When you’re the school that made a hero of Johnny Manziel, and when you’ve just hired an assistant coach fired from his last job …

… because, according to the investigative report in the aftermath of the Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito bullying scandal, he

lied to investigators, attempted to convince [the player Incognito bullied] to exonerate Incognito, and [himself] participated in the taunting of players

you might want to be careful. You might want in particular to keep an eye on the coach.

I mean, Manziel was all about bullying plus really disgusting and out of control behavior, all of which the team and the school, from the chancellor on down, not only tolerated but seemed to celebrate… And maybe, you know, it wasn’t such a great idea, reputation-wise, in the immediate aftermath of Manziel, to hire Jim Turner, fresh off being fired from the Dolphins for his apparently very bad behavior with his buddy Incognito.

Another reason you might want to keep an eye on this coach is that he seems rather bitter he’s been forced to lower himself from the big boys to college level ball – he’s filed a big-ass defamation suit against the guy who wrote the report that said bad things about him and Incognito… Seems to be trying to get his own reputation back and maybe ditch his school gig for another professional team. I mean, any school might want to avoid this character…

But Texas A&M, one of this blog’s perennial clown schools, is not any school. Texas A&M is a broad shouldered good ol’ boy football uber alles (though truth be told th’aint much alles there for football to be uber) kinda school and don’t matter to them one bit that they’ve got players like Manziel and coaches like Turner cuz that’s how you win games. Not that the school’s win/loss record looks very good, but, you know, it’s Texas (Rick Perry was an A&M cheerleader) and a boy can dream.

*********

So before I tell you the latest from Texas A&M, it might help to provide a specific example of the kind of guy Jim Turner, recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary from this school, is.

For Christmas 2012, Turner gave all the Dolphins offensive linemen gift bags. Inside the bags were inflatable female dolls. But Turner, knowing that offensive lineman Andrew McDonald was frequently harassed by other linemen with homosexual slurs, gave the tackle a male blow-up doll to join in on the “joke.”

When Turner was asked about the incident that plenty of others recalled without a problem, he said he couldn’t remember.

You see UD‘s point. You’re going to hire a coach with that bad a memory? UD‘s getting on in years, but she’s confident she could remember giving blow up dolls to offensive linemen for Christmas. Notice that “plenty of others” were able to reach back in time and recall that holiday season…

So anyway Texas A&M’s coach hires this guy, this Jim Turner, and gives him a big fat salary, and I don’t find any record of anyone minding… Like, say, maybe, a woman student or two, or a woman professor or two, might find something a little off about the whole thing… But no. The place is almost entirely a football school, and why bother? Turner in fact worked at the school in years past, before he got raised to the big leagues, and his good buddies there took him back and that’s that.

Anyway, not only did this school’s football coach not keep an eye on Jim Turner; he turned his back and let Jim Turner loose on the football team’s vast Texas fan base. He looked the other way while, at a big public event intended to appeal in particular to women, Turner and another assistant coach presented funny material – the sort of material you’d write if for a special seasonal gift to your friends you share the sexual technology that means so much to you – they’d written about women and football. (More images here.)

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

There’s an old New Yorker short story titled Man Here Keeps Getting Arrested All the Time. UD thinks of this title when she thinks of the adorably incorrigible men of Texas A&M – men like Manziel and Turner and lots of others (the school has one of the highest arrest rates among university sports teams) who keep getting suspended and arrested all the time. Turner has just pivoted from being fired by a professional football team for being morally disgusting to being suspended by a university team for being sexually disgusting.

And when his two-week suspension is over?

You know the answer.

His $200,000 raise will be announced.

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

Okay. And ladies? You were offended? You tweeted the images and got ol’ Jimboy in trouble again?

Don’t come looking for sympathy to UD. One of the first safety rules you’re supposed to learn is Be aware of your surroundings. Your (chosen!) surrounding is Texas A&M!

Look for a school that ain’t run by people who slobber over Johnny Manziel and hump latex.

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

As always, things only get really good when the local booster press has time to reflect on things and share its thoughts.

[L]et’s … not blow this out of proportion. [Jeff] Banks and Turner showed bad taste, but they meant well. It was a charity event that raised more than $20,000. It happened Wednesday night, with more than 700 women there, and it didn’t go viral until Friday. So 200 women didn’t email Woodward first thing Thursday looking for blood… [The head football coach, Kevin Sumlin,] should be commended on how A&M has remained off the police blotter recently, for the most part. A&M had seven football players arrested from the end of the 2013 seasons until early June, one of them (Darian Claiborne) arrested three times and another (Isaiah Golden) arrested twice.

