To borrow a line from Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas, is Bud Selig set to become the most popular history teacher at the University of Wisconsin?
If baseball's commish stays true to his pledge to step down from office after the 2012 season, his next stop could be a lecture hall in Madison.
At least that's what Selig ('56) says in a recent UW alumni magazine that this fellow Badger ('01) just retrieved from his mom's basement.
(Needless to say, the magazine's mailing list must have rather conservative career expectations for its journalism school graduates.)
You'll have served 20 years as commissioner in 2012, and then you're going to retire, right?
I am. Now, there are many people who don't believe that, including my wife and family and most owners. They don't think I am, but I intend to spend a lot of my time in Madison. … I'll have done this job 20 years, and anybody who understands this job [knows] that's a long time — other than Kennesaw Mountain Landis, [I'll have done it] longer than anybody else.
What will you do in Madison?
I plan to write a book and teach — sports in modern society, maybe 1960 to the present, from the time I've done it or even before. Sports have played a very dynamic role in society, transcending just the sport itself, and that's what I'd like to teach.
It's no big reach to think that our alma mater will allow Selig to don a James Baughman-style sportcoat (the type with patches on the elbows) and teach a class or two in its excellent history department. Selig says he planned to become an American history professor before his father asked him to go into the family business. He also endowed a faculty chair who "will teach, conduct research, and publish scholarship on the development of American professional sports in their larger national and social contexts." (Two student scholarships have also been established in the names of Selig and his wife, Suzanne.)
And not to worry: Since Selig says he'll be lecturing on topics from 1960 to the present, he won't be able to devote an hour or two to his incorrect insistence that Civil War general Abner Doubleday invented the sport of baseball in a cow pasture.
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