Peter Diamond, a Chicago cardiologist who has studied sudden death among athletes, called Zagel's decision a tragedy. "I promote exercise for my patients," says Diamond, "but if someone has had an episode of sudden death, I never recommend high-intensity exercise. If he's had sudden death once, he will have it again." Zagel pointed out in his decision that Knapp has been stable for nearly two years and that, according to one of the doctors who testified for Knapp, the danger of a recurrence diminishes over time. Diamond disagrees with the latter contention. "You could not stand in front of a meeting of cardiologists and make that claim," he says. "You would be run off the podium."
Though Northwestern filed for a rehearing after last week's decision, Knapp expects to be in uniform when practice begins on Oct. 15, a fact that not even Zagel is entirely comfortable with. The judge's ruling requires Northwestern officials to "keep a defibrillator at courtside and a trained person who can operate it at all times."
We only hope they never have to use it.
BMOC (Big Money On Campus)
After working late one Friday night in the fall of 1994, Richard Sheehan, a finance professor at Notre Dame, found himself caught in the traffic leaving a Fighting Irish pep rally. There, among the thousands of fans enthusing over the next day's football game between Notre Dame and Stanford, Sheehan began to ponder just how the athletic department at a school like Notre Dame might stack up financially against a pro sports franchise. Two years and scores of Freedom of Information Act requests later, Sheehan has some answers. His new book, Keeping Score: The Economics of Big-Time Sports, includes a ranking of the 25 most valuable sports franchises. According to Sheehan, the Dallas Cowboys lead the field with an estimated value of $428 million, but among the top 25 he also lists three college programs: Michigan's, 17th at $25 million; Florida's, 21st at $223 million; and his own school's, 23rd at $213 million.
Sheehan points out that his calculations of the value of college programs are based largely on revenue and recognize the fact that college programs, unlike pro franchises, can't be sold. Says Sheehan, "Ego value alone—that is, the personal gratification of owning a team—adds $70 million to the value of an NFL franchise. Without that, colleges would rank even higher."
The Sheehan list underscores the enormous financial stakes involved in college sports today. While pinning down the exact costs and revenue in college programs can be, according to Sheehan, "murky" business—"Do you factor in alumni gifts under revenue? Include administrative overhead under costs?" he asks—the payoff can be considerable, at least for the top schools. But only the top schools. According to Sheehan, as few as 30 college programs are making money. But by any accounting the athletic department at South Bend is raking it in. Says Sheehan, "I've told the administrators here, 'If you included all the revenue you guys make, it would be embarrassing.' "
Not Quite Getting It
When the Miami Dolphins announced last month that Joe Robbie Stadium would henceforth be known as Pro Player Park (SCORECARD, Sept. 9), many fans decried the slight to Robbie, the Dolphins' revered founder. In an attempt to appease the faithful, Pro Player Inc. president Doug Kelly decided to amend the name as a way, he said, to brine, "some of the tradition back." The place is now called Pro Player Stadium.
Something for Everyone