A&M has had one arrest since the end of last season, wide receiver Speedy Noil, was driving without a license.

So kudos to Sumlin…

The Things We Do For Love!

Our theme today is the way our universities’ love of football leads them astray, breaks their hearts, and damn near kills their students.

Mad about the boys, some universities import major league bruisers to campus, encourage their violent tendencies (Sign in the football players’ cafeteria at the University of Oregon: EAT YOUR ENEMIES), and even teach them to attack people as a team.

Of course the attack-objects the universities have in mind are opposing players, but ol’ UD has been following university football long enough to know that some players – some groups of players – have vision issues and cannot distinguish between on-field behemoths and skinny twerpy fellow students. If they’ve got a violent coach (we read about one of these about every two weeks) these players are going to be that much more inclined to just go ahead and beat the shit, en masse, out of everybody.

I mean, take a notorious head case coach like Mike Leach. (I’m not gonna rehearse his disgusting history of coaching violence here cuz I ain’t got the stomach for it. Put MIKE LEACH in my search engine and go to town.) Apparently six or more of his Washington State University players last Saturday started throwing lit fireworks at fellow WSU students at a party, and when some students objected, Mike’s guys – teamwork again! – sent all their jawbones flying and brains concussing (Leach himself has quite the history with player concussions).

SING IT WITH ME!!

Too many broken jaws have fallen on the pavement
Too many concussed sons have sued the school for millions
You lay your bets and then you pay the price
The things we do for love, the things we do for love.

They interviewed the father of one of the injured.

[A]fter police make an arrest, he intends to file criminal and civil charges against the individuals responsible for his son’s injuries.

“It’s obviously an unfortunate event. The irony is that my son has always been a WSU football fan. He ran the field when they beat Oregon last year,” Rodriguez said. “When somebody is down on the ground and you kick them in the face, that’s a huge character flaw and it shouldn’t be tolerated by any football program.”

Tolerated? The capacity to kick people in the face when they’re lying unconscious because you sucker punched them is … well, it’s Job #1 at big-time university football, ain’t it? I mean, ain’t that just the kind of guy you’re after when you’re recruiting? Do you think Nebraska had no inkling of psycho Richie Incognito’s … tendencies? They recruited him for them.

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

So. Let’s compare pricing. UD‘s friend John sends her word that the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (already a shining example of what football can do for your school) is going to have to pay about a million dollars in damages and expenses because of their most recently concussed student … and to make things worse, the four guys involved had to sit out one game!

What will WSU – which is willing to pay scary Mike Leach millions and can have no qualms about peeling off more bills on behalf of his violent squad – what will WSU have to choke up to make this go away while keeping the firecracker guys on the field? We’re told at least six players (the WSU newspaper says “between five and twelve“) were involved in one way or another, and there’s also apparently lots of video of the event available to police and lawyers … I’m gonna say about a million even for each of the players, so let’s say seven million… Then there’s WSU’s own attorney fees… And the humongous raise Leach is going to demand for having recruited such amazing players… so make that another two million directly arising from these events…

UD‘s going to predict that WSU will spend another few million on a radical revision of its student orientation program. WSU cannot help but have noticed that at certain other football schools students do not sue when players fuck them up. These students understand that physical injury is part of the price you pay for a really strong football program. Whether rapees or concussees, they understand that you must sacrifice for the team. At schools like WSU, where the word has not yet gotten through, change must start with new students. As part of their introduction to the culture of the school, and to the expectations the school has of them, they need to meet with students from violence-tolerant schools to understand the basis of tolerance, and ultimately to sign pledges releasing their university from any liability that might arise from a player rampage.

UD will close with the most important question of all: If seven of your football players – and maybe some of your best football players – have been suspended from play, what effect will this have on your win/loss ratio?

Here’s what UD has learned about this issue from prior cases. At its worst, a multi-player setback can indeed allow you to lose games. But it’s just as likely to inspire the sort of solidarity and sympathy that make your remaining guys play all the more fiercely.

———————-

Update: The real fun is when the details come out!

For every weapon used, add a hundred thou to Coach Leach’s raise this year.

