“[G]iven the reason for the sanctions — a lot of kids’ lives were ruined, remember — a little humility might’ve been in order when approaching the NCAA and asking for a break.”

No, because the poljocks telling the NCAA to ditch Penn State’s four-year sports ban and sanctions see what happened as – in their words – “a purely criminal matter.” Had nothing to do with the university itself; a bad man happens to have done his naughty deeds in an on-campus shower stall – c’est tout.

“Your organization, for the moment, is the sole arbiter of conduct in college athletics,” the congressmen wrote. “Surely there is enough to be done in reforming the NCAA’s due process standards without injecting the organization into a purely criminal matter.”

Poljocks are brilliant strategists; they know that the best way to get what you want is to insult the outfit from which you’re trying to get something. I mean, I’m sure they’re right that the NCAA will in five or so years bite the dust; I’m just not sure telling them that is the way to get to yes.

Anyway. Lemme tell you. A story like this, there’s no one to like. Poljocks vs Kiss My Porsche Emmert

I mean, what I’m trying to say is that it’s not just that there’s no one to like. There’s no one for whom might one even feel dislike. Dislike is a mild emotion.

6-foot-2, 210-pound Joe Mixon HAD to break the face of a 5-7, 130-pound woman.

It was self-defense.

“[I]n New Jersey, which has one of the most talented applicant pools in the United States, over 70% of the top students coming out of high school go out of state to college. Of the 30% who remain, Princeton and the College of New Jersey take a disproportionately high percentage.”

William Dowling, author of the wonderful Confessions of a Spoilsport: My Life and Hard Times Fighting Sports Corruption at an Old Eastern University, has taught at Rutgers University long enough to track its fall from its glory days as one of the public ivies. In an address to the Peithessophian Society, Dowling asks whether Rutgers can save itself as a university rather than a distillery. The current campus is

swarming with party animals who actively despise anything having to do with thinking or learning, who brag about cheating on exams, who spend most of their time playing video games or getting drunk with their friends, and who … should never have been admitted to college at all.

Note the actively despise. UD has noticed this at many of our football factories: Not just polite indifference to the life of the mind, but active hatred. Think Richie Incognito, the soul of the University of Nebraska. Dowling makes the obvious point that “a life devoted to mind or spirit or intelligence [is] what college is all about.” Yet it’s equally obvious that at Rutgers, as at other schools which have always been, or have decided – like Rutgers – to become jock shops, all the money now goes to coaches.

It’s a sad and sickening degeneration. Only students can arrest it.

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

UD thanks Brent for sending her the link to Dowling’s talk.

Spare a thought for the general proprietors of America’s failing sports factories.

Since turnover at the top is constant, they’ve only been on the job a week or so. The massive ongoing athletic scandals they’ve inherited take up all of their time. If they do get a moment free, it’s taken up with trustees screaming at them that they want a one hundred million dollar new stadium.

Turnover at the top level of the proprietors’ coaches is equally constant. The five million dollar a year coach they hired a few months ago just beat up one of his players and then got drunk and crashed his Porsche. If they let him go, they owe him a three million dollar buyout. Even if they pay it out, he’ll sue the school for defamation or something, and that’s one more layer of litigation on top of deep hardened lava flows of sports-related litigation.

Naturally, his stadium is empty. More precisely, it’s half empty at the start of games, and then, by the second half, it’s almost entirely empty. The team actually wins a lot of its games – the proprietor is totally stumped as to why no one shows up. He’s only just begun running a failing sports factory. He doesn’t understand.

But here he is – new guy on the block – and he’s being interviewed by the local booster press. Which asks him about the empty stadium.

Here is what he says. Here is what the new president of Florida Atlantic University – the school so desperate to get naming rights to its new stadium that it signed a deal with a prison – has to say about that.

“It’s unacceptable for seats to be empty.”

Unacceptable. Do you hear? I, the latest proprietor of this desperately failing endeavor, declare here and now that empty seats are unacceptable. I will do such things,– What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be The terrors of the earth.

Of course, as one commenter has already pointed out, if this were the NFL the guy…

… would be out two games, tops.

But it’s a university, see. A university. And what does that mean? What does university mean?

It means that although – just like the NFL – a university like the University of Oklahoma specializes in admitting really wacko football players (so do plenty of other universities, like the University of Nebraska, which adored – still adores – Richie Incognito), a university differs from the NFL in…

Come to think of it, for football factories like OU, there isn’t any difference. When one of your heavily recruited wackos breaks a woman’s face, you suspend him for awhile and then …

Who knows. The freshman whose face the player apparently broke is speaking out big-time, which is a major bummer if – as per tradition – you’re trying to hush the thing up. You might – you’re a university, after all – have to drop the guy from the team.

