BREAKING NEWS SHOCKER! A STUDENT WHO CAN’T PASS A BASIC ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TEST HAS BEEN…

denied entry to the University of Minnesota! Google News is all lit up! Who knew that school gave a shit about whether incoming freshmen could speak the language??

I mean, he “passed the NCAA Clearinghouse,” and if you’re looking for academic rigor, go no further than the NCAA… So what’s Minnesota’s problem? Getting all pissy and selective lately, are we? Oh we’re very posh… terribly upper crust …

“[I]t just seems [like] an excuse to get really drunk.”

The best minds at our universities continue to study the question that hangs in the air like an augury of doom over higher education in America: Why aren’t students coming to football games?

Universities took on tens of millions in debt to build new stadiums; they fucked up their admissions standards but good and have as a result weathered countless academic fraud scandals; they pay the coach five million dollars a year. The starting assistant conditioning coach makes one hundred times more than the resident Nobel Prize winner. And what’s the profit? What, goddammit, is the point?

In desperation, most of these schools have become purveyors of alcohol, rushing about from row to row scraping and bowing to booze hounds because this… this, if nothing else, will guarantee attendance…

But if you concentrate all your alcoholics, you’ve got to spend money on more security people, which cuts into any alcohol profits… And actually – the unkindest cut of all – a lot of students (see the guy quoted in this post’s headline) are kind of grossed out by the spectacle in the stadium — a phalanx of armed guards to keep the drunks in order… It doesn’t really feel all game-day festive … Ah the sweet collegiate glory of amateur sports… Fond memories of obscene lolling drunks glared at by goons…

The best minds can kick it around all they want, but the reason is quite clear. AGS: Accumulated Gross-Out Syndrome. At some point, your venture is so disgusting that most people want no part of it. (There are too many disgusting elements to list here, but consider just these two. There’s what an article about Virginia Tech’s no-shows delicately calls an “overly commercialized… video board presentation,” and – speaking of commercialized – the total domination of the stadium experience by the television channel that’s broadcasting the game.) That’s where big-time university athletics is today. And I’m sorry, but there are no recorded instances of AGS-reversal. In your desperation, you just keep making it worse. Look for universities to offer heroin shooting galleries next.

Reassess? What does the Boston Globe Editorial Board Mean?

[T]he special treatment for the top conferences raises important questions for state taxpayers and UMass Amherst. The Minutemen moved up two seasons ago to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the same level as Ohio State, Alabama, and Texas. But with the team still drawing only 15,000 fans a game to Gillette Stadium, the Globe reported last December that the university will have to cover $5.1 million of the team’s $7.8 million budget this season, much more than originally anticipated. Now that the sand has shifted once again under the foundation of college sports, with new incentives for top players to go elsewhere, it would be prudent for UMass to reassess. Without further changes by the NCAA, there is no chance UMass will be able to stand on an equal playing field with the Ohio States, Alabamas, and Texases of the college sports world.

Er, it seems to mean that U Mass should end its farcical, bankrupting football program. As at the University of Hawaii, there’s no there there, but the nothingness still costs a fortune, and that means soaking taxpayers, students, and students’ families.

But in both cases – U Mass and Hawaii – there’s no way they’re going to shut down the football programs. That would be prudent, and prudence is not what these two places are about. (Follow all their shenanigans on this blog by putting their names into my search engine.)

“You’re sitting out there in the sun and you’re not drunk anymore…”

From the mouths of babes. “Division I marketing executives” can huddle “at the convention for the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators” and try to “figure out how to attract students to [university] football games,” but the numbers will just keep tanking until they listen to the students.

Journalists are elegiac: WHERE HAVE THE STUDENT FANS GONE? laments a Chicago Tribune article.

Division I marketing executives are confused: They are at a highly-paid, tanked-up loss as they reel from luxury retreat to luxury retreat refusing to understand a truth that threatens to put them out of business. Division I football doesn’t need marketing executives. It needs roofers, lighting experts, and liquor distributors to work together to make stadiums indistinguishable from bars.

