Ah! UD wondered why her referral log is showing a sudden intense interest in…

… Northern Kentucky University’s much-beloved athletic director, Scott Eaton. Ooh la la. Well, we already knew Scott was a bit of a rascal…a massively overpaid rascal… but … heck… you know, what AD isn’t? … But even with all the acclaim and money the desperate, pathetic, sports fans at would-be jock school NKU (jock school is pathetic enough; can there be anything more pathetic than would-be jock school?) threw at Eaton… w-a-all… lessee… (UD scratches her overalls in private places) seems like it jest wernt enuf. Hyuk! He done stole ’bout $350,000 and is going to jail for ten years. And people is kinda confused.

Many will wonder how Eaton could’ve gotten away with his theft for six full years, and had the former employee not come forward, it could’ve been even longer.

Jail will be especially challenging for Eaton, given his, er, needs.

An internal investigation determined that Eaton had “intimate, inappropriate relationships” with four university employees, including two he supervised, and a similar relationship with a student in a class he taught.

Hyuk. Is zat five? And that don’t count, you figure, all the rest which is too embarrassed to come forward.

Enjoy this photo from happier days. Read the chart behind him. And weep for schools like NKU, epicenters of the dumbest shit the American university has to offer.

‘”We expect these men to be extremely tough, brutal on the field, and above all, win. And then off the field, we expect them to be distinguished gentlemen. That’s a lot to ask,” explained Plante.’

Thomas Plante, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University, is on the case. Turns out it’s hard to reconcile outrageously rewarded brutality with civility.

Of course most sports aren’t like football. Hockey is; but most sports don’t demand absolutely insane intensities of aggression. Football does, and that’s why Nebraska and Oregon got to enjoy local heroes like Richie Incognito.

But – bottom line:

“More and more people have learned about the private lives of athletes, and they’re not surprised by these things. As athletes get in trouble and show questionable judgment, fans just become numb to it all. And they’re far more concerned about how it will affect their team’s play.”

Arizona State University is well on its way toward becoming…

… the scummiest university in America. It isn’t there yet – there’s a good deal of competition from states like Hawaii and Alaska – but UD would be very pleased to see a winner from the mainland for a change, and ASU, as of now, is definitely the front-runner.

What pushed it over the top is its mandatory $150 a year student athletics fee, imposed (no student vote – why do that? – they’d only vote against it) on every student to pay for all the shitty games no one goes to, plus for all the overpaid loser coaches.

Add to this ASU’s mentally challenged regents, its charming student body, and its amazing frats, and you get an institution profoundly symbolic of twenty-first century higher education in America.

UD has long enjoyed laughing her way through hometown booster columns in the local rag…

… and this one, in the Kansas City Star, is a classic. The background is of course super-squalid – University of Missouri athletes and coaches staggering and slashing their way around town…

Seven Mizzou football and men’s basketball players have been arrested eight times since January… That tally also doesn’t count an independent investigation scheduled to be released Friday about the alleged rape and eventual suicide of former swimmer Sasha Menu Courey… [A] football coach was suspended after a drunken-driving arrest two years ago, and [a] basketball coach was suspended last season by the NCAA.

Tickle me pink! These laddies!… But put the thing in context:

As far as athletic-department problems go, North Carolina would probably trade its apparently deep-rooted academic scandal for a string of arrests.

Those poor suckers at UNC! They’d give anything to have our puny string of arrests! PLUS: And here’s really the only thing that matters:

Plus, in the big picture, the last year or so of Missouri sports has been wildly successful.

You wanna know the big picture, that’s the big picture! We’re winning!

And, you know, end of the day, it’s all a learning opportunity:

We’d all like to see the family inside the MU athletic department, and in particular the football program, support [one of the most-arrested of the players] with tough love, guidance and motivation to help him move off this precarious path.

Big hug!

Ya got me.