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

UD thanks JND for the link.

Once again, football. The front porch of the university.

The university, where people aren’t supposed to be this dumb.

During the interviews, the two players “began texting each other, trying to get their stories straight,” the affidavit said.

Oh, plus they took photos of themselves doing it.

But of course the front porchers are right. This particular sexual assault is a BIG story, with the national press taking note of every single detail.

Cuz this is the University of Texas! Biggest front porch of ‘em all.

Football: The University’s Front Porch

There is without question an important discussion to have — an unheated discussion not made for sports radio — about why violence against women and football seem to walk arm-in-arm. We could discuss the inability for football players to compartmentalize violence, taking the hyper-aggression of their sport home with them — something that affects families in the armed forces as well. There is a discussion we need to have about its connection to traumatic brain injury, and the ways that some of the side effects according to the NFL’s own neurologists, are mood swings, fits of temper and the inability to connect emotionally with the people in their lives. There especially is a discussion we need to have about a culture of entitlement that starts in high school and runs even more profoundly in college football, where young men produce billions in revenue and are often “rewarded”, since they can’t be paid, with a warped value system that says women are there to be taken.

Getting Desperate

The [University of Michigan athletic] department has run ads on its blog, its electronic billboard, on TV and even at a street stand during the Ann Arbor art fair, urging fans to buy football tickets. If those unprecedented efforts didn’t tell us how eager they must be to unload tickets by the thousands, the email this week to its golf club members, announcing free tickets for anyone who asks, removed any doubt. If you went to Michigan, live in Michigan or can find Michigan on a map, don’t be surprised when the athletic department offers you free Michigan football tickets. It’s a boon for those who’ve already dropped their tickets – and a bust for those who have already paid full price for theirs.

“The irony is that the NCAA and other supporters claim [unionization] will sully the purity of college sports — desecrating our image of it as a youthful clash of school rivalries that always ends at the malt shop with school songs being sung and innocent flirting between boys in letterman jackets and girls with pert ponytails and chastity rings.”

LOL. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gets it said.

Gotta be this or …

that.

When figuring out your university’s very own response to the empty stadium problem, don’t you see it’s gotta be one way or the other. You can cater to drunks – collegiate and professional football attracts lots of drunks – and you can have people bring alcohol to the event and you can serve alcohol at the event, etc.

Drunks like to be drunk, so this policy will certainly attract them; but on the other hand you’ve now got … well, let’s have this guy explain why he stopped going to Redskins games.

The tipping point for my decision not to renew came in the opener of the 2010 season, a Sunday night game against the Cowboys. In the middle of the second quarter, nature called and I needed to visit the restroom. As I was walking down from my 15th row seat, a young lady pointing to her pink Tony Romo jersey was blocking the row as her team was driving down the field. I asked her nicely if I could get by, but that just made her clutch the jersey harder and push it toward my face. As I raised my voice in an effort to make her understand my situation, an extra from the cast of Swamp People in a Jason Witten jersey popped up.

“Hey, you gotta problem, buddy?” asked Mr. Bleary Eyes.

“Um… yeah… I want to get out.”

Apparently to him, them’s fightin’ words. As he approached me in my burgundy LaRon Landry jersey, Ms. Pink Romo finally got out of the row to try to settle her man down, and I passed by.

“Stop! It’s not worth it!” I heard her say as I walked away.

But Swamp Witten kept following me. As I reached the mezzanine, his girlfriends’ clutching arms and desperate words finally registered in his addled brain, and they returned to their seats.

Now, I was not afraid. I stand over six feet and weigh 280 pounds. The guy was drunk, and a strong wind could have knocked him over. But I’m a 35-year-old adult, and this was ridiculous. I’ve never had to deal with a drunken fan harassing me in my own living room.

Nothing says university like a stadium bristling with police watching your every move and hauling the royally pissed out of their seats. What to do? You could offer rewards to make sober people attend anyway. You could basically, in other words, pay people to sit next to the drunks. At Syracuse University, whose stadium has the desolate air of a late Samuel Beckett play, a local reporter asks his readership about rewards. Goodies for people who, as he puts it, “behave themselves”?

Judging by the comments, his readers are skeptical.

“Kenney and the younger Paterno do not offer any direct evidence in their lawsuit of Penn State officials slandering them directly.”

