I criticize the NFL in many ways, but I think it's made great strides. I think college basketball, great strides. College football means so much to alumni, doesn't it? It sort of represents the school. It's when you go back; it's at the beginning of the school year.
My audience is made up of two groups of people. The first group includes people whose roots are deep in the Christian faith, but for whom the traditional symbols, as traditionally understood, no longer make sense. The other audience is the audience that has left. I call them the Church Alumni Association, citizens of the secular city. They are a bit nostalgic about this faith of their childhood, but they aren't really interested in trotting it out or becoming involved with it again as it is presently organized.
I focus on faculty, as opposed to facilities, budgets, endowments or students. I do so because I believe, based on many decades of work as a teacher, a scholar and an administrator, that the quality of the faculty determines the quality of the university. Everything else flows from the quality of the faculty. If the faculty are good, you will attract good students and you will have alumni who will raise funds for you.
The audience that I try to reach are members of what I call the church alumni association. Now they are people who have not found in institutional religion a God big enough to be God for their world.
Norwich is a fine city. None finer. If there is another city in the United Kingdom with a school of painters named after it, a matchless modern art gallery, a university with a reputation for literary excellence which can boast Booker Prize-winning alumni, one of the grandest Romanesque cathedrals in the world, and an extraordinary new state-of-the-art library then I have yet to hear of it.
I think there are white alumni out there who wouldn't mind having an African American president of their school, but would be reluctant to have an African American coach, because he represents the school so. I think it's just sheer backward racism.