[C]ases of “jock” behaviour on campus remain rife and college sports are actually swelling in terms of commercial and cultural power…

Perhaps that is not surprising: as anthropologists know, every society has power networks and rituals that enable groups to coalesce. But another truism of anthropology is that rituals are most effective in upholding power structures – however distasteful – when nobody talks about them at all, be that on Wall Street or university campuses. In that sense, then, the good news about the 2006 [Duke lacrosse] scandal was that it spurred debate about standards.

The bad news, though, is that [the basic] question remains largely undiscussed: why should universities be so dominated by sports?

UD’s always kind of amazed at these university football team stories…

but no one else is. I guess she just needs to puzzle it out logically, and if she does that she’ll join the rest of America, which yawns at news stories about whole squads of university students – venerated revenue sports players – roaming the bars near campus and, with remarkable violence, beating students up. She admits to being amazed that no one seems to care about American universities going to great lengths to recruit and retain frighteningly violent people to their campuses. You’d think students would be a little nervous, since they’re the ones getting beaten up. But they seem to welcome these scholarship students.

Logically, though… Logically, you’re looking for the most violent people you can find – it’s football, after all – and you’re doing all you can in grueling team practices to make them even more violent… So the reasonable way to look at this is … If you want a winning team, you’re almost inevitably going to end up admitting a few people, every few years, who can be expected to damn near beat random undergrads to death. Price of doing business.

Like this student at Lehigh University who, with some of his teammates, hit the bars one night and got into a fight with another group of students walking out of the place. No reason for the fight – he and his buddies were just drunk and belligerent… Spoiling for a fight, as they say.

So this particular football player just kicked the living shit out of this student.

When police arrived after receiving reports of a fight, they found [the student] unconscious on the ground and the former Mountain Hawk defensive back running away. Police managed to chase down [the player] and arrest him, according to court records.

Witnesses told police Phillips kicked at Graham as he lay unconscious and defenseless. Graham testified today the attack broke his jaw in two places, and he had to have his mouth wired shut, leaving him unable to eat or speak. His injuries delayed his education by a year, and he is still in counseling over the attack, he said. He cannot yawn without paralyzing pain, he said, a condition doctors say will stick with him for the rest of his life.

Hell of a tackle there, and UD is sure the pros will be all over this guy when he gets out of jail. I see him playing shoulder to shoulder with Richie Incognito. Dream team.

Another Div I Success Story

Since the move to Division I, UC Davis has struggled greatly as evidenced by the 9-22 record for men’s basketball and the 5-7 record for football this year. Compare this to UC Davis’ Division II career, when it won six Director’s Cups, which are given to the top Division II university in the nation.

But at least it’s destroying their non-revenue sports and bleeding money from the school.

“Calling on Congress: It is time for probing hearings into corruption at the NCAA and the serious misuse of college athletics and college athletes by major educational institutions for their own profit. Haul up Mark Emmert, a passel of college presidents and athletic directors, Shabazz Napier and other current and former athletes who have been exploited by the system, and let the chips fall where they may.”

Sure, laddie.

Listen up.

Until Hillary’s in power, you’ll never rustle up enough guys to do this. President Obama is a major jock, and he sets the tone. Forget it.

And … you know what? Forget it when Hillary takes over too. When that happens, the guys will get even more jockish. In reaction.

“Veishea is a weeklong promotional showcase — an open house of sorts to highlight the campus community’s attributes…”

And, well, here goes

Uh-oh. San Jose State University Gets Audited!

[Howard] Bunsis said there are …issues internally with how money is being spent, with athletics receiving increasing amounts of funding and instruction receiving less and less.

“The majority of the funds to pay for athletics at San Jose State come from the academic side, either from the student success fee or the general fund of the University,” Bunsis said. “The increases in athletic spending far outpace the increases in spending on academics at this university.”

Bunsis pointed out that, of the $19,206,370 collected in Student Success in Excellence and Technology (SSET) fees, more than $7 million goes toward athletics.

