Friday, February 04, 2011

4 FEB 11: Get the Point

Harris and Troup Counties have West Point. The south side of metro Atlanta has East Point. Alpharetta has a mall and megachurch named North Point. And after checking a map, I can tell you the south point of Georgia is a short drive from Jacksonville.

A surprising announcement Thursday was West Point's gain and East Point's loss. Atlanta Christian College not only is changing its name, but the location of its main campus - moving more than one hour outside metro Atlanta to West Point. I realize Atlanta traffic can be bad, but this seems a bit extreme....

A news release from Atlanta Christian College explains the East Point campus still will be used for adult degree programs. But it's boxed in to prevent future growth, so the administration decided to relocate to downtown West Point. Some Christians simply aren't satisfied with being David, and hearing comparison to Goliath.

Since the main campus will be far from Atlanta, college administrators decided a name change was in order. After all, mention A.C.C. to many people in Atlanta and they probably think of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

So even before the main campus shifts to West Point in the fall of 2012, Atlanta Christian College will become Point University. Is that really a good name? Competing colleges could laugh it to scorn during recruiting - noting it's not polite to Point.

At first the main building of Point University will be the old headquarters of West Point-Pepperell. It seems like a fitting location - exchanging a textile mill for a diploma mill.

But administrators have big plans for Point University -- including a downtown campus and new athletic facilities. For instance, Point University plans to start programs in football, cross country and softball. Huh?! No rowing team on West Point Lake?

Thursday's announcement marks another big economic win for West Point, almost five years after the announcement of the Kia plant. Come to think of it, Atlanta Christian College might as well change the mascot of the sports teams. Chargers?! Try the Point University Sorrentos.

If there's a potential local loser in Thursday's announcement, it's Columbus State University. It opened a West Point campus a couple of years ago, which now will have competition. Atlanta Christian College students are every bit as qualified to use the HOPE scholarship - and they're more likely to examine what "hope" means in Bible classes.

Thursday's announcement brought back nice memories for me. I used to live a short drive from the Atlanta Christian College campus, and went there to scour the library's religious shelves to answer tough spiritual questions. I also (shhhh) used the library's one MS-DOS computer to write a couple of potential freelance articles. Maybe this campus move is a reminder to apologize finally for that.

But I keep coming back to the college's new name - especially after seeing students wear T-shirts with the big word "Point" on them. You can hear the jokes now....

+ What will graduates call their Master's Degree work? The Point-after.

+ Should the university allow sororities - so women become known as Point-er Sisters?

+ What will department chairs be called? Point-y Heads.

+ Will this expand the nightlife of the city - starting with a bar called The Tipping Point?

-> We had a big night of online poker this week. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: Thursday's mention of stolen copper gutters from the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce led one reader to write....

One might almost say the thieves came and went like ghosts.

Be careful here. Unless you know the suspects are Caucasian, you shouldn't stoop to racial profiling.

One other message is being stashed inside our Sunday Soapbox. So let's review what else we noticed Thursday....

+ GPB Radio reported Georgia Power has installed solar panels atop several Columbus utility poles. It's an 18-month experiment to see whether solar power really is effective in this part of the country. When we had the big drought a few years ago, that answer should have been obvious.

+ After months of hype and planning, The Dee Armstrong Show finally premiered on WLTZ. But I'm sure a few viewers were left disappointed, because Dick McMichael wasn't there to read news headlines.

+ Auburn University scientists told WRBL Georgia and Alabama have a growing infestation of the "stinky kudzu bug" and another form of "stink bug." We should note these are real insects - not someone's niece or grandchild.

+ Tennessee toyed with Auburn in men's college basketball 69-56. Tennessee won even though head coach Bruce Pearl is serving a lengthy suspension for rules violations -- and no, they have nothing to do with the orange suit he sometimes wears on the sidelines.

+ Alabama head coach Nick Saban held a news conference about National Signing Day and declared: "Just because you pick the puppy dog with the biggest feet, that doesn't mean he's going to grow up to be the best hunting dog." If that's not a slap at Isaiah Crowell for his decision to attend Georgia, I don't know what is.

+ The Southeastern Conference Commissioner reported one of the colleges complained about Alabama's fax machine web-cam on National Signing Day. The camera showed not only faxes, but the short skirt of an Alabama student collecting them. Under Title IX rules, a hunky guy in running shorts should pick up the letters of intent for women's basketball.

+ Instant Message to all Tea Party activists: Thank you for your restraint so far. It's nice to see you're not following the lead of those demonstrators in Egypt.

SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND: A football league you may have forgotten....

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