Staditonia: The cataleptic condition brought on by sitting in a football stadium.

Faced with empty or near-empty professional and college stadia all over the country, thoughtful observers offer explanations, theories… This Cal Poly fan, marooned in the stands, sketches a phenomenology of the game he fled at half-time.

[W]hy is Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Saturday nights as empty as a bird’s nest in the winter? One of the first things that comes to mind is the style of football Cal Poly plays. Cal Poly’s offense is a variation of the triple option, which is why you hear people in the stands calling for the Mustangs to “throw the damn ball.”

The goal of the triple option, in an extremely reductionist sense, is to almost always run the football while making it extremely difficult for the defense to identify who has the ball. However this entails a lot of repeatedly running right up the middle of the defense. While this bears a lot of strategic purpose, running straight into a wall of defenders is definitely not the most fun thing to watch, especially when it is the 30th time you’ve seen it in a game.

I suppose you could make a bunch of helmets bashing another bunch of helmets – or pocketbooks – over and over again interesting – or comic? – (“Repetition is the essential comedic device.”) – but interest and amusement is not really football, is it? Football is mad screaming hyperdrive…

The University of Louisville!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[C]omplicating a personnel decision that might otherwise seem obvious is [football coach Bobby] Petrino’s $14 million [!!!!] buyout and U of L’s comparatively shallow pockets.

Having depleted the Hickman Camp Fund to pay Tom Jurich’s settlement [!!!!!] and Chris Mack’s buyout [!!!!!!] from Xavier, ULAA’s largest source of discretionary dollars has shrunk from $16 million to $8 million. Though Petrino would not have to be paid off in a lump sum — his contract calls for quarterly payments on an unspecified schedule — the costs associated with firing him (and, presumably, buying out his replacement from some other school) could create significant cash-flow concerns for a department still burdened by its exposure in Rick Pitino’s breach-of-contract lawsuit [!!!!!!!].

Moreover, financial irregularities found in [UL president] James Ramsey’s U of L administration [!!!!!!!] and recent budget cuts imposed across campus pose a contextual challenge to an eight-figure buyout. It promotes the perception of athletics as apart from rather than a part of the university [LOLOLOL] and, at a minimum, invites blowback.

This is a public university, kiddies.

What if they gave a game and…

nobody came?

Certain public university systems – Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico – wallow.

They wallow. They simmer in their own juices. They don’t get nowhere.

To be sure, they’re corrupt. I don’t want you to think they aren’t corrupt, or that there isn’t a connection between their being corrupt and their wallowing. There’s a direct connection. People can certainly make money off of wallowing.

On this blog, we make a point of following the nothingness of these schools, with a particular eye on their sports programs, since here the futility, absurdity, and nihilism is at its most obvious.

Take New Mexico. Here’s a typical recent article about it in the local press.

First sentence:

Missed budget projections, lingering debt and low game attendance have all contributed to serious financial troubles at the University of New Mexico Athletics Department.

There’s no there there, see? No one’s at the games – UD is surprised the teams show up – nobody’s in budgeting … The schools I’m talking about, located in America’s nature wonderlands, are an extension of their magnificent silent mountains, their deep echoing oceans, their stretches of frozen tundra…

Crucial to this vast chasm is a really stupid and corrupt state legislature, and all three of these states have them. A certain dance is danced, to be sure… I mean, like clockwork, when a school like New Mexico is in such profound shit that it demands more money from the state, the state says whoa wait uh what’s up over there? What you guys been doing? Didn’t we, uh, give you some money…? Don’t we give you some money every year…? So the head of the House appropriations committee pledges to

take a “fine toothed comb” to the UNM Athletics budget before determining what additional funding looks like, if any.

“We are going to dive into these numbers very closely,” Rep. [Patty] Lundstrom said. “The questions I am going to ask are about compensation packages. I want to know what benefits these coaches and the athletic director have. I want to know how much over their base pay they are receiving of taxpayers’ dollars.”

Yeah cuz for the last hundred years or so while the school lies there on the ground dead all the money we send you goes to the athletic staff and NOW’S THE TIME WE MEAN IT THIS TIME WE’RE REALLY GONNA …

UNM’s Athletics administrators and coaches are among the highest paid state employees. While [AD Eddie] Nunez has made cuts to programs to save dollars, he hasn’t made any cuts that would personally affect his own personal finances or the personal finances of his staff. The high salaries and many benefits that UNM Athletics administrators and coaches are entitled to by their employment contracts have remained untouched…

…[S]everal salaries [are] above $300,000 per year with a variety of 13 different types of benefits ranging from free-use vehicles to media pay, promotional pay, incentive bonuses, season tickets to games, country club memberships, retention bonuses, free spouse travel to games and in one case a relocation expense totaling nearly $20,000.

[Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: a variety of 13 different types is redundant. Just write 13 different types. You could even write just 13 types. The high number jumps out more if you just go directly for it.]

The AD’s response to this fact is a beaut. In an entire culture of stupidity, it still manages to stand out.

