Van Chancellor makes our All-Academia Team

Sat, Feb 18

It's not quite Spring Break time. Still a few weeks of grind before portions of Florida, Texas, Colorado, etc. are inundated with the inebriated. And so it is in that spirit of commitment, diligence and respect to the task at hand that we present Page 2's All-Academia Team, a group of people you probably don't want to deal with under most circumstances.

Van Chancellor: The two-time basketball Hall of Fame coach (Women's, Naismith) is the closest comparison the relatively young WNBA has to Red Auerbach or Phil Jackson. Chancellor left a stable post at Ole Miss to direct a team in the start-up league, and he owned the place by winning the first four championships with the Houston Comets. He left the Comets to coach at LSU where was never "the boss," as evidenced by an "agreement" that he'd spend his final year under contract as an assistant to the athletics director. In other words, Van wasn't the chancellor. At LSU, the CEO is Mike Martin.

R.A. Dickey: In a college dorm, Robert Alan Dickey's first two initials would make him the Resident Assistant, the big brother figure whose job, which often entails free rent, is otherwise low in thanks. The R.A. is a friend, counselor, hallmate and, when the administration goes into lockdown, the intermediary who breaks up a rec-room party by decreeing it to be an "alcohol-focused event." Our R.A. is among the last remaining knuckleballers in the Majors and pitches for the Mets.

Jermel President: Some institutions refer to the top dog as chancellor; others go the overtly political route and use the presidential designation. Our Mr. President helped three teams at the College of Charleston make the NCAA Tournament in the late 1990s, and he's now in charge of a youth-oriented foundation in town. The school honored his jersey after a career that included 45 steals in his senior season. Hail to the Thief.

Jamaica Rector: The former wide receiver, who had brief stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals, sounds like he'd pass for a lord of banana-republic discipline. His last name is also a title sometimes given to an institution's chief academic officer or the chairman of its oversight board.

Dean Smith: Few are as associated with their campuses as this Kansan is with the University of North Carolina, where he won two NCAA titles, an NCAA record (at the time) 879 games and the respect of virtually everybody he encountered. Even Duke guys. Seriously. When former Blue Devil forward Kenny Dennard applied to UNC's business school, Smith served as a reference. Smith's players rarely encountered the wrath of their academic deans; more than 90 percent of them graduated.