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NCAA rep criticizes fight song-lottery tie

Ashton Shurson

The Daily Iowan

February 21, 2007

Ashton Shurson, Fethke on Attrition, Fight Song

Ronald Kinum, Letter: Criticism Right in Lottery

[Note: This material is copyright by The Daily Iowan, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of The Daily Iowan.]

The controversy over the use of the "Iowa Fight Song" in an Iowa Lottery ad has traveled from the UI Presidential Committee on Athletics to the UI Faculty Council, where an NCAA representative condemned the university's association with gambling during the council's meeting Tuesday.

Betsy Altmaier, the UI's Big Ten and NCAA representative, described the NCAA's standards on such affiliations and her opinion on the partnership between the university and the Iowa Lottery.

"I am utterly opposed to this tie," she said. "Iowa has a tie that under the NCAA standards is ill-advised at best."

The NCAA discourages collegiate affiliations with gambling, she said, noting that most of the UI's activities are fairly consistent with other NCAA standards.

"It's unfortunate the [university's] image would be used to publicly support playing the lottery," UI Faculty Senate President Sheldon Kurtz said.

Council member Steve McGuire echoed Kurtz's opinion but said Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta was not being unreasonable. Barta has said he regrets his decision to allow the ad to air - which he didn't view prior to its being broadcast - but he believes the Iowa Lottery has been "a good partner" to the university.

"I am in complete agreement with Betsy [Altmaier]," McGuire said. "But Gary Barta's view was not an unreasonable one."

The ad, which aired for roughly one month, promoted a raffle for a Hawkeye-themed Dodge Caliber and featured the "Iowa Fight Song" with different lyrics, a depiction of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and the Tigerhawk logo. The vehicle will be given away at the March 3 men's home basketball game.

Altmaier said she hoped to gather feedback from her constituents during Tuesday's council meeting to present during the next meeting of the UI athletics committee - of which Altmaier is also a member.

The council decided to wait until it received more information from the athletics committee's head, Charles Lynch, before drafting an official stance on the controversy.

Members also discussed a proposed change to the Tenure Clock Policy, which at present requires faculty to complete tenure in six years. Under the proposal, a UI college could decide if it wanted to extend its tenure-track to eight years. An additional two-year extension could be allotted if a faculty member had a child during the probationary period.

Faculty in some UI colleges, such as the UI Carver College of Medicine, need more time to earn tenure because of the time it takes to receive external funds for research, officials said.

"In our university, very few colleges have to make an adjustment," said UI Provost Michael Hogan at Tuesday's meeting. "But we'll address the issue and make a decision."

Fethke on attrition, fight song

Ashton Shurson

The Daily Iowan

February 21, 2007

* * *

DI: There has been controversy surrounding the use of the "Iowa Fight Song" in the Iowa Lottery ads. What are your views on this? When is it appropriate to use?

Fethke: Let's first say we've had a long association with the lottery, and it is a state agency. We have benefited by lottery funding at the University of Iowa. I did not like the use of the "Iowa Fight Song" in that advertisement. I think we're going to see a much better and much more controlled set up of advertisements in the future.

* * *

Criticism right in lottery

Ronald Kinum

The Daily Iowan

February 22, 2007

I have two kudos comments about articles in the Feb. 21 DI.

I applaud Gov. Chet Culver's effort to keep Iowa voting first in the national election process. However, I am totally against the caucus system. Although some of my friends disagree with me, the caucus system is a voter-disenfranchisement system, wherein committees are formed (the "caucus") the republican way (i.e., per the Roman republic system, which the Republican Party copies), wherein a caucus is a committee that operates unconnected with voters' wishes. I prefer the state primary system, wherein the combined results of the voters' choice results in the final candidates, plus, I also advocate the Green Party platform for "grass-roots" democracy and the Green Party position on utilizing the run-off vote system.

I also applaud NCAA representative Betsy Altmaier's criticism of the state lottery using the UI's image and fight song to promote gambling. When gambling interests appealed to the prurient interests of state legislators across our nation, the result was a scam agreement that education would benefit from donated gambling revenue. There was no agreement in any way with the educational institutions.

I regard gambling not as a business. Yes, I play the lottery and Powerball often enough, but gambling is a scam wherein there are approximately 2.5 million losers for every person who receives a payoff. Further, in most gambling, I do not consider it a "win." It is a payoff, because no skill is required of the purchaser. At least in poker, there truly can be a win.

But all gambling, or "games of chance," are typical of one thing similar to theology: The process is brainwashing inductive. That is why I always choose the same numbers all year long in Lotto/Powerball, and I only allocate a certain amount of my pension each week to this endeavor. But the television advertisements for the lottery only exploit psychological dependency with false notions on the ability to obtain a payoff, without mention of those 2.5 million losers who paid (oftentimes, not all of the time) for the "winning" lottery ticket.

Ronald Kinum
Iowa City resident