The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas opened earlier this week to much fanfare, highlighted by a wing dedicated to former Ivy League athletes who maintained no higher than a “C” average.
“My dad was the first Ivy League athlete to graduate with a ‘C’ average,” said George W. Bush at the facility’s dedication. “It’s just one more way I’m happy to follow in Dad’s footsteps.”
Bush’s father, 41st President George H.W. Bush, played first base and captained the baseball team for the Ivy League’s Yale University in the early 1940s.
“That’s what inspired me to direct the architect to include the memory of those great athletes who, like me and daddy, maintained a ‘C’ average at an Ivy League university.”
While the younger Bush did not participate in athletics during his days at Yale, he was a cheerleader.
Other former Ivy Leaguers in the wing are three former Harvard grads, including two football players, actor Tommy Lee Jones and Tennessee Titans’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, and basketball player turned sports broadcaster, James Brown.
Although he was not a college athlete, ESPN’s Chris Berman, a Brown graduate, will be given special recognition for “raising the bar with a D+ average during his junior year,” Bush said.
The two-term President has been criticized for honoring underachieving student-athletes with former Princeton-grad and All-America hoop star, ex- United States Senator Bill Bradley, among the critics.
“Bradley is way off base,” Bush said. “He, above most, should know that getting a ‘C’ at an Ivy League school is the same as an ‘A’ at a Big Ten university.
“And, it’s like graduating with honors from any school from the SEC.”