‘USC’s leaders never responded to the inquiries. Numerous phone calls were not returned, emails went unanswered and a letter seeking an interview with USC President C.L. Max Nikias to discuss Puliafito was returned to The Times by courier, unopened.’

Only after The Times published its report Monday did USC address the matter publicly.

The University of Southern California not only ignored – for a year – well-sourced questions from the Los Angeles Times about deadhead supreme Carmen Puliafito; the office of its president went to the trouble of returning by courier, unopened, a letter requesting an interview.

Kids, can we think of a better way to say fuck you? I don’t think we can.

And now USC is trying to make us believe that they’re just getting wind of Carmen’s… uh… is there one word into which we can bundle what the $1.1 million a year head of the Keck medical school has been up to after hours – during hours – for years?

*********

How can we explain USC’s suicidal behavior? Carmen’s almost certainly gonna bring down the president and some trustees. Probably lots of USC patients are going to be suing the school, since – I don’t know – if you found out that your suspicions about the madman checking your eyes – the guy everybody told you was fine – the dean of the med school for chrissake! – were in fact accurate, wouldn’t you be a little pissed? How much money did you spend to get treated by a meth head?

USC sure likes to make fools of people – reporters, patients. On the other hand, it serves and protects people like Carmen Puliafito.

*********

Again, then: Why? Why did President Nikias and his provost, the wonderfully named Quick, not only do nothing as their million dollar man drugged his way into oblivion on screen, but ignore and insult anyone who tried to tell them what was going on?

Well, remember they did the same thing with the last high-level highly-compensated, high-profile, high-as-a-kite campus hero: Steve Sarkisian. So we’ve got a pattern here; we’ve got a culture here. Let me suggest what that culture is.

USC is Hollywood. The school is in (roughly speaking) and of Hollywood. School song:

Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me

Marc Kasowitz Update: Desperately Seeking Warmth

Amidst the brouhaha surrounding Kasowitz Benson Torres’ representation of Trump, the firm is losing partner Charles Miller, who after 11 years is leaving for the 70-attorney firm Tarter Krinsky & Drogin. Miller, who will be a partner leading Tarter Krinsky’s new securities and financial services litigation group, didn’t address the turmoil at Kasowitz but said he’s looking for “something smaller” with “a little more warmth.”

Kasowitz is out as the president’s lawyer, and has been spotted taking it easy on a Clearwater beach.

Highest Salary. Highest Profile. Highest.

Their football coach reportedly showed up to practices and games stinking drunk; at a major fund-raising event, he gave a speech so rambling and foul-mouthed that institutional attention finally had to be paid to Steve Sarkisian’s drinking problem. He doesn’t work at the University of Southern California anymore, but his memory lingers on in a massive lawsuit he filed against the school for wrongful termination.

While the school grapples with the lawsuit and the ongoing bad publicity, the head of USC’s medical school, whose shady past and ongoing meth-fueled insane behavior the university appears to have been treating with the same avoidance it treated Sarkisian, finally erupted into public view two days ago, with a big LA Times story.

So, these are the two sexiest positions at any university – the massively overpaid and overpraised football coach; the similarly celebrated med school dean. Even when they’re not drunks and meth heads, these people tend to present schools with problems having to do with justifying their outsized compensation, anticipating outsized legal bills when the schools try to fire them, and just generally attempting to handle people who know damn well they make far more than the school’s president and indeed may have more institutional clout.

So at USC you had this hopeless, intimidated president gazing with horror upon a coach and a dean who may have been highly effective fund raisers and all but were also imploding or threatening to implode from addictions and addiction-generated naughtiness. The understandable impulse is to control the situation, to quietly make it go away, to avoid at all costs an award-winning press exposé of staggering corruption and hypocrisy at the top of a major American university.

To make matters even worse than this, both “coach” and “med school dean” are clean-limbed, healthy-living type things, allowing the school to lecture the student body and indeed the country about teamwork and exercise and the whole mens sana in corpore sano thing. USC had two rampant substance abusers coming out with this shit, which means they found themselves solidly planted in farce territory.

There’s yet another wrinkle with the Carmen Puliafito thing. Unlike Sarkisian, who became visibly fucked up due to his drinking, ol’ Carmen had been, far as we can tell, functioning at a very high level as dean even while snorting up everything in sight in every luxury hotel room in Pasadena. The guy was only exposed because the police got called by a hotel where Puliafito’s girlfriend overdosed. Word of it got to USC’s president, and then to the press, which ran with it.

Franchement, UD has trouble believing the guy was in fact managing to run the med school smoothly while spending most of his time drugging. UD’s gonna predict that as this story develops we will discover Puliafito’s behavior had been deteriorating for some time, and that people on his staff were increasingly doing his $1.1 million a year job for him.

Oh, one more thing. Expect Pugliafito to sue USC, just as Sarkisian did. For… I don’t know. For not curing him.

