The Life of the Mind …

… at the University of Florida.

[Several University of Florida football] players were alleged to have to taken part in a scheme that saw them purchase electronic products with school-issued [student aid] debit cards before selling them for cash. While this practice is not uncommon in college football, the Gators’ players then went to university officials to report their cards stolen, triggering a school investigation into possible credit card fraud. After investigation officials deemed the cards were not stolen and looked into the purchases, they found the players at fault for misusing funds given to them.

Here’s more on one of the guys, the team’s “top play-maker,” Antonio Calloway.

This is not the first time Callaway has faced suspension during his time at Florida. He was suspended last spring amid sexual assault allegations. Callaway was accused of sexual assault in December of 2015 but testified that he was “high on marijuana” during the incident and was “so stoned I had no interest in having sex with anyone.”

Your education tax dollars at work.

VIRGINIA YECH FIGHT SONG

(See post below this one for details.)

You have made the mastiffs bleed out
You have made the pit bulls die
Our honored Michael Vick
Makes these innocent creatures cry.
Worthy football hero!
We honor you today
May our sons and daughters
Imitate your ways.

[Interlude]
OH, YECH!
OH, BLECH!
Y!O!U!D!I!S!G!U!S!T!M!E!
YOU DISGUST ME

See? Sometimes There’s Pushback.

I noted in this recent post our country’s almost total amorality when it comes to football heroes. This is what I mean:

Virginia Tech is so impressed with animal torturer Michael Vick it’s putting him in its hall of fame.

To the shock of seemingly everyone involved in this decision, numerous anti-Vick petitions are gaining tens of thousands of signatures. After all, Vick graduated from Virginia Tech!

Haha I mean he failed to graduate – another point of honor I guess… Executes non-performing dogs, college dropout… convicted felon… If that’s not a man of honor, what is?

The honor will go through despite the petitions, believe me. We’re talking virtually total amorality when it comes to football.

But it doesn’t hurt to sign them.

Anti-Freeze

UD could care less about sports of any kind (exception: competitive Scrabble), but she’ll say this: Her need to read about athletics for this blog at least led her to Deadspin. Who knew some of the best writing in America would come out of this funny, subversive, knowledgeable, source? Deadspin has taught UD much of what she’s learned about the lingo and lunacy of the jock shop, and along the way it has delighted her not only with its literacy, but also its amused embrace of the ultra-loucheness of this thing that has taken over – of all places – our universities.

Nobody notices or cares when professional soccer, football, and basketball are disgusting. We only pay attention at the very grossest margins, as when an NFL player tortures his dog to death. Moral monstrosity on the level of mere money registers not at all, as in the failure of the FIFA story, or the related story about the apparently universal tax evasion of international soccer players, to get anywhere at all. Who cares. Put a bunch of guys together with a lot of money and surprise.

But the university. Ah the university. Little streamers of seriousness continue to flutter ‘pon it. Wilted garlands of gravitas shake aloft their dying buds. The Sacred Groves of Academe! When a university reveals its true rot, as in the moral desert of (in effect) all-male Baylor, the extremity of response – A new woman president! Who, asked why she took the job, says “I love Jesus.” – tells you all you need to know about the effort required to keep stray wisps of legitimacy flying.

But I don’t want to overstate the matter

So people do indeed tend to notice the truly debauched campus. Whorehouse-for-teens-and-their-parents proprietor University of Louisville is the higher ed scuzz-meme of the moment, cited in a kind of shorthand in many articles about other athletic scandals; indeed, it’s mentioned in a wonderful Deadspin piece about Hugh Freeze, a guy who has a lot in common with the miscreants at Baylor, being both a superduper Christian and a (reportedly) twisted piece of shit.

