Associate Athletic Director Chris Kennedy, a long-time member of the Duke Athletic Department, penned the following column in today’s Chronicle.

Kennedy is defending the role of athletics in the University, and he does an admirable job of it:

Not many would deny that athletic participation can play an important role in one’s educational experience and in the life of an institution, but few would also deny the danger, for the individual and for the institution, of an athletic program that becomes so fixed on winning above all else that it loses sight of its proper role in the mission of the university. The problem of the definition of this role is much, much older than intercollegiate athletics in America. The “debate” is, in fact, ancient. In the Republic (III, xvii), Plato talks about the value of athletics in training those who are to be the guardians of the republic, as long as athletics are kept in balance with the other elements of their education. The answer, then, appears to be simple: balance. The execution is the hard part.

Go read the whole thing.