So – fireworks, yes. But here’s another:

[T]he group had been causing trouble – prying off pieces of a wooden railing

You gotta figure they used those pried-off slabs as blunt objects as they beat the Washington State University students senseless. Another hundred thou for Leach.

*********

From the comments section on one of a thousand articles about WSU’s football players:

So why don’t your players go six on one against another college kid who was just asking them to not throw fireworks at people…

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

This incident spells nothing but trouble for the WSU football program. Not only is it likely that players will be criminally charged for the assaults, it is also likely that other players will be called as witnesses regarding what led up to the assaults and who participated in inflicting the injuries. This can only create turmoil within the program, disrupt team unity, and divide loyalties. A poisonous atmosphere that will make coaching the team more difficult and success on the field more problematic.

[Yes, but UD is optimistic that the lawyer for the player who sucker-punched a student then repeatedly kicked his head while he was unconscious will successfully argue self-defense. Those Washington State juries do love their football.]

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

[Still, some of the locals do have a solid sense of justice.]

Whoever kicked the kid on the growned and who ever broke the kids jaw should probably be kicked off the team.

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

Hopefully we’ll see a reprise of Leach’s punishment tactic of locking players in closets.

[Yes, Leach is famous for having done that. The player was concussed at the time.]

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

Leach is famous for recruiting that kind of player.

[Yup. Also famous for doing that.]

*****************
UD thanks John.

Mother Courage and Her Children

Trump’s dominance politics, his chickenhawk machismo, remains under threat from avenging female angels — the very same sort of women who, during Argentina’s Trump years, gathered in city parks and publicly shamed the generals.

The latest attack comes from the mother of Christopher Stevens, the envoy killed in Benghazi. In a letter to the New York Times, she writes:

As Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s mother, I am writing to object to any mention of his name and death in Benghazi, Libya, by Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party.

I know for certain that Chris would not have wanted his name or memory used in that connection. I hope that there will be an immediate and permanent stop to this opportunistic and cynical use by the campaign.

Stevens’s mother seems to have tired of watching his body picked over by an obscene predator. She asks that it stop.

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

But it won’t. Free speech and all.

By and all I mean that a man missing both mind and heart will be unimpeded by this sort of appeal.

On the contrary, this expression of anguish will excite him to new depths of depravity.

“Bobby Knight Crossed the Line. Bobby Knight CHOKED People.”

But GW’s coach, who happens to be a friend of mine? Abusive? Gimme a break. Total crap. Didn’t happen. And if something maybe did happen, the players are pussies.

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

A bunch of jock-buddies of Mike Lonergan promise us up and down that it’s all lies and there’s much more going on at GW but they’re not in a position to share it with you but when the real story comes out you’ll see it’s all crap.

Hey, at least my university has WITTY abusive coaches!

He told [one player], in front of the team, he should transfer to a “transgender league,” multiple players said.

At some universities, basketball coaches just go ahead and call players cunts or fags. At UD‘s GW, the coach allegedly goes that extra mile, lifts his comment above cliche, looks for a fresh way to say it…

Speaking of saying, though… Faced with some pretty persuasive evidence that GW’s got a real angry paranoid at the helm (don’t make his daughter cry), pulling down one of the highest salaries on campus (Don’t know how much. Will guess. Around $500,000? With this and that, could be a lot more.), UD‘s institution is abundantly not talking.

[GW’s Title IX coordinator] did not return an email, and a school spokesman said he was not available to comment. Interim Provost Forrest Maltzman declined to comment through a spokesman. Despite repeated requests, the school made no officials available for interviews. The school declined to answer questions about its inquiry into [Mike] Lonergan, or even acknowledge it, saying it does not comment on personnel issues as a matter of policy.

——

Brian Sereno, the executive director of athletics communications, did not immediately return the [GW] Hatchet’s request for comment.

——

Hokay! Get the message!

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

Gets a bit colorful now, and UD knows that her readers are sensitive souls. So – SELF-ABUSE WARNING.

Five current and former players said Lonergan told players [GW Athletic Director Patrick] Nero requested the practice tapes so he could masturbate while viewing them in his office. The players said Lonergan also told them Nero had engaged in a sexual relationship with a member of the team. Players said they found those comments to be shocking and offensive, with no grounding in reality.

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

You’re expecting some concluding words of wisdom?

Oh, go ask Bobby Knight and Mike Rice and the rest of them. They’ll tell you what it takes to win.

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

Actually, UD does have some words of comfort for GW, as this story rapidly goes viral.