He said this means approximately one third of a fee paid by every students benefits only athletics…

Bunsis estimates that 57 percent of athletics’ budget was covered by academic funds this year, although a database kept by USA TODAY has the figure at 66 percent, the highest in the Mountain West Conference.

Bunsis said athletics is “a huge drain” on the budget because it costs so much and makes back only approximately a quarter of its expenses in revenue.

This means that it accumulates debt to the University, but Bunsis said that each year that deficit is forgiven.

Bunsis also showed a list of the 20 highest paid employees at SJSU.

The head football coach receives the second highest salary at $249,000 a year.

Only the president made more in 2013 with $343,ooo.

The Athletic Director made the fourth most with $222,000 and the football team’s offensive coordinator and the head basketball coach also made the list at 14 and 16 respectively.

Meanwhile, Bunsis said that faculty wages and benefits have decreased and there has been a dramatic shift from full-time faculty to part-time faculty, which he said he believes hurts the university.

He said that there are 1,458 fewer full-time instructional employees here than there were five years ago, and subsequently, class sizes have increased and so has the student-to-faculty ratio.

He said that, while the number of non-instructional employees has decreased, the number of employees in management has increased eight percent, and administrator salaries are, on average, more than $40,000 greater than those of full-time instructors.

Bunsis said that the administration, in addition to athletics, has impacted the budget negatively.

The report showed that athletics, advancement and the president’s office were exempt from cuts, while Academic Affairs received a 14 percent decrease in funding and there was an approximate $13 million cut from the operating budget.

Athletics was exempt because it moved to the Mountain West Conference and did not receive its typical support from the Western Athletic Conference.

Bunsis noted that the $2 million it cost to move conferences, being paid out $500,000 per year over four years did not appear to be represented in the athletics budget, leading him to believe it was paid for using funds taken from academic uses.

San Jose State! Good on ya!

“When he was but a baby brigand…”

Excellent writing about one of America’s most prominent university figures, the University of Kentucky’s John Calipari. A sample:

Anyone who follows college basketball sooner or later develops a kind of ethical dementia. The sport is a perfect example of a functioning underground economy. Players have skills that CBS—to name only the most prominent parasite—values at something over $1 billion a year. Because this is not Soviet Russia, players find ways to get paid for these skills under the table, largely because a preposterous rulebook (and a feast of fat things called the NCAA) works diligently to prevent anyone from getting paid over the table. Since everybody involved in the sport has known this for decades, there’s a lot of the old nudge-nudge, wink-wink going on.

… But even in this culture, which is pretty much what a dockside saloon in Singapore would be if it had shoe contracts and golf outings, John Calipari always has been notable for the baroque happenings that seem to surround his every move. Coaches who have barbered the rulebook like Edward Scissorhands look upon Calipari with a weird mixture of awe and disdain. When he was but a baby brigand in the employ of the University of Pittsburgh, Calipari’s recruiting tactics very nearly incited a general hooley at the Big East’s annual meeting.

During his brief, and clamorously unsuccessful, stint coaching the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, a job he landed because of that UMass Final Four run that doesn’t officially exist any more [it was vacated because of rule-breaking], Calipari enlivened things by calling a reporter a “Mexican idiot.” Then he moved on to Memphis, a university with a proud history of employing coaches whom you would not trust to hang up your coat.

Those southern sports factories… You can’t keep ‘em down…

The Hawaiian Senate Looks at UH Sports.

The Senate is not impressed with the deficits the University of Hawaii sports programs have racked up. [Resolution] SCR 38 urges the university not to raise student fees to balance that budget, noting that students already pay $50 apiece for athletics fees each semester and generally aren’t stoked enough about football to actually attend games.

Just a little nudge from hapless Hawaiian lawmakers to hopeless UH. Even though it’s just a nudge, it won’t go anywhere. No one cares.

“A purely cynical atmosphere is bad for business.”

