The 98/98 Rule

The problem some have with all of the money coming in through Oregon athletics is every dime of it is spent on athletics.

“They have $98 million in revenue and, strangely, exactly $98 million in expenses,” [a former University of Oregon business school dean] explained. “If you look back year after year, you will find that revenue and expenses match up almost to a penny. … When they get extra TV revenue, they do what they just did in February. They go to the president and the Board of Trustees and the coaches and the athletic director get raises, so expenses go up.”

There is something to be said for a football program that is capable of being self-sufficient in its operations, and it is far better than operating in the red on an annual basis. But how much should Oregon’s athletics department be contributing to the academic side of things? There may be no perfect answer to this question.

Wanting to study: A problem that’s hard to explain.

Whether it’s because there are too many distractions nowadays or they want to study, students, who are paying athletics fees to support the sports programs, aren’t interested in going to games. It’s not a problem unique to [the University of Akron].

“That’s a trend everywhere,” [Joel Maxcy, a sports management professor,] said. “It’s hard to explain.”

New Position at Indiana Football:

Wide Distributor.

University Football: Always a Great Sideshow, Especially at America’s…

… best universities.

And who knew what a kettlebell weight was?

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The coach in question?

[Sal] Alosi is infamous in his own right. He was a NY Jets coach who was suspended by the NFL in 2010 after tripping a Miami Dolphins player who was covering a punt.

Next stop: UCLA.

“… UCR’s fundraising ($317,115) and gate receipts ($32,916) were both a resounding last in the Big West…”

UC Riverside is amazing. Its athletes do quite poorly on the Academic Progress Rate. Most of its teams lose most of the time. It’s way heavily subsidized.

89 percent of UCR’s total athletics budget is subsidized through institutional support ($8.95 million in 2013-14), student fees ($4.83 million) or other methods, according to a USA Today database. The only Division I institution in the country more heavily subsidized (90.58 percent) is the New Jersey Institute of Technology…

Plus no one goes to the games.

Summer Drill, LSU

All three players were suspended indefinitely by [Louisiana State University football coach Les] Miles, who is no longer waiting to suspend players as much as he once did when he used that aggravating coach catchphrase – “We’re going to let the legal system play out.” Of course, Miles has had more than a dozen players arrested on various charges since 2010 alone. So he knows the drill.

LOL.

[Louisiana State University] defensive lineman Trey Lealaimatafao [was] arrested on Tuesday for allegedly pushing and punching a woman in the face outside Reggie’s bar near the LSU campus … He was allegedly taking money from the pants of another person who was on the ground unconscious at the parking lot outside Reggie’s, and that man’s girlfriend began yelling at Lealaimatafao to stop.

“When she approached him, he pushed her away,” the initial Baton Rouge Police report says. “She continued to scream at him to stop, and he hit her in the face with a closed fist, causing her to fall to the ground.”

… Lealaimatafao was issued a misdemeanor summons last July for stealing a bicycle from the LSU library. He later returned the bike and told police that because the bike was not locked, he thought it was part of a ride for free program, which is available in several cities. Lealaimatafao was redshirted last season at LSU after injuring an arm when he punched through a glass in the LSU weight room.

Fucked up the weight room. Stole a bike. Punched a woman while trying to take money from an unconscious person.

It’s real hard to get released from the LSU team.

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UD thanks John.

“Sources told HD [that] Patterson was asked by a member of then-coach Rick Barnes’ staff about the prudence of sending the basketball team to China for a game on Nov. 13 as part of the Pac-12’s Globalization Initiative when Texas was already scheduled to go to the Bahamas for a tournament from Nov. 21-27. The concern was that student-athletes on the basketball team would be away from class for half the month with finals approaching. Sources said Patterson responded with an email that said simply, ‘We’re going.'”

Allegations of academic fraud, natch; but also this extremely embarrassing Athletic Director at the University of Texas. This guy charges alumni twenty five dollars to step onto the football field.

“Steve Patterson appears to be taking the ‘college’ out of college athletics, and he’s doing so under the guise of supporting the Longhorns,” said Rick Cherwitz, a Texas professor in the Moody College of Communication.

Rick’s a little behind the times. Texas athletics hasn’t had ‘college’ in it since the Pánfilo de Narváez shipwreck. Why blame everything on the latest hustler running the program? True, this AD is free to be slightly more totalitarian than the last one, mainly because UT’s got a brand new, deer in the headlights president (“Fenves said he’s still got learning to do about athletics, the part of the university he is least familiar with.”)… Imagine hiring a president for the University of Texas, which is on its way to being entirely about sports, for whom sports is the part of the university he knows least about! One suspects a conspiracy was behind this, and that the AD and the coaches, who have been running the university for years in a somewhat hidden way, will now openly take it over. Faculty and staff who don’t want to live under Auburn conditions will leave. The rest will scrounge together the latest ticket prices (we’re talking thousands of dollars for most people) and grovel before The Great Leader.

“[T]he present situation merely magnifies the pernicious problems of exploitation, cheating, nongraduation, and fictional treatment of employees as students.”