Blessings on thee, football factory! Once thou hast dispensed $171 million, pray add some few millions more for these lads.

Course clustering, yes. Rich Rodriguez, yes. Pretend independent studies, yes.

Fireworks at the football stadium, no.

After all, the University of Michigan is

not Comerica Park or a Super Bowl or Disney World or a circus. Enough is enough. [Our stadium should be] a place that resists the excesses of our culture.

Thus sayeth the classy trustees at U Mich, where Chapel Hill-style manipulation of courses seems to have been routine, where Mary Sue Coleman carried on an expensive, ill-fated romance with Rich Rodriguez, where… ick. Enough. More than enough.

“Students aren’t coming to games, even at places where they win national championships: Alabama, LSU, Georgia. The no-show rate for students who bought tickets to games is around 25 percent these days, even for some of its biggest games, and those are teams that are really doing well.”

And, you know, if sports factories can’t “connect with students when they’re on campus — when they’re a walk away from going to one of the best football games in the country every Saturday, for free — how are they going to be able to do that when these kids are in their 30s and 40s and 50s and they become the next generation of donors and boosters …?”

Yeah, bummer, and it keeps the AD and the coach up at night so you’re going to have to increase their salaries by a million dollars a year because this is like a whole new thing they didn’t sign up for. Who knew that teams mainly composed of fake students and thugs playing in an enormous half empty stadium whose shrieking Adzillatron cannot be escaped might fail to attract fans? Don’t university students enjoy sitting around endlessly while waiting for the ads on the television stations airing the game to finish? Oh, but while they wait they can watch their very own endless ads on the inescapable Adzillatron, featuring some local fuckhead selling mattresses! Where do I sign up?

Why don’t students enjoy being associated with prisons? Doesn’t that add to the wonderful energy of game day? What is wrong with these people?

Update, University of New Mexico

It’s a far less interesting place without the legendary Schmidly/Locksley partnership (read these posts if you haven’t just eaten); but, you know…

The shadow of your smile
When you are gone
Will color all my dreams…

The Locksley buyout and various Schmidly initiatives are gifts that keep giving… And of course when it comes to athletics in particular UNM continues really, really sordid, and things get worse and worse. Let’s quote a bit from a recent article:

In one of the poorest states in the nation, can UNM, which has only one of its 21 intercollegiate sports teams (men’s basketball) turning a profit each fiscal year, justify receiving well more than $2 million per year in state subsidies for athletics? Can it justify student fees totaling $4 million, a figure that has more than doubled in the past two years despite the objections of student representatives on campus?

The new Schmidly says uh I dunno… bad situation I guess but can’t do nuthin…

“The debt service continues to be a challenge for us,” [the athletic director] said, referring to paying down the $60 million renovation of the Pit four years ago. “The financial model was predicated on a naming gift…”

The perfectly named Pit is the basketball stadium. The morons who run UNM promised up and down they’d get some bank or pizza parlor to buy naming rights, only it didn’t happen…

I mean, the financial model?? What a great way to put it. This might be more accurate: I and the idiots with whom I play golf figured we might get the funding if we told everyone

UNM students paid $1.9 million in fees for athletics in 2011-12, with a majority earmarked at covering the costs of student admission to sporting events.

Then, despite the objections of undergraduate and graduate student representatives, came significant increases in those fees. In 2012-13 the students paid $3.2 million and that figure was right at $4 million this past year (2013-14).

“Student fees have been a godsend for us the last couple years. But we, historically, have been on the real low end, and now we’re probably right in the middle,” Krebs said. “But I think there’s a limit to what you can put on the backs of the students.”

In 2012-13, six of the 10 other schools in the Mountain West Conference received more money from student fees than did UNM, as did nearby regional schools New Mexico State University and UTEP.

“I don’t see a huge increase in the student participation around fees, but I do think some nominal increases are probably in their future,” Frank said. “How fast and how much is something we’ll talk to the students about.”

The last fees went up without any talking to anyone. Students objected to them and the school said fuck you. Clearly student fees in years to come will be predicated on the same financial model.

The New York Times Magazine Descends into Happy Valley…

… for another Sandusky go-round, this one focused on ex-president Graham Spanier, “charged with eight criminal counts, including child endangerment, perjury and conspiring to cover up Sandusky’s crimes.”

Penn State is awash in lawsuits and rancor, with no end in sight…

Like that of almost all of the big college football powers, its identity, to an unhealthy extent, is wrapped up in its [football] team…

Lawsuits, rancor, a board of trustees beginning to look like a mad tea party, and the re-deification of Joe Paterno…

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