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August 17, 2010

The Stanford (Housing) Bubble

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By The Daily Axe Staff

Before the summer gradually turns to fall, Labor Day Weekend rolls around, and the 2010-2011 college sports year arrives, we want to give you, the readers, great stuff to read, watch, and ponder every day. So while we could go on and on about esoteric position battles and fairly insignificant (at least to all but the most devout observers) offseason coaching changes, we’ll be throwing in some more human-interest stories to bide time until kickoffs, opening guns, and starting whistles begin on the Farm. Today’s post is an oldy–written in November 2007, it’s almost 3 years old now–but definitely a goody. Plus, even though the Card finished 4-8 in 2007, with the upset win at USC and a victory in Big Game, 2007 worked out all right.

The New York Times‘s Pete Thamel dug into a then-new Stanford program to assist athletics coaches in paying for homes in the Palo Alto area. Anyone who has ever traveled near Palo Alto probably knows the affluence for which the town is largely known, but it’s easy to forget that assistant coaches and coordinators at Stanford don’t get paid nearly enough to house families in communities within a reasonable commute of the Stanford campus. We highly advise that you read the article yourself. Although the housing statistics have certainly changed since 2007, especially considering the economic downturn, the article is fascinating nonetheless, and if you’re a real Card fan, it will probably leave you feeling pretty good about your school.

Some memorable excerpts from Thamel’s piece:

Because of the school’s high academic standards, Jim Harbaugh said there were 100 to 150 players Stanford could recruit each year who will both be admitted and play at the Bowl Championship Series level. That puts a premium on staff continuity. Coaching and teaching the players they get is critical for Stanford to compete in the Pac-10. A typical B.C.S. college may recruit from a pool of more than 1,000 athletes.

A study by Coldwell Banker of the 117 towns that have football programs in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision found that Palo Alto was the most expensive college town in America. The average 4-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot home here costs an average of $1.68 million. That is nearly $300,000 more than the second-most expensive, Chestnut Hill, Mass., the home of Boston College. (Muncie, Ind., home of Ball State, is the cheapest at $150,000.)

Check out “Attracting Valuable Coaches to the Priciest College Town.” It’s worth the read.

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The Daily Axe Staff
The Daily Axe is an independent Stanford sports website covering Cardinal athletics year-round. Find The Daily Axe on and on social media via the links below.


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