College joins Cooperstown in denying Ron Santo his rightful spot

For years, Cubs great Ron Santo has endured the disappointment of not being admitted to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Now Santo's connections can't even get him into college!

Well, that might be a little misleading. The 69-year-old Cubs broadcaster apparently does not have interest in enrolling. College probably hasn't been in the picture for him since before the Cubs signed him out of high school in the late 1950s.

But Santo humorously — and, disappointingly, by mistake — came up in a developing investigation about a scandalous shadow admission program for the University of Illinois.

According to emails recently made available by the university, Santo's name was redacted from messages that make it seem like he was a student who was using the influence of corrupt officials to get admitted to classes.

Instead, it was really just two Cubs fans crying over the fact that Santo still doesn't have a plaque in rural New York with his name on it.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The (email) conversation took place between university lobbyist Terry McLennand and Teresita Soto Plutz, a medical school official. The two bemoaned Santo's latest rejection after McLennand asked Soto for help securing a residency for a[nother] connected candidate.

"Okay, let me call them," Soto replied. "Well, the hubby is unhappy that [name redacted] got overlooked again."

"Poor [name redacted]," McLennand wrote. "I had not heard, he should be in. Did your husband get tickets?"

The e-mail is dated March 2, 2005, the day Santo failed in another bid to enter Cooperstown.

That's really too bad that Santo was rejected and probably had to resort to one of his safety schools. How cool would it have been to see Santo going back, five decades later, to experience college life? It would have made a great reality TV show, if not a film vehicle for Rodney Dangerfield. Maybe we could just imagine it now, right here, on the Stew?

Here are a few activities This Old Cub would've participated in ...

Chief Illiniwek has been for decades a polarizing, and dancing, figure at the U of I. Maybe if Santo performed the Chief's rituals, it would sway the school's council of elders to bring back the iconic mascot-symbol.

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Santo's outside shot surely would make him a candidate for Bruce Weber's squad.

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Or maybe he could find a place somewhere on Weber's staff?

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Really, there's no reason to keep Ronnie from enjoying the campus life. Oskee-Wow-Wow!

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