As university stadiums and arenas empty, bribing students to attend games, as at the University of Akron and other schools…

… will become more and more common a desperation move.

As you know, UD has predicted that in a few years universities will offer High-Achieving Attender scholarships to applicants who can show (via photographic portfolios, etc.) a superior level of game attendance in high school.

“[C]oaching is the only form of dictatorship that isn’t frowned up[on] by the United Nations.”

Everybody’s talking about junk bond status Alabama State University’s brand new football coach, a man who makes Billy Gillispie, Bobby Knight, Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, and of course Mike Rice look like milquetoasts.

Alabama State is one of this blog’s stalwarts (put Alabama State University in my search engine) – a school so corrupt and mismanaged, with so farcical a crew of trustees, that the mind boggles. You might argue that it’s really not the sort of school that can afford another scandal – hiring a notorious head case to coach a team that a school with a 24% six year graduation rate shouldn’t be wasting the state’s money on anyway – but you’d be shouted down by all the people who think things are peachy there and that nothing’s more exciting than a brand new coach.

The last coach is suing, of course. But at least ASU’s got the amazing Brian Jenkins.

In our relentless quest, at University Diaries, to understand why some universities ruin themselves…

… via their athletics budgets, we sometimes go outside the realm of the university proper. We go to municipalities like Rapid City, South Dakota, whose mayor helps us understand university presidents who ruin their schools’ budgets by building massive half-empty barely-used football stadiums.

Mayor Kooiker is locked in epic facilities battle with Sioux Falls – just the way ruinous university presidents get themselves locked in facilities battles with rival institutions. A local columnist calls the mayor’s plan to expand the local civic center

a risky gambit for South Dakota’s second-largest city, where concern over losing state high school events to the Denny Sanford Premier Center has spawned a go-for-broke proposal that brings a Wild West audacity to the treatment of public funds.

Building a new arena and refurbishing the existing one within the civic center — creating a multipurpose facility that can be fitted for regulation football and seat as many as 19,000 for concerts — could cost taxpayers as much as $420 million by the time interest on the bonds is paid.

But once you know the deeper motives for the gambit, much becomes clear.

The fear … is that Sioux Falls will lure most major state high school tournaments because it has a state-of-the-art facility, more than double the city population of Rapid City and has consistently produced more revenue than its West River counterpart when hosting events in the past.

That’s a reasonable concern, especially after a South Dakota High School Activities Association survey showed that 52 percent of respondents considered Sioux Falls their first choice for a state tournament site, compared to 15 percent for Rapid City. That was before the Premier Center even opened, meaning the gap could widen.

Kooiker responded by showing up in Pierre to decry recent scrutiny into site selection as a conspiracy to favor the state’s largest city, which was not an original argument but impressive in its inanity nonetheless.

“This is about the closest I’ve seen to an overt effort to simply take all of the tournaments and put them in Sioux Falls,” said the mayor. “I would ask that that not happen.”

Reminded that high school student-athletes were a major part of the survey to gauge their opinion on creating the best possible tournament experience, Kooiker responded that kids “don’t know what they want at that age.”

Once you realize that there’s nothing rational about the gambit, and that the motives are childishness (for Kooiker to insult the “kids” is rich), paranoia, and mindless competitiveness, it’s easier to wrap your mind around the otherwise inexplicable behavior of some university presidents.

Life of the Mind…

Tennessee.

Stupid, Corrupt Auburn University…

… doesn’t even make any money out of being stupid and corrupt. In fact, it’s losing money.

This article quotes representative campus dullards who don’t understand why Auburn’s massive athletics program is currently bleeding over thirteen million dollars.

As with everything Auburn (scroll down), it’s good for a laugh.

“[T]he stadium has incurred a debt of $35 million of its own, separate from the annual $15 million operating deficit. This fact is disturbing because the university announced in 2011 that it had raised $40 million in pledges for the $60 million stadium and was attempting to have it funded entirely by private funds.”

Piece of cake. Everyone loves football. I’m sure the money will appear any day now.

“I know there is a big concern about the athletics program, particularly football. Does that have to go? No. But something’s got to go …”

Local commentary on verge-of-extinction South Carolina State University.

Like the ability to hear when you’re close to death, football, at the dying university, is the last thing to go.

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…

… when a bunch of people on the University of Kentucky football team were merely locking down the campus and calling out police helicopters because of their pellet gun play

But these guys (three of them) were just getting started. After that, there was the bar fight. Then there was the Eastern Kentucky University assault after the bar fight.

At least UK has a classy basketball program.

“That Penn State, a school that had become infamous for an assistant coach now in jail for sexually abusing children, would hire a coach who is connected, however tangentially, to an ongoing sexual-assault case involving multiple of his former players was baffling to some observers.”

Vanderbilt might not be a football school, but over the last four years, football has had a huge impact on the university.

So true.

Vanderbilt might not be a football school yet.

But like Penn State, new home of former Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin, it’s raping its way there.

“This report makes ludicrous assumptions about the future revenues that the stadium is supposed to bring in.”

This blog has followed Colorado State’s inexorable march to a brand new unaffordable football stadium. Ominously, the only member of the board of trustees voting against the thing was its treasurer, “over concerns [about] the University’s increasing debt.” The rest of the crew said haha what the hell. Sure, it might fuck up the academic side of the school but since when does CSU have an academic side?

Idiotically optimistic revenue projections for the thing – projections cited by the trustees – came from the same firm that’s managing the project, which the chair of CSU economics department points out is a conflict of interest.

“ICON Group … is the one that produced the report saying that the stadium will pay for itself, and that is a conflict of interest,” [Steven] Shulman said.

He said if revenues are insufficient to pay debt payments for the new stadium, he believes the money will be taken out of the academic side of the University.

But anyway. No getting between a boy and his favorite sport.

“And so he built the perfect representation of what, for good and for ill, American higher education has become.”

UD‘s GWU is apparently the perfect simulacrum.

A politician wants to downplay the truth.

Not a very newsworthy story.

‘The review indicated former Cal U. President Angelo Armenti Jr. had “controlled the operations of the athletic program, especially football.”‘

A (cough) remarkably strong commitment to athletics has drawn the attention of the world to Penn State University; but the same public university system (Correction: Not the same. UD thanks a reader for pointing this out.) boasts another campus – California University of Pennsylvania (motto: Building Character) – whose long-term president (they finally dumped him after two decades, and in response he’s suing) took over that school’s football program.

Just that one guy ran the operation … And that guy was president of the whole dealie… And he turned the team into one of the winningest criminal conspiracies this side of Palermo.

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Not long ago, six of the lads got together and shouted Football Strong! after they beat some guy almost to death.

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You get a sense of the ex-president’s mentality when you read that he called the cancellation of a recent game – it seemed an appropriate gesture, given the fallout from the Football Strong! incident, and given the revelation that in the last two years not thirty, not forty, but forty-three players were in trouble with the law – “tragic.”

“We thought we were different from Auburn, but now we know that we’re not,” says [Holden] Thorp. “That’s a hard thing for some people to absorb.”

Auburn University. As always, the standard-bearer.

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

Ranked Best University for Adzillatrons.

“He’ll learn some mantra about learning from his mistakes or how he has matured and is ready for the next step.”

The beautiful ongoing saga of Florida State’s Jesus, and America’s next hero.

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