Tailgate? No. Not a solution.

Think about it. As drunk as students get at a tailgate, there’s still the sun.

The solution to student attendance at football games is simple. It’ll cost some money, but since when do universities mind bankrupting their academic side to futz with their stadium? Here are the steps.

1. Build tunnels linking dorms to the stadium.

2. Put a roof over the stadium.

3. Create warm alehouse lighting.

4. Using the model of exit doors on airplanes, each student who sits at the end of a bleacher row will agree to be ready to deliver alcohol to any student anywhere on that row who is not drunk anymore.

“[W]hen you hear the name of a large state school such as the University of Texas or Florida or Michigan you don’t think of a college at all. You think of a football team.”

Success! These universities have truly made it.

But their commitment to intellectual integrity goes further than this.

Last year, I decided to stop watching [college football]. I kept seeing players get concussed during games, which I find more disturbing at the college level because I’ve actually taught undergraduates.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. What you want to do is bash it in on a football field.

‘In 2012, Notre Dame radio announcer Allen Pinkett [said] the Irish could benefit from “a few bad characters” on the team. “You can’t have a football team full of choir boys.”‘

Don’t worry.

‘Portnoy says that while the legislature may want the University of Hawaii to look at what money it has on hand now to help the athletic department, President David Lassner has stated that he will not do that, because he must deal with other competing interests throughout the university system.’

Well, it’s clear that David Lassner’s days are numbered. University of Hawaii football – a total bankrupting university-destroying joke – will have to be maintained via things like “tuition hikes, student athletic fee hikes,” and it looks as though Lassner might not go along with that. Soaking students for sports in which they have zero interest (their mistake is having instead an interest in academics) is a time-honored tactic in the world of university revenue sports, and why shouldn’t UH do it too? It’s not as though it has a great university to defend against these maneuvers. UH is already mediocre and looks likely to stay that way. Where’s the damage? Just keep scraping along overcharging students and putting on games no one attends.

If you ever doubted the comprehensive, whoroscope (as Beckett would call it), nature of big-time university football…

… note that when the New York Times went in search of a sage, gravitas-rich voice on the absolutely shocking academic fraud at Notre Dame, they could only find Dave Schmidly.

Schmidly! Dave! Dave – comic-book ex-president of the unbelievably corrupt University of New Mexico; a man who tried hiring his son for a high-level university position [scroll down for some Schmidly posts]; a man drummed out of office by faculty… Yes, get Schmidly on the the phone! He’ll have something sage to say!

And he does. He obligingly knits his brow for the New York Times about how, you know, competition to recruit the best football players “increases the likelihood of people cutting corners.”

Dave would know about that! Why interview lots of people for a $90,000 a year UNM job when your kid’s sitting right here?

… Eh. It’s not as though the NYT could find a clean president of a big-time sports university to interview. It’s more a kind of how far down the list do we want to go thing… Donna Shalala? Yikes. No. Hey, there’s Tressel! He even used to be a coach! … Oh yeah. Scratch that…. Next…?

Concerned Faculty of America!

You’ll find them at all sports factories, periodically emerging from the stygian gloom to express their concern that – as Youngstown State’s professors put it recently – “the university’s athletic budget is increasing while everything else is decreasing.”

When you realize that YSU’s professors put this concern to their new president, who is a football coach, it’s easy to see why, like cicadas, they spend most of their lives underground. Why go there? Why bother? To get screwed over and die?

They’re just as concerned at the University of Hawaii.

Most UHM students look to us for their classes, yet we are being brutally defunded to pay for embarrassing mistakes, poor management, and ill-conceived growth within the Cancer Center and the large athletic programs.

For years we’ve made a point, on this blog, of covering UH’s amazing athletic programs… It’s not that those programs are different in kind from lots of other university revenue sports programs; it’s the total emptiness for ever (to quote Philip Larkin) that UH has attained which sets it apart.