Ah yes my little kumquat we can dream…

[Let us create] a new minor league at the big-time institutions. These minor-league teams would retain the name of the college at the price of a subsidy to the institution. In this separated state, the free market would dictate… [C]ollegiate men’s and women’s sports would then be limited to true student-athletes, with more emphasis on admissions criteria, graduation rates, and study-friendly scheduling. College presidents would (gasp!) earn more than coaches…

… and all that perniciousness – or most of it – or hey, maybe none of it, given what’s up with professional sports… But somehow it wouldn’t rub off so badly on the university, cuz there’d be this separation, see…

Heard it all before, babe, and you gotta wonder why the idea not only hasn’t gained traction but will go nowhere forever. Let us consider the problem.

Point One:
We all agree – most of us agree – most of us willing to be honest about it agree with the following:

I think that a university with a Division I sports program cannot, by definition, be considered “great.” [The writer even wonders, as his headline puts it, whether such schools can be considered “serious.”] In such a place too much time, energy, attention and resources are given to big-time entertainment that is essentially meaningless.

Meaningless? MEANingless? Are you INSANE?

Well now, calm down and think about the activity for a moment, especially in the context of a university. Does it strike you as super meaningful? Whether or not you win a game? How much and in what way you love your team?

Point Two: So there are two high-profile subcultures on many American campuses which generate insane amounts of perniciousness. Athletics is one. And the other?

Ja. Fraternities. As UD has often pointed out on this blog, there’s a beautiful synergy between the frat guys and the football guys. Together, they tend to run Div I schools, with everyone running scared of them and letting them trash everything in sight. Right? Okay, so here’s an idea: Let’s convert fraternities to farm teams. Fraternities are the minor league for the scuzzier reaches of America’s business world, just as Division I football and basketball are the minor leagues for the scuzzy professional leagues. So let’s get rid of fraternity perniciousness by working out a deal with Wall Street that we’ll house the guys while they polish their finance skills but they will be under the control of the business guys. Their universities will pay a subsidy in order to continue to be able to say that they have a fraternity system (this is very popular with applicants); the biz guys will be responsible for the lads.

Under this model, some misconduct … would persist, as would the risk of career-ending injuries for unpaid players. But these problems would continue at a lower level due to adult accountability beyond the cocoon of higher education.

The writer is talking about minor league farm teams at universities, but he could as easily be talking about outsourced frats.

Point Three: Sounds great. You get rid of a lot of campus shits while retaining the ability to say that you still have big-time sports and frats. Why won’t it fly?

Well, it’s a strange thing, but even though big-time sports and frats tend to be, from the point of view of a university, meaningless as well as pernicious (to use the words the guy I’m citing uses), people turn out to be very sentimental about their own traditions of pernicious meaninglessness. These entities are part of – no, for many people, these entities are, college. It’s like those lines from Tom Lehrer about the southland:

Be it ever so decadent
There’s no place like home.

“I get frustrated when I hear we can’t afford to pay professors and TA’s,” said religious studies sophomore Zy Mazza. “We pay sports coaches millions of dollars each year, but when times are tough, the UA needs to prioritize education because we’re ostensibly a learning institution.”

Ah shaddap.

Florida State and the University of Florida are Quite Something…

I’ll grant you that... But one thing all the highest-ranked schools know is that there’s always another school nipping at your heels, challenging your predominance…

And yes, you’ll say Indiana? What?

But the place has serious fire power, and the Florida syndicate had better take notice:

Indiana University safety Antonio Allen has been suspended from the football team after his arrest Tuesday on multiple drug charges.

A Monroe County jail spokesman said Allen was charged with dealing cocaine and with dealing heroin (over 10 grams) with a firearm.

Sure, the Florida Football Syndicate will point out that the other IU football arrestees over the last few weeks were nuthin. Nuthin! DUI, battery, bupkis! Plus Indiana football doesn’t have the entire legal and legislative apparatus of the state in their pocket, the way FSU and UF do!

Oui oui! C’est entendu! All UD is saying is that Florida’s institutions of higher learning should not rest on their laurels.

Florida State University: In foetore luxuriae voragine.

A Florida writer titles his article about the University of Florida and Florida State University’s amazing criminal record Want to Stop Campus Crime? Stop Cheering for Criminals:

The root cause is the fans themselves.

Coaches do what athletic directors allow. Athletic directors do what presidents allow. Presidents do what the public allows.

And the public thinks characters like [Chris] Rainey are the S.

(Suffice it to say it’s slang for “very special”).

Any other university-related club would be boarded up if members were suspected of 119 crimes in five years.

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Another commentator:

ESPN’s latest report on [Florida State University] football moves the program’s smell from “stink” to “stench”.

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And since every year everything gets worse, where does FSU go from stench? Stink is strong; stench is stronger… What’s stronger than stench?

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There is no one word. Only literature will get us there. FSU and even more crime-ridden University of Florida have fallen all the way down to Dante’s Inferno.