“I am a supporter of incentives because to me, it incentivizes people to do something. If they achieve it, some great things are happening.”

SOS will not attempt to parse this, because she is old and fragile; she will merely remind you that the athletic program at New Mexico is a debacle.

‘The weapon used in the attacks was a broomstick. One of the suspects told police it was a tradition going back years at the school. Another suspect is quoted saying it had happened to him in years past as well. The victims told police they had heard rumors about what they called “brooming,” but thought it was just a myth, not a tradition.’

Which – if true – is why the principal of Damascus High School, near UD‘s house, was foolish to write in her initial public statement that the rapes were limited to the school’s junior varsity football players.

Background here. As you know if you read this blog, anal rape and high school football go together like a horse and carriage.

Pediatric Dentistry…

‘bama.

A University of Maryland Student Says the Obvious, and – in America – the Scandalous.

It’s okay to dislike football.

[T]hose who steer clear from football are not doing a disservice to the [University of Maryland] players; it’s a barbaric, violent sport that has a confirmed link with severe brain damage. While the university stands to benefit financially from the popularity of its football team, the players — almost all of whom will miss out on the NFL — do not.

For America’s Favorite Sport, the Good News Just Keeps on Coming.

Long considered one of the best places to live in America, Damascus, Maryland – a short drive from UD‘s Garrett Park – has big houses and good schools and pretty landscaping. And (yawn) it has teenage anal rapers galore.

Yawn because do you know how many teenage anal raper stories I’ve covered on this blog? So many high school football teams in the country seem fiercely devoted to jamming broomsticks up the asses of new players as a kind of Welcome Wagon gesture… If I wanted, I could blog every week about pool cues, broomsticks, and pretty much anything else being jammed up the anal canals of newbies.

Why? Why? Why?

Oh, who gives a shit. It’s a thing, a major thing, part of the university fraternity hazing continuum, only I guess more intense because of the very small closed absolutely brutal world of the football team.

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

TO THE DESPOILERS GO THE SPOILS!

If anally raping junior players is the key to success, why mess with a good thing?

With a victory Friday [this was the Friday just before the rapes were discovered], Damascus will pass Urbana (1998-2001) for Maryland’s longest winning streak of all time and add onto the country’s longest active winning streak.

Yes, with its patented broomstick-up-the-ass technique, Damascus has formed a truly unbeatable team bond!

Scathing Online Schoolmarm notes, however, that the experience of reading the Washington Post’s breathless pre-rape article about the school’s amazing achievement is a little different now, with the eye landing hard on certain words, the mind automatically altering certain words…

‘Over Damascus’s 50-game winning streak, Coach Eric Wallich has searched for new ways [LOL] to motivate his team.

… With a victory Friday, Damascus will pass Urbana (1998-2001) for Maryland’s longest broomstick [haha make that winning streak] of all time…

… Damascus (8-0) has become the premier team in Montgomery County this century — winning six state crowns since 2003 — by relying on a rape-heavy [ahem! run-heavy] system.

… Kids look on and dream of donning the green, gold and white jerseys, even as high school football participation has dropped nationally because of concussion and health concerns, among other reasons. [Like anal rape.]

… The Urbana teams that set the state winning-streak record also featured a savvy run game and deep-threat ability. [Turns out you can go to jail for deep-threat ability.]

… [One of the players] said Damascus players are also viewed highly at school and in the community. Handling that attention has helped them manage the spotlight in crucial games. [Managing the spotlight just got a lot more pesky.]’

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

Hey but wait but oh oh oh says the school’s principal: It was the JUNIOR varsity team, not the big boys with the new state record!

A commenter on this article speaks for UD:

In all the media reports the emphasis from Principal Crouse about this not having anything to do with the powerhouse varsity team is a little disturbing and I question her priorities.

Correct. You might have noticed that football everywhere has a (cough) culture problem. You don’t get to break up the team when something like this happens. You don’t get to suddenly chuck all your language about how everyone’s part of the team, we’re all a unit, blah blah. You don’t get to claim in your official statement that the group rape is “unrelated to the varsity football team.” First of all, we don’t know that yet. Second, this is the varsity team in a very short time. And if you’re trying to convince us that the event was a bizarre one-time, Halloween-night grotesquerie etc. etc. good luck with that.

Another thing: UD knows of virtually no group teenage anal rape these days, football or non-football, that doesn’t include someone recording the thing, texting about the thing. If the Bixby Oklahoma case is anything to go by, parents are currently trying to buy the evidence (!) and everyone’s madly erasing tapes and texts. Damascus has a state-wide record to protect… IOW: get ready for the investigation.

Limerick.

For Psycho, you want Tony Perkins;
For Chopin, select Rudolf Serkin.
But do not approach
As your next football coach
The problem from hell, D.J. Durkin.

Kill Call…

Rutgers-style.

Curtains for Durkin.

Now, as Mr UD says, it’s time for the board of regents to go.