You know you’re one of the big boys when a whacked out scandal about your allegedly whacked out coach hits the mainstream media. You cannot buy the sort of publicity the school is about to get. Think of what that Saturday Night Live thing about Mike Rice did for Rutgers (start at 1:00)

(Lonergan recently turned down a job offer from the selfsame Rutgers. People there seem to think they, uh, dodged a bullet. A second bullet.)

But okay look let’s take that last bit out of its parenthesis so that UD can share with you the following thought. This country is close to hiring as head coach a man just like Rice and Knight (Knight was in fact invited to speak at the Republican convention) and (allegedly) Lonergan and the scads of other abusive and twisted university coaches UD has followed over the years of this blog.

Every time Donald Trump steps on the brutality gas he wins more votes. Every time coaches step on the brutality gas they win more games.

It is quite obviously the way you win.

Because for every one sadist, there’s apparently one million masochists.

I have no idea what to do about it. Just noting it.

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

Here’s a tweet:

Don’t know why coaches and schools refuse comments in these situations.

So yeah it’s odd and dumb to say nothing even as the story goes really really big. UD will tell you, if, like this guy, you don’t know why there’s this initial silence, what’s going on.

Think lots of moving parts. As we speak, an extremely large and complex institution is gathering and consulting with amazing numbers and types of people. Lawyers. Public relations experts. Players. University spokespeople. Administrators. Coaches. Trustees. Boosters. Atlantic 10 people. NCAA people.

You better believe that Lonergan is also lawyering up like mad. People like Lonergan are not in the business of losing. Lonergan is just like the Ur-Lonergan, who says

“We’re going to win so much. You’re going to get tired of winning. you’re going to say, ‘Please Mr. President, I have a headache. Please, don’t win so much. This is getting terrible.’ And I’m going to say, ‘No, we have to make America great again.’ You’re gonna say, ‘Please.’ I said, ‘Nope, nope. We’re gonna keep winning.’

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

And all of this is taking place in the typical university context of interim provosts and ever-rotating deans and presidents who have just announced they’re leaving. Yet you need one strong singular voice in crises like these. It’s gonna take a bit of work.

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

But wait, UD! Wait!

How did it happen?

Okay, so here’s the drill. Ambitious university is all agog because it’s got a respectable basketball team that brings in fans and revenue and attracts media attention. Sure, they’ve heard reports that suggest the coach may be el mayorly crazed motherfucker, but what coach isn’t? Bobby Knight threw chairs at people and today he’s an elder statesman. Florid complaints start to come in from the players, but it’s just a few malcontents and anyway when they get truly pissed they leave the program. Problem solved.

And now the new amazing contract with all that money, and the wins, and the adulation, have, let’s speculate, made the coach feel his methods are brilliant and he can get away with anything (see Coach Trump). His behavior maybe becomes so bizarre that a critical mass of players finally goes public with the problem.

The university now desperately needs a run and gun game, but because they’ve been in denial all they can do is dribble while Rome burns.

Stupid, Insane, and Southern

“There’s this idea, primarily coming from alumni and boosters, that you can put enough money into a team and turn it into a powerhouse success story,” Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College, said. “But that becomes more and more unrealistic with each passing year. It’s a fool’s errand, but people are crazy about football, so they keep trying.”

The trend, Zimbalist said, is predominantly located in the southern United States, where the “culture is very football dominant.”

… In its first season as an FBS team, Georgia State won zero games. The following year, it won one. Last season, the team won six of its 13 games… [A]verage attendance plummeted from the previous season’s 15,000 to 10,000.

… “I think we’re right where we should be from a competitive standpoint,” [said Georgia State’s AD].

… “It’s almost impossible to make this leap [to big-time football],” Zimbalist said. “It’s not rational to think otherwise. But if rationality was all that was at play here, this would have stopped a long time ago.”

… “[In the South, there’s the feeling that] if you don’t have a football team, then you’re somehow not a real campus, [said Mark Nagel, a sports management professor at the University of South Carolina,] and you are not on par with other schools. That emotion takes control.”

“The ruling could leave the university without tens of millions of dollars it planned on recouping for settlement amounts that have already been paid out.”

But come on.

Price of doing football, America! A bargain at twice the price!

‘Fighting For Money, Penn State Exhibits Staggering Vileness Again’

Headline of the day.

And hey how ’bout that college football, huh?