Ole Miss, ex-haunt of football coach Freeze [background here], has many advantages when it comes to ultra-louche supremacy on a university campus, the most important of which is its location in the most corrupt, most benighted, state in America. Nobody much cares what goes on down there, and this includes the people who run the state. So the tired business of boosters giving impermissible benefits to players, and similar venerable forms of corruption, continue to thrive at Ole Miss, which means the NCAA’s always sniffing around. The general air of loucheness in a steamy south that time forgot, plus William Faulkner having lived in Oxford, means that people often reach in the direction of his novels (with special attention to the Snopes family) to, er, contextualize some of the goings on, as Deadspin notes in a wonderful summarizing paragraph:

The revelation of Freeze’s possible sex-having brought its fair share of confused hilarity [to observers], but did little to outline the future of either of Ole Miss’s ongoing, convoluted [legal] cases with [former former Ole Miss coach suing Freeze for defamation Houston] Nutt and the NCAA. There were (are) still a number of questions to be answered — namely, how Nutt and [his lawyer Thomas] Mars knew exactly where to look [for dirt on Freeze]; whether anybody comparing this case to a William Faulkner novel actually read a William Faulkner novel; how long Freeze was possibly using school technology and school funds to maybe fuck; how far back into his career Freeze’s general misbehavior extends; whether Freeze was even the one doing the fucking; whether Ole Miss know about Freeze’s extracurriculars beforehand; and how Nutt’s legal team will use this information moving forward.

That one about whether Freeze was actually doing the fucking: There’s a theory that the calls on his phone to an escort service might have been on behalf of a recruit…

UD does think the Faulkner comparison works, since he wrote convoluted stories like this one, about vague imperishable grudges among unsavory people, like these people.

The phrase about how far back Freeze’s misbehavior extends: The Deadspin piece includes some way-twisted testimony about the way Freeze behaved when he coached a women’s high school basketball team.

One woman [says that] Freeze forced her to change shirts in his office, claiming her Grateful Dead shirt violated the school dress code because it “represented drugs.” At the time, [she] was in eighth grade; according to her, Freeze did not leave the room while she changed.

“Coach Freeze pulled me in his office and told me that my shirt represented drugs. … I said, ‘I’ll go change in the bathroom,’ and when I said that he said, ‘No, you’re going to change in here so I get the (Grateful Dead) shirt and you can’t have it back.’

He didn’t do anything sexual. But I stood in the corner and faced the wall when I did it and I changed out of my shirt. No privacy.”

Another student, remaining anonymous, claimed Freeze was “hyper attentive” when it came to making sure the girls’s skirts adhered to school policy. She also claimed that on one occasion, when she was late getting back to class from her lunch period, Freeze obliged her request to be paddled rather than sit in detention; instead of fetching a female administrator to complete or at least proctor the punishment, Freeze paddled her himself.

“(Freeze) did some bizarre warm-up taunt before actually making contact,” said the woman, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because she said she fears reprisal. “I was humiliated that he didn’t have a female in the room. I don’t know if the acts were intentionally sexual or if he was really that oblivious to the inherently sexual nature of his approach to discipline.”

‘“It is no longer debatable whether or not there is a problem in football — there is a problem,” Dr. McKee said.’

Yeah, yeah, it makes your brain mush... But it also pays for four years of a fine college education!

Something about Bjork on Mars, and Some Guy’s Frozen Nuts…?

UD‘s having trouble making sense of this story. Give her a moment.

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

And here’s the obligatory I AM STUNNED TO DISCOVER THAT A (choose one from Column A)

FOOTBALL COACH

BASKETBALL COACH

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

is a super-sanctimonious-Christian fraud! You never see that combination at our universities! You never see a noisy pious moral scold who turns out to be a greedy horny cheating little shit!

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

Hearken, ye sinners! O list, ye lost ones!

The Hugh Freeze saga at Ole Miss haveth everything. It haveth the alleged recruiting violations, the former player on the holy draft night of 2016 who telleth of the cash payments, the aggrieved former coach (Houston Nutt), the disciples from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, the lawyers, the escort service, the “misdial” to the escort service, the suggestion from the athletic director that perhaps the “misdial” was part of a “pattern.”

It haveth the mingling of the gods on the fields and the gods in the sky.

“I don’t stand over them, make them do it,” coach Freeze sayeth of his players and his religion to Kent Babb of The Washington Post in 2014. “Certainly they hopefully see that it’s important to me and maybe the way I live and the way these other coaches live. Maybe it attracts them to it.”

The Twitter feed of the man from Independence, Miss., doth lineth with his Bible.

Here we seeeth the juxtaposition that will never stop astounding, the one that has breathed through the whole story of this most American of games since Rutgers playeth Princeton in 1869 and the legend goes that a witnessing professor hollereth: “You men will come to no Christian end!”

