Frank Deford, Cobb Speaker Series

Sports Illustrated writer emphasizes importance of sports, education – Shannon Muchmore, Chief Reporter

Sportswriter Frank Deford said on Friday that college sports detract from education at universities, but the situation will probably never change.

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2 Responses to Frank Deford, Cobb Speaker Series

  1. Lee Agnew says:

    My sister Marion found the email address of Frank Deford’s publicist ( and tell him what’s been going on.

    I sent the following email early yesterday morning:

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I understand that you represent Frank Deford in his role as public speaker. Our family got to hear him speak November 4 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK at the “Friends of the OSU Library” banquet.

    We all greatly enjoyed his entertaining and insightful comments, especially about the over-emphasis colleges currently place on athletics: He noted that you never see music professors recruiting tenors for the glee club the way that coaches recruit linebackers!

    It was the height of irony for many of us that the day after Mr. Deford’s talk, the Oklahoma State administration announced the impending acquisition of over 400 homes north of campus, with funds provided by oil baron T. Boone Pickens — for the purpose of building a 100-acre “athletic village,” with housing and practice facilities (indoor and outdoor) for a number of men’s and women’s sports.

    As you may imagine, this announcement has provoked quite a reaction among the people who happen to live or own property in the affected area; and concern by many in the larger community regarding the human and environmental impact of the project, the timing and manner of its announcement, and its long-term sustainability, given current demographic projections of college age population in the area and nationwide.

    I am sure that Mr. Deford would have neither the time nor the inclination to involve himself in a town/gown political dispute in Oklahoma (even if it involves the “State University” rather than the “University of”), nor would I want to ask him to do so.

    But I would like, first, to thank him again for his support of the “core” academic mission of OSU by his address to the Friends of the Library; and second, to somehow draw his attention to the November 28 comic strip on this web site:

    I think he’d appreciate it.


    Lee Agnew (OSU, 1972)

    I haven’t heard back from anybody, but if I do this site will be among the first to know.

  2. Marion Agnew says:

    My brother and I have called Mr. Deford’s attention to the OSU Boone-doggle by contacting his publicist, commenting on the NPR Web site, and through snail-mail.

    His speech was the night before the expansion was announced. When I talked to him in the book-signing line, I tried to say that the situation won’t change ONLY IF WE DON’T WORK TO MAKE IT CHANGE.

    Little did I know how soon I’d have that chance.

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