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religion and QB talent 
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006
Posts: 433
Location: Vienna, VA
Post religion and QB talent
I was in a bit of a discussion on the national board, where I was theorizing that if Jerry Falwell shows the Liberty University quizbowl team some of the love that he shows their debate team, they can rapidly become a powerhouse.

The question, of course, is what percentage of the good-excellent-legendary HS players are religious enough to WANT to go to Liberty (or to be willing to go if someone dangles a scholarship to play QB in front of them.) Any data points you folks might have?


Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:52 pm
Profile YIM

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004
Posts: 400
Post religion and QB talent
STPickrell wrote:
what percentage of the good-excellent-legendary HS players are religious enough to WANT to go to Liberty

Y'know, in my opinion, you'd have to be pretty darn committed (no pun) to want to go to Liberty. It's just way, way, way too strict in my opinion. Downright legalistic. There're plenty of other good schools that aren't over the top. Like Wheaton.

So, in my opinion, you can't dangle a carrot big enough (legally) to get me to go there.


Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:59 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006
Posts: 1795
Location: St. Louis, MO
Post religion and QB talent
STPickrell wrote:
I was in a bit of a discussion on the national board, where I was theorizing that if Jerry Falwell shows the Liberty University quizbowl team some of the love that he shows their debate team, they can rapidly become a powerhouse.

The question, of course, is what percentage of the good-excellent-legendary HS players are religious enough to WANT to go to Liberty (or to be willing to go if someone dangles a scholarship to play QB in front of them.) Any data points you folks might have?


Since I think I'm the only person on this board who has equal backgrounds in collegiate debate and quizbowl, it should be pointed out that there simply isn't any incentive for a university to ever dump as much money into a quizbowl program as a debate program. Collegiate debate, by its very nature, is exorbitantly costly. To start with, most collegiate debate teams are funded through their departments of communications and they almost entirely exist of communications majors. There is even a forensics event called Communicative Arts (or Rhetorical Criticism) that is lifted directly from communications curricula. No quizbowl team should ever have that level of financing. No quizbowl team would ever want that level of financing because it means quizbowl stops being fun, and is basically school. Even among student-run teams (like WUSTL) this was the misperception we were constantly dealing with: debate gets more money and that it is somehow unfair. Basically, imagine paying for the CBI inter murals every week and you have the costs for a modest sized team that does both CEDA and parli (not to mention the fact that they're doing APDA which is somehow even more expensive). What Liberty does is schedule wise is roughly equivalent to your average California quizbowl team. A quizbowl team wouldn't need a comparable budget and I hesitate to think what would happen to those students if they did have one funded through an academic department. Therefore, there would be no incentive for anyone to go to a school with or without that budget.

And as a non-practicing Protestant/Agnostic who goes to a Catholic University, one should also know never to confuse attendance at a religious institution with endorsement of that institution's religious views.


Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:10 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004
Posts: 2416
Location: MO
Post religion and QB talent
so
my youth group once
went on a mission trip to
south carolina
like, a big organizationy thing, with 8023851 other youth groups
(most of them had not traveled as far)
and we were so confused
that we found other people there
with "LIBERTY" t-shirts


Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:32 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006
Posts: 433
Location: Vienna, VA
Post religion and QB talent
scphilli wrote:
Since I think I'm the only person on this board who has equal backgrounds in collegiate debate and quizbowl, it should be pointed out that there simply isn't any incentive for a university to ever dump as much money into a quizbowl program as a debate program. Collegiate debate, by its very nature, is exorbitantly costly. To start with, most collegiate debate teams are funded through their departments of communications and they almost entirely exist of communications majors. There is even a forensics event called Communicative Arts (or Rhetorical Criticism) that is lifted directly from communications curricula. No quizbowl team should ever have that level of financing. No quizbowl team would ever want that level of financing because it means quizbowl stops being fun, and is basically school. Even among student-run teams (like WUSTL) this was the misperception we were constantly dealing with: debate gets more money and that it is somehow unfair. Basically, imagine paying for the CBI inter murals every week and you have the costs for a modest sized team that does both CEDA and parli (not to mention the fact that they're doing APDA which is somehow even more expensive). What Liberty does is schedule wise is roughly equivalent to your average California quizbowl team. A quizbowl team wouldn't need a comparable budget and I hesitate to think what would happen to those students if they did have one funded through an academic department. Therefore, there would be no incentive for anyone to go to a school with or without that budget.

And as a non-practicing Protestant/Agnostic who goes to a Catholic University, one should also know never to confuse attendance at a religious institution with endorsement of that institution's religious views.

aside to jcarkeys: You are correct on the legalism @ Liberty. Wheaton does seem to be a magnet for the non-legalistic religious types and could be a power on that ground.