Here, a grubby game (and deliciously so) intersects with a peacocky purity.

No Rapists on the Front Porch?

Big-time athletics, we’re told again and again by its boosters, is the front porch of the university — that’s their favorite cliche. It means sports are by far the most visible part of the institution, and they should be financially supported big-time because they’re the first point of contact for potential students. A winning football team makes the number of applicants rise dramatically – or so people claim. This might not really be true. Or it might be true, but the additional applicants might turn out to be jocks who wouldn’t be accepted anyway.

But anyway. That’s not our focus here. Our focus is the pesky little problem of rapists and other varieties of sex offenders among the recruiting classes for big-time university sports. (Of course, it’s not just the players; there’s plenty of rape to go around when you’re a major football school.). It’s a pesky problem because after all especially if you’re talking football you want a big big bruiser of a guy who’s incredibly aggressive on the field – and while most such types will confine their aggression to the game, some number of them reliably will not. Hence all the football-player rape trials always going on.

But if you’re a coach you’re totally incentivized to – er – overlook said bruiser’s history of sexual misbehavior, and to exploit all that testosterone-rage on the gridiron. If the coach is lucky enough to be on a conceal carry campus he can try redirecting his player’s sex-rage to pistol-rage and let him shoot his gun off all over town rather than his dick.

And yes, yes, I know there are problems connected to the gun solution; of course there are problems … But, for instance, a group of students at Washington State University has asked that school to deal with the sexual rage problem, never mind the gun problem…

The leaders of three student groups at Washington State University recently sent a letter to president Kirk Schulz and athletic director Bill Moos asking the school to implement a policy regarding the recruitment of athletes.

The letter, sent June 28, urges the university to have a policy that prevents “the recruitment of any athlete with a history of sexual violence.”

It refers to “those who have pled guilty to or been convicted of dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault, or sexual violence.”

A quick review of this blog’s posts on WSU indicates that its primary problem among athletes is their propensity to beat the living shit out of random fellow students and townies. It didn’t help matters that for a time WSU even boasted twisted, violent Mike Leach as coach. But no doubt these students – the ones requesting that WSU not recruit sex criminals – are responding to the fact that there may be sexual problems as well.

So… UD will predict that after extended dithering WSU will very self-righteously announce that it’s compelled to admit plausible applicants who have paid their debt to society and we’re really sorry but we’re not going to do anything. Being at a jock school, after all, means willingly assuming certain risks, like getting beaten up or raped by an athlete. Small price to pay for a winning season.

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

UD thanks Seelye.

Oh, the beauty of it all. Oh, the great brave coach.

Let us all applaud that great good man, University of Oregon football coach Willie Taggart, for having the courage and moral clarity to dismiss a very valuable player from the team. Let us all read this testimonial in the local booster press about this heroic coach, who just said no to Darren Carrington. No, you might be a great player, but there are moral standards here, and we uphold them, dammit.

**********

Let’s not look too closely, though, at precisely how UO football does the morality thing. UD is the last person to want to bring up the fact that they kept Carrington on the team after he

1. broke a visiting UO alum’s arm in an act of unprovoked violence;

2. failed an NCAA-run drug test; and

3. “was cited by Eugene police for having an open container of alcohol while underage.”

No, no, all that was fine. Break an arm or two – no problem. But while using your massive footballer bulk to practically tear the arm off of a student is fine, fucking up a McDonald’s drive-through with your car is apparently the last straw. Students are just students; McDonald’s is not only private property, but a sacred symbol of what’s best about this land. You don’t come back from fucking up a McDonald’s drive-through.

Auburn, Alabama, Athanasia

Commentary on the plot of an ongoing work of speculative fiction:

In 2026, … on Earth, people stopped dying or being born, meaning that the future world is populated by eight billion or so adults who have been left to confront the blessings and curses of immortality. To pass all that time, many Americans have turned to football, contorting it in a variety of strange ways to suit their new reality. People play thousands of simultaneous games, most of which take place over many years and cover extreme long distances — say, from Washington State to the Mexican border. In one of the story’s funniest sequences, two teams are stuck against the walls of a narrow canyon, both unable to move the ball but neither willing to stop playing. The great joke of the story, at once darkly comic and hopeful, is that men and women, faced with eternity and all its possibilities, have decided simply to fall back on the familiar comforts of the country’s favorite sport. Like the space probes processing the information sent out from the people back on Earth, they have nothing left to do but, as Pioneer 9 puts it, “perpetually hang out.” And so, everywhere and for all time, it’s football night in America.

