UH's dangerous bet on football

Professor Zaretsky of the Honors College takes to the Chronicle again to voice his displeasure with something. He has previously written editorials complaining about UH’s bringing in Matthew McConaughey to speak at graduation as well as the 2014 freshman class. He now turns his ire towards the UH football team while quoting Machiavelli.

UH’s dangerous bet on football
It’s a fickle game. Must we chain our reputation to it?
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Not surprisingly, all eyes will be on this weekend’s game against UCF, followed two weeks later by the daunting challenge of Louisville. Clearly, Coog fans will have a healthy serving of angst during Saturday’s tailgating parties. Yet the source of fear and trembling runs deeper: Are we still, as President Renu Khator announced after our Peach Bowl victory, nationally relevant? If we had “arrived” with that win over FSU, are we now leaving — well, on the verge of leaving — the realm of relevance where that the earlier victory had catapulted us?

What an idiot!

That’s all I’ve got to say.

He makes some good points. Khator staking our “national relevance” on football with its mercenary coaches was probably not wise.


i guess the real question then is, is CTH a mercenary like his predecessors or will he prove a loyal cougar soldier?

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He is a UH professor that writes the same crap every year. His real beef is that he doesn’t get paid a lot. When people are ready to pay $10,000 to watch him lecture on French History (his area of study) for a semester in suites, then he can demand a higher salary. Until then, shut the hell up, because very few people want to hear the history of a country that surrenders at the first appearance of a challenge.


It is ironic that the only way to get anyone to read his writing is by writing about football, etc.



On the other hand the UH Honors College is ranked No. 10 in the nation. Someone is doing something right.

You do realize that a University is about a broad, well-rounded education in humanities, arts and sciences. Its first mission is not sports. So it seems odd posters here would attack the very thing that makes football possible. This is COLLEGE football, not the NFL.

Many professors don’t make much, and are poorly supplied with the basics. So yeah, when they don’t make that much, are working hard, and see the University pouring money into facilities for sports, I can understand why they might have an issue with it.

I love college football and I think it helps the university overall, but to eviscerate someone who works in the same system who has a different perspective, and especially attack the job they are doing FOR our same University seems crazy foolish and makes us look bad.


I am reminded of a discussion I had with a foreign graduate student/teaching assistant/professor on the UH practice fields years ago (circa 1974) when he questioned UH’s commitment of $$$ to college football.

So then I asked him if he considered the University of Dallas before choosing the University of Houston, When he stated that he had never heard of the University of Dallas, I responded by saying “that’s right, they don’t have a football program…”

Now days, even Houston Baptist has stepped it up.

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Why is it odd that I attack a French History professor going out of his way to attack the football program on a football message board, because he feels the money is wasted and has no basic understanding of economics? Why I wonder would I do that?


I had Zaretsky. He is a great professor, but when it comes to this subject he is not just an idiot, but ridiculously petty.

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Yes, he is entitled to his own opinion. The problem is he is going out of his way to attack the program
without understanding the big picture of atheltics in a major public research university.

The faculty almost killed UH football in the 90s with this argument.

H-Town, I happen to be French and now have dual citizenship. Your knowledge of French history is obviously non-existent. You probably do not have a clue of the history of Texas either. I invite you to spend a few minutes and revisit your cliff notes. I assure you that you will find it entertaining. Don’t have any pre-judgement until you know what you are talking about. History is a great subject matter and can enlighten all of us including you and I.
Now regarding Zaretsky he is entitled to his own opinion. The question that we should all ask ourselves is the following. Why is the chron more than happy to publish and post story disparaging to U of H? They keep doing it over and over. I am all for the freedom of expression but if the chron was serious and unbiased they would dissect what the PUF has been able to do for both uta and atm. Some might respond that they are not connected to sports. I call it bull crap. They are forever intertwined. One would not exist without the consequences of the other.
It seems that they take great pleasure to report on any types of “UH infighting” Remember about the disparaging reports when we decided to build a new stadium. They kept going during the construction and the grand opening. As recently as just a few months ago they were questioning our investments into new facilities. It seems that they question our very commitment to sports. It almost read as a “How Dare you?” Instead of questioning they should champion our commitment to better ourselves. If they are so concerned about us “wasting money” why don’t they report of the REAL cost of uta, atm and their use of the PUF funds? That’s a Pulitzer winning story waiting to happen.
Duarte does a good job covering our team but the same rag keeps throwing jabs at us. Did they ever do a clear, concise analysis why we got rejected for the small12 in 1996 and a few weeks ago? Hell no. Remember just a couple of years ago they put us in the back pages of the sports section. Is it intentional? You decide. These types of articles do not happen to be published by mistakes. It is crystal clear that this rag has had a clear agenda against us for many years.

ohfivecoogs, you are 100% correct. I lived through it. Even the administration was against sports. Some of you might remember we were this close from shutting down the football program. You all remember what kind of condition the sports department was at the time. Local high schools had better equipment than us. Despite all of this adversity, naysayers we beat up on FSU and OU. That is an amazing turn around.



The UH Honors College is well supported by the administration and alums. So while he sees us “pouring money into football” we have done similar with the program he is related to over the last decade. When I was at UH the Honors College was in the library basement and now has prominent and dedicated part of major library expansion.

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Thank you Chris for taking the time to write a great post. Well done!

First of all, this is the United States of America, and you can’t have dual-citizenship per the US government. Maybe France allows it, but the US doesn’t.

No, I don’t know much about French history as was my point in my first post, i.e. I don’t care to know about their history. Also, I am sure Dr Zaretsky doesn’t know much about football and doesn’t care to other than to complain about the funding thereof. If people want to learn a little French History from Dr Zaretsky in the Honors College, then fantastic! Go and sign up for his class. Apparently, he is a fantastic professor, which I do not doubt.

However, he opens himself up for public scrutiny when he stepped out of his realm of expertise in this article, and so, he pays the price. CTH doesn’t comment on French History. Why? Because it is not in his lane.

In regards to Texas history, I have an extensive knowledge and know exactly why France lost Texas as a part of their territory. The best land deal in the history of the world, that’s why! 'Merica!

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Well, that’s certainly not true, but I doubt you really care about that any more than you do about French history, and that’s OK.

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Naturalizing citizens are required to undertake an oath renouncing previous allegiances. However, the U.S. government does not endorse dual citizenship as a matter of policy, it recognizes the existence of dual citizenship and completely tolerates the maintenance of multiple citizenship by U.S. citizens

Just because it is not enforced does not mean it is untrue.

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