Phi Beta Cons

Academic Conference — on Tiger Woods?

On Friday, Duke University will hold a conference entitled “Tiger Woods: American Empire, Global Golf and the Making of a Megacelebrity.” You can read the press release here.
f you have ever harbored the suspicion that many profs at research universities don’t really have enough work to do and need to invent stuff to look busy and important, this will strongly reinforce it.
So a guy with an unusual mix of ancestry becomes the top golfer — what’s the big deal? Woods himself studiously downplays any attempts to find significance in his heritage. And what is the “cultural impact” of his success? Is the US somehow different because Tiger is the top golfer and not, say,  Phil Mickelson?
Much ado about nothing.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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