Take the long view. Zoom out. See if you can do that.

See if you can squint hard enough – or open your eyes wide enough – to perceive a university as an institution having something to do – in a primary way – with education.

Then follow all the news we ever get out of Colorado State University. Follow the activity that has preoccupied its president pretty much to the exclusion of everything else from the moment he took the job. Follow the issue that preoccupies both the people on campus and the people in the surrounding city. It’s the new football stadium and whose lie about its funding gets to be released to the public.

[CSU's just-fired Athletic Director] said he was upset when CSU’s vice president for advancement, Brett Anderson, told The Coloradoan last month that the school had raised [a pathetic] $24.2 million toward the stadium project. [A university spokesperson] said Tuesday the university stands behind that figure, based on national standards for counting donations.

That figure was first reported a day after [the AD] told a local business group that fundraising was going well for the stadium.

“It was at least twice that much,” [the AD] said of the money that had been raised at that point. He said another $15 million to $20 million was “imminent, in the funnel” that would have been finalized by October. That is the deadline set by [CSU's president] and the CSU Board of Governors for raising at least half the estimated construction costs for the stadium plan to move forward when conditional approval was given in October 2012.

The 50 percent figure, [the AD] said, was quickly ruled too optimistic by [the university's vp for advancement], who told administrators no university had ever raised that kind of money in private donations for a project like the stadium.

So, [the AD] said, university officials set a “private goal” of raising $75 million by October while still publicly stating the target was $110 million. That is half of what now is estimated as the $220 million “athletics portion” of the stadium that also will include and additional $34 million worth of academic space.

That was based on the premise the university could still finance $125 million, half of the original estimated cost, through revenue bonds. It also put the $30 million that Hughes Stadium needs in what [the president] said is “critical maintenance” toward a new stadium.

The “funding scenario suggested by [the AD] is factually inaccurate,” [a spokesperson] said, noting the Board of Governors’ goal for philanthropic fundraising for the stadium remains $110 million.

How… seemly. The leadership of a university squabbling about how they’re going to jigger – for public consumption – the actually hopeless numbers on football stadium payment. A “private” goal and a public goal?

Or how about we do some huckster bluster about the just about to be filled to bursting sales funnel?

Life of the mind, don’t you know.

“This is the second time in less than a year that the Cal Poly football team has been linked to a gun-related crime.”

UD has noted it a thousand times: Some special American universities are willing to go the extra mile to recruit people who, sure, might kill their fellow students, but who definitely will win football games. Ordinary universities will typically pass on people like this, but Cal Poly is part of that small elite who will say What the hell.

The University of Hawaii Maintains a Dignified Silence…

… over the death of its football program.

The University of Hawaii Athletics Department won’t reveal ticket sales numbers for the upcoming football season, which starts in two weeks.

[A spokesperson said] it was still too early to estimate ticket sales, even though season tickets are sold well in advance.

Rumor has it that we’re talking about a little over 12,000 sold. The stadium seats 50,000.

Notre Dame: Just One More Gutter Football Program.

And if UD were a Catholic (she’s Jewish) she’d be less than thrilled that Our Lady’s been dragged through the mud again and again by the drunks and academic frauds that play under her name.

Of course big-time university football besmirches all schools (one exception might be Brigham Young), but while the lowest of the low, like the University of Miami and Auburn, tend to be refreshingly honest about their total mindless commitment to sports, other schools, like the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Notre Dame, are constantly flouncing around telling everyone about their integrity. Both amply deserve what’s happening, and they certainly won’t learn from it. Both have invested far too much money in one of the dirtiest rackets going.

University of Nebraska: Spending Big to Find the Next Richie Incognito

When it comes to bringing people like Richie to campus, cost is no object.

“Student-Athlete”

In a 2006 Washington Law Review Association article, the law professors Robert McCormick and Amy McCormick went so far as to call it “classic propaganda.”

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