“Southern Cal Cements Epic Party-School Status With Ecstasy-Popping Meth-Head MEDICAL SCHOOL DEAN”

University of Southern California goes tabloid.

Morning Singalong: The Little Policeman from Pass-a-Dean-a

The Little Policeman from Pass-a-Dean-a

[Pasadena police did not write a report on the (USC medical school dean Carmen Puliafito) incident. After The Times made repeated requests for information, the department acknowledged that an officer at the scene should have prepared a report, and he was belatedly ordered to do so…

No arrests were made, and (a witness) told The Times that Pasadena police never interviewed her.]

The little policeman from Pass-a-Dean-a
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
Is very unlikely to intervene-a
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
If you’re rich white overdosed and close to death
He’ll leave you alone with your crystal meth.

They don’t file reports in Pass-a-Dean-a.
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
They’re very good sports in Pass-A-Dean-a.
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
For a med school dean in a luxe hotel
The policy is: Don’t ask, don’t tell.

We’ve enjoyed following family friendly, spring break friendly, gun massacre friendly, Myrtle Beach on this blog.

Latest headline:

Three shootings in 8 hours. Eight wounded. Some tourists say they won’t be back.

Others, however – bikers, boozers, gunnies – are beginning to think their usual vacation spot – Panama City Beach – lacks the je ne sais quoi of the pride of South Carolina.

Ladies, UD can’t think of a more perfect synergy than taking your semesters at rape-friendly Baylor (located in biker-friendly Waco) and your semester breaks at pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-POPPIN’!!! (watch that way-viral video NOW – start at 1:44 to go RIGHT to the fun stuff – for the amazing spray of bullets!) Myrtle Beach.

Or you could skip the long trip and just attend Coastal Carolina University.

**********************

“We’re gonna send a message to do everything that’s humanly possible to stop this violence in our city,” [the city’s Mayor] said.

But you’re not going to, are you? Because the simple stuff you have to do in order to stop attracting large numbers of violent criminals to your beach involves getting merchants to stop pandering to them. But this is America, and we don’t fuck with the free market.

“[A] multitude of ads [in Myrtle Beach] tout the excitement of shooting machine guns in nearby Conway…”

The thing you do, which is turn the city into a police state during the warm months, doesn’t seem to be interrupting the flow of bullets.

*****************

WOW! Myrtle Beach managed to find time to squeeze in a fourth shooting on Sunday night!

******************

SUPER wow! A fifth one!!

After a fifth shooting Monday night, Gov. Henry McMaster also asked State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel to meet with local law enforcement and address the spate of violence.

With five, you get a concerned governor thrown in.

‘During the worst year of the HIV/AIDS crisis, 43,000 Americans lost their lives to the virus. In 2015, 52,000 died of a drug overdose. Never in recorded history had narcotics killed so many Americans in a single year; the drug-induced death toll was so staggering, it helped reduce life expectancy in the United States for the first time since 1993.’

West Virginia has been the hardest hit.

The proximate responsibility for this grotesque overprescription of opioid painkillers lies with West Virginia’s doctors. But no conscientious wholesaler could look at how many painkillers they were shipping to low-population areas of the state — and at how many people were dying from overdoses in those areas — and not realize that they were enabling a deadly epidemic.

Bernie’s calling for an investigation.

But it’s good. It’s all good. The worst of the wholesalers – McKesson – has a CEO who sits on the distinguished board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, shaping the political thinking of America’s best and brightest. The same man will soon be lecturing us on health care policy. Arizona State University has bestowed its Executive of the Year award on him.

All of this cuz, you know, he made sooooooo much money.

What’s his corporation’s secret? Here ’tis:

[Y]ou can make a lot of money selling dope to addicts.

******************

Yes, sadly, addicts die. You just advertise for more.

A message from John H. Hammergren, one of our trustees here at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Wyoming, McDowell, and Boone, and Mingo:
These four no-count hollers all add up to… BINGO!
Get set for a lesson
From Mr McKesson
America’s greediest chairman, by jingo.

To ship oodles and oodles of Oxy
To the poor and defenseless takes moxie.
While they die addicted
From what I’ve inflicted
I’m hoarding my bucks from the proxies.

Let’s toast West Virgina, my friends!
Let’s toast my obscene dividends!
And thank-you to the villagers
From our “most rapacious pillager”
Your trustee, John H. Hammergren.

*******************

[UD thanks Dirk.]

“[Whitney] Howard’s criminal history includes arrests in June and August on suspicion of driving under the influence, both being drug-related.”

On the road again! UD trusts the courts of Athens Georgia will once again very quickly put Whitney Howard behind the wheel. So far she’s only killed one person, whereas it’s obvious she’s got the potential to produce far more carnage than that.

Oh no. What’ll I do now…

… with the joke I’ve been holding on to about joint appointments?

“What disturbed me most about Huguely’s trial and conviction was the fact that he, and much of the commentary surrounding the case, was divorced from the social environment in which the crime was committed.”

