Duke Divinity School announced today that, pursuant to the terms of a wager between Dean L. Gregory Jones and Professor Richard B. Hays, Jones will be stepping down from his position at the end of this term. Hays will assume control of the world-renowned institution after having defeated Jones in game of H-O-R-S-E in Cameron Indoor Stadium last month.
The news of Hays’ promotion to the position of Dean surprised many.
“Typically, we’d expect to be consulted on such transitions,” acknowledged one member of the Board of Visitors, speaking on condition of anonymity. “As a Methodist, I’m opposed to gambling, of course. But as a Duke fan, I know that the highest virtue is honor, in victory as well as in defeat. So, once a bet has been made, you can’t go back on it.”
For his part, Jones says he has no regrets. In an informal interview with the Depressio amid his box-filled office last week, the outgoing Dean revealed that he’s been playing high-stakes basketball games for years. “Some might ask, ‘Why would you wager your job?’ Honestly, it’s a bet I’ve made hundreds of times before,” he confided. “I won this job on the basketball court, and I kept this job on the basketball court. It’s only fitting that I should lose this job on the basketball court. Richard played a masterful game.”
The match took a decisive turn when Hays, already down H-O to H-O-R-S, connected on a between-the-legs reverse layup. He followed that up with a left-handed free throw, and an impossible heave from the scorer’s table. Jones could make no answer.
“I challenged him for the Dean’s position three years ago, but Greg has an amazing ability to hit shots with his eyes closed from anywhere on the floor,” Hays told reporters at his post-game press conference. “So ever since then, I’ve been coming to Cameron late at night, honing my game. I’m just glad all my hard work paid off. And of course, I dedicate this performance to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Before the recent upset, Jones had rarely been rivaled in a game of H-O-R-S-E. “Many have tried to compete, but nobody ever came close,” Jones remarked wistfully. “Don’t get me wrong: we have some ballers on the faculty. Warren Smith specializes in drop-kicking the ball into the basket, and Randy Maddox can actually touch the backboard when he shoots a layup. But nobody can match my sweet jumpshot. Or my Scheyerface.”
When asked about his plans for the future, Jones was noncommittal. “I think I might write the memoir of my years in academic administration. You know, a Gilead-style reflection. Have you ever read Gilead?”
University President Richard Brodhead, however, does not appear ready to let Jones ride off into the sunset. “Dean Jones’ talents are manifold, and Duke can still use his service,” Brodhead said in a press release. “To that end, he has enrolled in the minimum number of credits necessary for him to lace up for next month’s home game against UNC.” ESPN analysts predict a Duke win, noting that even though Jones is coming off of a tough loss to his colleague, UNC has lost 8 of their last 10 games, and can’t even find the bottom of the net with their eyes open.