Whether authorizing the payment of a modest stipend to student-athletes in order to ensure their continued loyalty or penalizing academically noncompliant programs to remind fans that college sports are not simply a farm for professional sports, the NCAA will do whatever it can to preserve its extremely marketable illusions. Absent organizing myths that appeal to casual fans, public interest in a spectator sport will dwindle. A purely cynical atmosphere is bad for business… Revenue-generating college sports will endure as an ungainly appendage to American universities until the precise moment when its costs outweigh its benefits. That day may come sooner rather than later. A chain of unfavorable legal decisions, culminating with a massive judgment award in one or more of the 65 concussion-related lawsuits pending against the NCAA in state and federal courts, could accomplish what a long tradition of media outrage has not been able to: the effacement of a puzzling 100-year marriage between research universities and high-end athletics. Should the plaintiffs prevail in some of these cases, payouts to injured athletes could run into the millions or perhaps even billions of dollars, rendering athletic departments insolvent and unable to continue subsidizing athletic exhibitions of any sort.

While UD agrees with Oliver Bateman that absolutely nothing will change about university revenue sports (beyond these sports plantationizing [Don't think it's a word? Look it up. - And I use it because Taylor Branch calls the revenue sports-mad university a plantation.] our universities yet more than they’ve already been plantationized), she disagrees about the cynicism thing. What more purely cynical atmosphere can you think of in current American culture than professional revenue sports? Professional football, professional basketball, professional baseball… I mean, baseball — are you kidding me? UD barely follows baseball, and every year it’s a race to the bottom to see which component – players, owners, agents – can out-cynical the other. Cynicism is part of the American Master of the Universe mystique (watch the game players in this film) and a national hero like Nick Saban or Bob Knight or Johnny Manziel or Cam Newton is a hero because he’s cynical, not despite the fact that he’s cynical.

(Sports like cycling are definitely bringing up the rear in the matter of sports and cynicism in America. What brought down Lance Armstrong would never bring down a baseball player. Not a really good baseball player. Eventually we’ll come to revere cyclists for their cynicism in the same way we revere other sportsmen for their cynicism.)

There’s no reason to think the illusion of student athletes is what makes university revenue sports profitable. The most profitable university programs are the most professionalized, the most nakedly cynical. These programs will fail – if they fail – due to financially crushing personal injury lawsuits.

College fans only care about the same thing professional fans care about: winning. You’ll find a few rows of drunks freezing their asses off in the stadium waving their school colors, but everyone’s laughing at them.

Even the drunks aren’t in it for whatever the old school thing means. They’re in it to get disorderly.

It’s not the sports program which is an ungainly appendage to the university, but the university which is an ungainly appendage to the sports program, and the university is ungainly because by definition it cannot be purely cynical (it’s a non-profit, and people like Charles Grassley are watching). It can be very cynical indeed, as Gordon Gee made clear when he made the mistake of going public with the absolute cynicism he brings to the concept “university president.” (‘When asked in March 2011 whether the school had considered firing embattled coach Jim Tressel, a grinning Gee said: “No. Are you kidding? Let me just be very clear. I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.“‘)

Many presidents of our present-day Penn States know they owe their job to the politezza of the coach. They are very very very cynical. But unlike Gee they keep it to themselves.

Pro-Education Conspiracy Unmasked!

Of course the American Association of University Professors draws our attention, in a just-issued report, to massive overspending on sports and underspending on academics at American universities. After all:

“This comes from the American Association of University Professors, which has a vested interest in finding that too little money is going to faculty and too much to sports and administration,” [Terry W.] Hartle said.

Let’s not be naive! Get with the program! The AAUP is part of the universities-should-educate-people cartel. Take what they say with a big grain of salt.

‘Josephine Potuto, a University of Nebraska law professor and former chair of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions from 2006 to 2008, said the idea of a sanctioned coach becoming a university president is “unprecedented.” She characterized Tressel’s violations as “very significant.”’

Get used to it. Socialism used to be the “historical inevitability.” That didn’t work out too well. Football and basketball coaches as university presidents will happen. Anyone who looks at American universities can see it coming, and you don’t need to be a fancy social theorist.

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