11:59 pm
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    You raise a pretty good point about Gates, but there is one key difference. Gates always intended to attend Harvard for his education. Carmelo decided to go to Syracuse for a year just to prepare for the NBA.

    I do think its a great gesture on Carmelo’s behalf and hold nothing against him for it. In fact, I wish more athletes supported positive initiatives for schools and communities. I’m just a little surprised that Syracuse is willing to take on such a public moniker that is clearly unrelated to their status as a educational institution.

  • January 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm
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    Who has the lowest graduation rates? African-American/Black athletes. The real tragedy is that Chancelor cantor and most college coaches are willing to blind their eyes to this as their football and basketball programs bring in over $30 million dollars in revenue.

    If an athlete can’t write a 10th grade level essay, what on God’s green earth is he doing at Syracuse University in the first place???

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