Apple detractors like to label the Mac faithful as cult-like, and I’m sure the above photo sort of lends some credence to their position. Except, of course, for that bull sitting in the middle of the photo -he’s obviously a free thinker. All kidding aside, the photo above features University of South Florida athletes sporting their brand new MacBook Pro’s, which are on loan to them as part of a “unique educational program” designed to enhance the students’ education.
USF’s official sports website writes:
The MacBook Pro notebooks provided to all student-athletes will give them the opportunity to work on course assignments and view academic materials at any time and in any location. As part of the program, USF will be adding new lectures to iTunes U, an area of the iTunes Store dedicated to educational material. With the MacBook Pro and a wireless internet connection, USF athletes will be able to access the lectures and other learning materials no matter where they are.
“The goal is to create an anywhere, anytime learning environment for each of our student-athletes,” said USF Director of Athletics Doug Woolard. “Apple’s MacBook Pro will assist in providing comprehensive academic support services while accommodating the demanding practice and travel schedules of our student-athletes. Our traveling teams will now be connected to classes, academic advisors and tutors anywhere in America, or for that matter the entire world.”
Don’t be too jealous, though. Students will not be able to keep the computers as NCAA regulations require that they remain the property of USF. In essense, the MacBook Pro’s are loaners that must be returned to the athletic department at the end of the semester.