By reason of the horrible
Excess of stench the deep abyss throws out,
We drew ourselves aside…

The next step for Florida State University will be to jettison its old motto (Vires, artes, mores – Strength, skill, character) for a new one:

In foetore luxuriae voragine – Excess of stench in the deep abyss

“Their money, not the university’s money.”

In 2002, as a member of the UK Athletics Administration’s board of directors, [Robert Gene] Lawson cast the sole dissenting vote against hiring Mitch Barnhart as athletics director. Lawson said he didn’t object to Barnhart, but the $375,000-a-year salary UK promised him was “ridiculous” compared to the more modest sums paid to other UK faculty and staff. (Barnhart remains in the job and now makes $600,000 a year.)

Over the past 50 years, the UK Athletics Department evolved into its own universe with its own rules, Lawson said.

“They have become an independent entity, separate from the rest of the university, which is a problem,” he said. “Their budget is their budget. The athletics department regards the money that comes in for athletics as their money, not the university’s money.

“And I guess I have felt, watching it through the years, that they sort of lost what I would consider to be a reasonable connection of these students to the university as compared to athletics,” he said. “Let me just give you an example. When I first came here, the basketball season was 20 games. It’s now 40. I have my doubts about how they can be a legitimate college student when they’ve got that problem.”

UD has loved following the University of Kentucky on this blog. It doesn’t get any crazier than UK. And it’s getting crazier. It’s the sort of thing that keeps me in business.

“A former Florida State athletic department employee told Outside the Lines that [Florida State University associate athletic director Monk] Bonasorte’s routine involvement in criminal cases [of players] troubled some colleagues because of the administrator’s own record; Bonasorte, a former Florida State football standout, pleaded guilty in 1987 to charges of cocaine distribution and served six months in prison.”

Bottom line: A lot of your university’s sports heroes – coaches as well as players – are seriously scary people. That’s why even though many of them quite often do horrible things – crimes of violence – they almost never get prosecuted. Everyone’s too scared.

Some of these people are scary for obvious Richie Incognito reasons: They’ve been recruited because they’re humongous, violent motherfuckers and you really really really do not want to be anywhere in their way. Or in their vicinity. We all had a very good laugh when we saw this take on Rutgers coach Mike Rice (start at 1:05), but it’s kind of nervous laughter, isn’t it? It’s kind of like I cannot believe that a highly paid, high-profile representative of a university is a violent psycho… I don’t want to believe this…

I love my team! Want to cheer them on! Want them to win!

Oh. But in order to win a lot of teams seem to need psycho coaches who recruit angry motherfuckers like Richie Incognito.

Hm. Hm. Yes, it’s a problem…

Around midnight on April 12, 2014, Oregon State student Michael Davis said he and a friend had been arguing with some football players about cutting in line at a bar and he had fallen to the ground with one of them while fending off a punch. As Davis stood up, tight end Tyler Perry ran up and punched him in the head, knocking him to the ground, the police report states.

According to the report, Davis said a friend who played football told him that he “shouldn’t call the cops. We won’t have a starting lineup next year.” Another person involved in the incident said he “knew the males to be OSU football players so did not really want them in any trouble.”

Days after the incident, Davis said that one of his professors noticed several football players milling outside the door of a classroom and the professor told him to exit through a different door because she was afraid they were going to harass him.

Fuck, man. What did I tell you? Stay out of the way.

But hey. UD, qua professor, finds the bit about the professor really interesting. Look at the intriguing relationships and experiences you can have as a professor at a major sports school! There you are lecturing on Marcel Proust or the Burgess Shale, and you notice that outside your classroom door there’s all these big guys from the team milling about!

It’s like living in Naples, and I don’t mean Florida! It’s like – there they are! You know them. Your students know them. The police know them. The judges know them. Everyone knows them. They run the place, and they can do anything they want because they scare the shit out of everyone.

Yes, turns out there’s nothing sacred even about the classrooms at the big sports universities. Of course, we already knew that from Julius Nyang’oro’s University of North Carolina… Nothing sacred there at all… Nothing even semi-sacred… Professors are just as scared as everyone else.

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UD thanks the several readers who linked her to the ESPN article.

“Tech’s long-term debt related to those projects and others currently tops $111 million, about $95 million of which is related to football.”

What can we say about Texas Tech University that hasn’t already been said? This is truly America’s university, with all of our, uh, more internationally notorious tendencies.

Violence? Wow. Yup. Look at their lineup of coaches over the last ten years or so. The ones whose contracts or lawsuits or whatever they’re still dealing with (UD assumes TTU’s huge legal expenses “related to football” are included in the $95 million). Some were dangerous drunks. Some liked to beat up on players. One even punched one of his assistant coaches. On camera.

Provincial? What other university in America would give a disgraced former attorney general/crony $100,000 a year to teach one course?

Un peu ivre? Sure. Tailgating is a bit of an issue.

Sports and nothing but sports? Well, it done got all that money (guess I should say it done spent all that money) plus all that big-time football and last time I looked it ranked #156. As a university, I mean! Ha ha. As an arena it’s doing great.

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