‘“Is it accurate that Coach Paterno quickly said to you, ‘I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff [Jerry Sandusky had just penetrated the complainant’s rectum with his finger], I have a football season to worry about?’” the man’s lawyer asked him in 2014. “Specifically. Yes . . . I was shocked, disappointed, offended. I was insulted. . . I said, is that all you’re going to do? You’re not going to do anything else?” Paterno, the man testified, just walked away.’

(Sing it with me.)

——————–

If you see me at the football camp
And I cry about an anal cramp
Walk on by, walk on by

Make believe
That you don’t see the tears
Just let me grieve
In private ’cause each time I see you
I break down and cry

Walk on by (don’t stop)
Walk on by (don’t stop)
Walk on by

I just can’t get over the anal rape
And so if I seem like I’ve been in a scrape
Walk on by, walk on by

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

UD thanks David.

“[I]f you go back and review the seven arrests involving Georgia players in less than four months, you’ll see that three of them came after the offenders were given a second chance.”

Life of the mind, University of Georgia.

O Holy Knight!

[Trumper Warning]

[Sing it with me.]

O Bobby Knight

The nominee is calling

From coast to coast you’re the best he could do

Yes you’re a star

But you are not six-sided

So no one here will mistake you for a Jew

We need you so

Our polling stats are falling

Punch up our show

As you punched out your teams

Throw us a chair!

O sucker punch our children!

O Knight Divine! O night when Trump is crowned!

O Knight Divine! O Knight, O Knight Divine!

A CBS Sports Reporter Pays a Visit to Happy Valley…

… where two hundred former Penn State football players have sent a letter to the school demanding the return of the Joe Paterno statue.

This is just the latest public eruption of the festering madness infecting the school, as Paterno cultists within the board of trustees itself continue an unfortunate propaganda campaign in a vain attempt to make decades of rapes un-happen. Such wild truther-ism has found traction in central Pennsylvania, enough to entice Donald Trump to court them at a recent campaign event. Indeed, a Public Policy Polling poll in the state finds strong correlation between those who support Trump and still venerate Paterno, indicating a special combination of white, male, angry and stupid — all too fertile ground for dangerous, willful ignorance…

This letter is a vile and direct affront to [Jerry] Sandusky’s victims, with these players attempting to use their standing within the football program as some kind of positive status, despite its complicity in harboring Sandusky for years. The playing days for the letter’s signatories spans from the 1950s through the 2010s, covering entirely Sandusky’s time on campus, which began in 1963.

These players don’t care that for nearly half a century, Penn State football incubated child rape. Joe Paterno was Penn State football, and it was okay with him that his program was being used by a serial predator to abet and shield violent crimes.

Rational people outside this troubled community will never understand the psychological pathology that continues to drive efforts to create a more palatable alternate history.

The writer takes the effing nuts route, which sounds right to UD, although she’d add, in the case of some of the signees, repeated concussions.

If you add stupid (“white, male, angry and stupid”), you end up with a tripartite etiology: psychosis; concussion; stupidity. It’s not clear that anyone’s mind could withstand that onslaught.

Buy the bitches off and get the ball rolling!

The University of Tennessee gears up for another great season.

“Kansas Cut Taxes to Stimulate Economy, Now in Record Debt”

But take heart: There’s still enough for the governor and his friends to fly to university football games on the public dime.

A Very Curious Red State Dispatch

A local commentator in Oklahoma says there’s almost nothing in that state “to cheer for.” He says that by almost any quality of life standard Oklahoma looks terrible.

Instead of asking what in l’esprit d’Oklahome might account for this outcome, the writer proceeds to thank the state’s lucky stars for its football teams.

OU and OSU football have become sources of state pride at a time you can scarcely find them anywhere else.

But… Shouldn’t the guy be asking how it was that Oklahoma got stuck with 70,000 square miles of meh plus two university football teams?

Ask any chancellor, elected official or traveling businessperson and they’ll tell you — nothing has a bigger impact on the perception of universities or the states in which they educate than their sports teams. In Oklahoma, that means their football teams.

The general perception of Oklahoma, for reasons the writer lists (terrible schools, horrible health indicators, over-full prisons… he didn’t have time to mention stuff like the fact that the state’s senior senator showed climate change is a hoax by bringing a snowball to the senate chamber), is bad. If football teams had the biggest impact imaginable on the public perception of a state, Oklahoma would be right up there with Massachusetts and its… university football teams?

I mean I dunno. Some problems with logic here.

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