Also if you take the performance of non-Jason Loy Harding teams I suspect that Pepperdine and David Lipscomb could field competent teams (although Lipscomb is a bit more legalistic.) Of course the Churches of Christ are more or less a dual personality group these days -- you have some churches in Texas that are very conservative and the ones around Northern Virginia that I attend are fairly moderate.

to scphilli: I was the 3rd-5th worst debater at every tournament I went to -- the team was defunded after my freshman year even though we had some top 20 teams. IIRC, Liberty's debate team is a consistent Top Ten power, this is why I mention them.

I suppose if there were mega-levels of support quizbowl might stop being fun -- also consider that if I had a scholarship to play quizbowl I'd have put even more effort than I did into improvement as a player.

On the other hand I remember BYU's team getting mega-support to serve as ambassadors of the school -- and Liberty's QB team may well feel appointed to a similar mission. Then it becomes fun again.

As for endorsement -- you are 100% correct. I suspect SLU is less doctrinaire in the Catholic vein than Liberty is in the conservative Protestant vein.


Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:57 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006
Posts: 76
Post religion and QB talent
Yes, let's not forget about BYU. The great Ken Jennings played for BYU, a member of their powerful teams from the mid to late '90s. Also it should be added that Eric McArthur, a fantastic player from Edmund Memorial (Oklahoma) also went to BYU. I am not sure whether Eric played quizbowl there, but I know Brookwood (GA) coach Rick Barry somewhat recently said that Eric McArthur was the best high school quizbowl player he had ever seen. He was a year older than my brother, but Mike and Eric had some of the best duels that I have ever seen (I know Mike got the better of Eric at least once or twice (and in my opinion, Mike eclipsed Eric's accomplishments in his senior year at NKC), but those Edmund Memorial teams won back-to-back ASCN national championships. I think its safe to say that BYU had and presumably still has the capacity to draw top quizbowl players and field a very successful team.


Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:33 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004
Posts: 1585
Location: Lincoln, MO
Post religion and QB talent
BYU doesn't have a team anymore (because it was considered too expensive due to needing lots of travel). However, Kim Kerr, super Savannah Savage, goes there.


Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:08 pm
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Location: St. Louis, MO
Post religion and QB talent
STPickrell wrote:





As for endorsement -- you are 100% correct. I suspect SLU is less doctrinaire in the Catholic vein than Liberty is in the conservative Protestant vein.

We are less doctrinaire, but at the same time there are indicators that this is a Catholic school abound. There is a priest who has an office in the law school. He has led us in prayer at orientation (and I'm assuming will again at graduation). We also teach courses on such things as canon law, which is just a bizarre thing for any accredited law school to teach. We also don't allow birth control to be distributed at student health. So while it's not strict Catholocism (and thank God as severe as Liberty), it is more strict than so called cafeteria Catholocism.


Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:19 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004
Posts: 400
Post religion and QB talent
You can go to SLU without being devoted Catholic, you can go to SMU without being devoted Methodist.

You don't go to BYU without being devoted Mormon, you don't go to Liberty without being devoted neoCon Baptist.

Comparing BYU/Liberty with other nominally affiliated schools is apples and oranges.


Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:43 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006
Posts: 105
Location: New Haven, CT
Post religion and QB talent
Canon law isn't that unusual...I know it's taught at Georgetown (which is Catholic) but it's also available at Yale (not Catholic) as a cross-listed class. I imagine several other universities with graduate programs in medieval history teach canon law from time to time, and these couses are often available to law students, and most Catholic law schools (and there are a lot of them) also probably teach canon law at least occasionally. Most property law has its origins in medieval custom and law, and oftentimes surveys in Anglo-American legal history (not taught as much as it used to be) will have a bit on canon law in there as well. Also, lots of higher brow law schools have classes on Roman law, which was very influential on canon law.

As for religion and qb players, I find it a little sad that someone as smart as Jason Loy (or anyone considering attending "universities" severely restrictive of freedoms of thought, expression, religion, etc., on both faculty and students) is at a place like Harding and not at a real college or university, even one with religious leanings or affiliations (e.g. Hendrix; Notre Dame, or really just about any Catholic school; Brandeis; even Baylor is progressive compared to some places--to name just a few).

Quizbowl on the collegiate level is also much more DIY than high school quizbowl and collegiate activities like debate. Theocratic colleges like Liberty and Harding generally do stuff with heavily-involved adult sponsors/chaperones because they don't want to expose their godly students (who are often seen as the property of their parents and not free individuals) to too much worldly activity. Places like Harding don't let students leave campus without parental and school permission.

Also, lots of fundamentalist schools limit the subjects taught there and might shy away from quizbowl topics without a strict Biblical/Western emphasis like world religions/mythologies, biological and evolutionary sciences, certain philosophers/theologians, trash or anything "subversive," etc.

Moreover, lots of good qb players get big scholarships to college because of their scholastic achievements, anyway, and/or they want to go to places with better academic reputations than places like Liberty.

I believe Berry College in Georgia once offered quizbowl scholarships, and they used to be somewhat decent but never great.


Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:56 am
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