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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What's This? Common Sense Taking Over?

It seems with each passing day, more and more folks employ a frighteningly low level of common sense in their decision making. The hysteria whipped up by our politicians and the media on a regular basis seems to turn otherwise normal, intelligent individuals into quivering piles of backbone-less jello, incapable of acting decisively without first checking with scores of advisers, folks on the internet (damn bloggers) and hosts of others, fearful of making the wrong decision. And inevitably, the wrong decision still gets made despite all the tiptoeing.

So I was surprised to see this month two instances of folks actually coming to their senses after some baffling decision making.

First, there was the curious case this week of the NCAA stripping the Clemson football team of two practices for use of improper equipment. What equipment, you might ask? Their underwear.

Yup. The NCAA and ACC ruled that Clemson was using padded drawers (or as we are apt to say in NC, "drawls") during fall practice, and as such was subject to a penalty of two subsequent practices.

As you likely read in the above link, the NCAA promptly came to their senses later that afternoon, and at around 5:00 rescinded their penalty. It's not like the NCAA to go back on a ruling from their front office, but I guess the absurdity of penalizing a team two crucial preseason practices over some drawls was too overwhelming. Kudos to the folks in Indy.

Secondly, there's the equally baffling case of State's marching band. The State band made plans to take a trip to Ireland in the spring of 2010 to participate in Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade, but in perhaps one of the most egregious knee-jerk reactions in State's long history of knee-jerk reactions, State administrators pulled the plug on the trip back in July in response to the Mary Easley controversy.


Apparently lost on everyone in the decision making process was the fact that the trip was being paid for by the students. The university was scared that someone, somewhere might assume the trip was subsidized with taxpayer dollars.

Well, kudos to interim chancellor Jim Woodward for interjecting a dose of common sense into the equation, green-lighting the trip once again, recognizing that a trip like this--paid for by the students--is worth any ignorant negative perception. Bravo, sir.

Common sense. It's a rare commodity, and since we've seen our interim chancellor exhibit it in his decision making already, is there any chance those on the chancellor selection committee will exhibit some, as well? Will they see if Woodward would care to have that "interim" tag stripped from his title? Lord knows we could use plenty more common sense around West Raleigh these days.

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