This post, by a recent University of Virginia graduate, is the best reflection on convicted murderer George Huguely I’ve so far seen. He captures the upper-crust/crapulous, gracious living/coked to the gills thing at the heart of many elite prep schools and colleges.

[A]mong athletes, lacrosse players are among the biggest partiers, according to a National Collegiate Athletic Association report published this year looking at substance use among college athletes.

… The survey found that male and female lacrosse players are more likely than any other kind of athlete to take amphetamines like Adderall, which many at U. Va., including Love, were prescribed for attention deficit disorder. And roughly 95 percent of the country’s male lacrosse players drank, the study claimed. Among women players, 85 percent consumed alcohol.

Two years ago, in the immediate wake of the crime, another college lacrosse player wrote well about his culture:

Aggression and alcohol abuse, of course, are hardly the province of lacrosse alone when it comes to men’s college athletics. But, when it comes alongside lacrosse, there’s an implied element of absolute indifference and arrogance as well.

He recalled something the lacrosse coach at Virginia said in a 1999 interview, long before his player Huguely murdered:

“Alcohol and lacrosse have gone hand-in-hand since my days at Brown [University] in the 1970s,” Starsia told The Washington Post… “Whether it is post-game celebrations or just in general, there was something about the sport and alcohol…”

*************************

People don’t like being called arrogant and indifferent. Look at the comment thread on this Washingtonian piece.

Not the first bunch of comments; scroll down to the last five or six. These are enraged, indignant Huguely insiders insisting they did do things. They were not indifferent; they are not responsible. But as Anthony Schneck notes:

Although [the Huguely] story made national headlines in part because it seemed so shocking and unusual, the culture that allowed it to happen is not exceptional to UVA; it’s easy to protect the already privileged…

Easy; and far easier now than it was when The Great Gatsby, this culture’s iconic text (it features golf rather than lacrosse), was written. In Fitzgerald’s novel, Daisy Buchanan is protected after she kills a woman. Today’s Buchanans are vastly more Hummered up.

“It’s unusual to say the least…”

… says the sheriff. He doesn’t expect a professor to be a fugitive from justice because of his just-discovered big-time meth distribution business. Professors don’t have weapons caches, body armor, and huge wads of cash in their houses. Professors aren’t presidents of bikers clubs.

Pshaw. Do you read this blog? Over its lifetime UD has covered stories of professors who had live bombs in their houses; professors who on the first day of class told students to write down their Social Security numbers and hand them forward. So that the professors could rob them.

As for drug use: University Diaries has covered stories of professors so disabled by cocaine or alcohol while lecturing that students had to escort them to the emergency room.

*****************************************

Yes, universities tend to produce more white than blue collar criminals — The insider trader on the board of trustees is fast becoming a paradigmatic postmodern American university figure … There’s Friend-of-Donna, Nevin Shapiro. Yeshiva University couldn’t honor Ezra Merkin and Bernard Madoff enough until that dark night when it had to go through all its web pages and erase their names and pretend they never existed…

You can certainly expect more faculty members to steal from their grants than to distribute drugs. But the drug distributors are out there.

***********************

One point about this particular guy. Starting last year, if Cal State had bothered to look, it would have discovered he routinely came to class late and rambled and was beginning to piss off students.

Is Joseph Castronuovo an assistant professor of medicine at NYU?

It’s hard to say. This directory page is the best I can do, and it might not be the same guy. But a news article about him says he’s an “assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine.”

As you probably know, medical schools are notorious for handing out the title “professor” to pretty about anyone who hangs around the hospital wearing a white coat. This courtesy isn’t a very good idea, especially at a time when doctors are being arrested for running pill mills all over the country (especially in Florida). Castronuovo faces ten years in prison for writing oxy prescriptions like a bat out of hell.

Anti-crime measures are becoming…

… part of the curriculum at pharmacology schools:

Budding pharmacists are taught in school to look for signs of pain pill abuse. They know they deal with a lot more criminals than pharmacists 10 or 20 years ago.

“It definitely is addressed more than it used to be,” said 29-year-old Vanita Spagnolo, a second-year University of Florida School of Pharmacology student who works in retail and hospital pharmacies.

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen …

… and Greenway University, begun with such promise, is one of those flowers.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of all-things-doobie Oaksterdam, Greenway opened in Denver only to close, rapidly, after state officials perused its application documents.

When asked, “Has any principal owner(s), officer(s), or any person in a management capacity: Ever been convicted of or pled to a felony or are charges pending?” [Gus] Escamilla answered, “No.”

… 7NEWS obtained court documents from California, where in 2000, Escamilla pled guilty to felony grand theft by embezzlement.

“We were aware of the prior conviction, but we also were under the impression that they were expunged,” said Escamilla. [Excellent use of the royal/papal/Ubu “we.”]

… Marc Kent was listed as a chancellor at Greenway, but the application did not disclose the fact that Kent plead guilty to mail fraud in federal court.

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