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

Deadspin:

It’s obviously the right move, but Maryland deserves exactly zero credit for making it. They did everything they could to avoid moving on from Durkin—a lousy, losing coach whose players and former assistants describe as a bully and a tyrant—and are only doing it now because they’ve had their asses kicked non-stop since yesterday afternoon.

Wow. I thought …

I was over the top sometimes.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker Says the Other Thing that Needs to be Said about the University of Maryland Debacle.

The University of Maryland is located in Prince George’s County, and Baker has had an excellent working relationship with the school’s president, Wallace Loh, who was dumped by football interests. From Baker’s statement:

Throughout this situation, Dr. Loh displayed a level of candor and courage that are a testament to his character. I applaud him accepting moral and legal responsibility for Jordan McNair’s death. It was a sign of true leadership, guts and integrity. It is unfortunate that instead of rewarding him for his courage, Dr. Loh was punished for doing the right thing.

At the University of Maryland, the Students Rally.

Protests over the reinstatement of Maryland’s appalling football coach begin. The student government is organizing a rally for this Thursday afternoon (Mr UD plans to attend); there may also be a protest before this Saturday’s football game.

How long will the carnage at this university continue? Are there any rational people in leadership there? If so, they might be able to stop the bleeding. If they act fast.

University of Maryland: Just another insane perverted little football program with no president.

Five months and one day after Jordan McNair collapsed at a Maryland football practice, D.J. Durkin, the head coach who oversaw the system whose failure led to the offensive lineman’s death, was reinstated to his job. That decision was made over the reported protests of university president Wallace Loh, who didn’t mention Durkin’s name at a Tuesday press conference and was told he’d be fired if he didn’t follow the regents’ recommendations…

[One of the football program’s trainers] allegedly used homophobic slurs and threw everything from food to weights to vomit at players, while other unnamed coaches forced them to watch graphic videos of “serial killers, drills entering eyeballs, and bloody scenes with animals eating animals.”

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

Chicago Trib:

[For the University of Maryland,] being guided by the memory of a 19-year-old whose death was wholly and completely preventable means that the football coach who oversaw a program built on — among other things — demeaning players should be welcomed back. So here comes the inconceivable: DJ Durkin, back on the sidelines…

[T]he University of Maryland — in its entirety — is delusional…

“Greetings, mothers of prospective Maryland football players. Come in. Have a seat. Let me flip on this video of animals disemboweling each other, just to get you in the right frame of mind. Oh, sorry, is there puke in that trash can? Allow me to fling it across the room. That should do it. Would you like a candy bar? No? I insist. Seriously. Eat this &$%@#! candy bar!!!!!!!! Or else!!!!!!!!!”

… That DJ Durkin remains the football coach at the University of Maryland defies common sense and common decency. That Damon Evans remains his boss as the athletic director means Maryland has installed a leader who is defined more by his mistakes than his successes. And the entire university system has exposed itself.

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

It’s all chaos, degradation, and continued danger, and the whole world is watching. Take a look at today’s Google News page for the University of Maryland.

A Forbes writer gets it right: Unless you’re Clemson and Baylor and Nebraska and the other total-football-and-nothing-else schools, you’re eventually going to find yourself deep in the same sort of shit Maryland’s in right now.

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

The hot mess in all its glory.

Two things almost for sure:

1. Durkin will go.

2. This entire episode will end up costing the university at least ten million dollars, plus endless further costs arising from multiple lawsuits.

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

Headline on this one: IN AN AGE OF REFORM, MARYLAND SAYS IT’S FINE WITH SLIME

President Loh …. advocated that Durkin be dismissed. Instead it’s the president who’s leaving. The coach, beggaring belief, gets to stay. Unknown is whether he can find anyone willing to play for him, now or ever again.

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

The Maryland head football coach, who in the very best-case scenario, was so incompetent at overseeing a program that he allowed it to turn into one so toxic and so physically dangerous to players that it killed one, but who was so competent at instilling a culture of “fear” that players and subordinates were too afraid to speak up with their concerns, was reinstated on Tuesday, along with everyone else who bears responsibility for Jordan McNair’s death.

… As for why the board of regents appears so committed to Durkin, well, look no further than his contract. The coach is in the third year of a six-year contract that pays him about $2.5 million annually. If he were to be bought out, it would cost the school $5 million. If he were to be fired without cause, it would cost 65 percent of his remaining salary, or, again, about $5 million. If he were to be fired with cause, there would likely be an expensive and protracted legal battle. It is no wonder, that at just about every program, a football coach has more job security than a university president: He makes more money.

Maryland football does not turn a profit. It had run, for years, at a multi-million-dollar deficit, but believed that moving to the Big Ten would make it the money-printing machine it always believed it could be. But so far, by all reports, it’s barely breaking even, and has committed to years of serious expenses paying off its fancy new football facilities. The board of regents appears to believe the program cannot afford to take the hit of paying off Durkin to leave, and the likely accompanying loss in donations from insane boosters, on top of the inevitable lawsuit from McNair’s family. The regents announced yesterday, in so many words, that doing the right thing would cost too much money.

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