… [For] the doomed people of this American future, “Boredom is their only enemy. And they get up in the morning and fight it every day of their eternal lives. Recreation and play sustains them. Football sustains them.” In what might be the most striking chapter so far, called “An answered prayer,” a video pans over the curvature of the Earth while playing audio of the announcer Verne Lundquist calling the famous final sequence of a game between the Universities of Alabama and Auburn in 2013. This glimmer of a moment has been transmitted out into the universe, to float on forever.

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

Reminds UD of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, only there the sports obsession (car racing, not football) was about time rapidly running out — nuclear fallout has destroyed the entire world north of Australia and is rapidly reaching Australia itself. But there’s the same underlying motivation: boredom, anxiety, despair.

In Search of a Disqualifier in Escambia County, Florida

Tate High Athletic Director Mitch Ashford won’t face disciplinary action from the Escambia County School District despite being arrested this week on charges of larceny and fraud.

Ashford was arrested Wednesday morning by the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, who executed a warrant on behalf of Escambia County. It was the third time in four years that Ashford has been arrested on various charges related to contracting work.

… “We had our attorneys look at it, it’s a civil matter that is not connected to the students or the school district,” said Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas. “From what I can see, it’s a non-disqualifying offense. The only way I can suspend an employee is if the offense is a disqualifier.”

You’d think at that level of play they’d know…

… not to use their hands.

Revenge of the Perverted Little Tarts

The chair of the board of trustees at Baylor University who wrote a now nationally notorious email calling women students who drink alcohol “perverted little tarts” has done his bit to help Baylor know when to fold ’em. Why bother resisting the zillion sex discrimination lawsuits from women students with which that school is now dealing, when every day another high-ranking sexist asshole on campus gets, er, exposed?

People like good ol’ boy Buddy Jones are making these women’s arguments for them, and ain’t nothin Baylor can do but cough up the cash. Again and again and again. There are many of these lawsuits, and Baylor’s almost certainly going to have to settle every one of them.

Why?

Because the claims in them are jaw-droppingly legitimate. And because even if they’re not, Baylor University can’t afford the optics of going to court.

“Doe is receiving interest from Cincinnati, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Memphis, and USF.”

Oh goody. Here’s an opportunity to see which American university decides to recruit a high school football player who has just been arrested for armed robbery.

Cincinnati, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Memphis, USF… hm… hm… Who will be the winner?

UD says: MEMPHIS!

Hell, if he’d only upgraded to calling them cunts, he’d be president today.

But ol’ Buddy ol’ pal — echt Wacoan, echt Baylor trustee, echt pious hypocrite (“[Ken] Starr … chronicled frustration with Jones in a recent book. Starr almost resigned in 2011 after Jones made a crude remark about the Baylor Alumni Association at a Baylor football game…”) — inexplicably restricted himself to calling female Baylor students who drank at a party (none, apparently, were underage) “perverted little tarts.”

Then-Baylor University Regent Neal “Buddy” Jones referred to female students he suspected of drinking alcohol as “perverted little tarts,” “very bad apples,” “insidious and inbred” and “the vilest and most despicable of girls” in 2009 emails to a faculty adviser, according to documents filed in a Title IX lawsuit against the university.

Ten alleged sexual assault victims suing Baylor attached the emails in a Friday legal filing to show a culture “using the alcohol policy as a pretext to shame, silence and threaten to expel a female student.”

Cunt and tart are both monosyllabic, and both end in T, but if you want to be president of the United States, not just a former Baylor trustee and current national laughingstock, you’re going to have to go all the way, like Mr. Trump.

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

Buddy Jones – Bobby Lowder reincarnate – is Baylor. Know what I mean? You wanna know the deep structure, the god’s own truth, of a university, you take a good look at Buddy Jones, moral scold, sexist pig, and his state’s third-biggest water hog. Just like Ken Starr, he’s a walking talking religious hypocrisy doll; and boy do he sure hate women.

Buddy ain’t too bright when it comes to committing his thoughts to email. I mean, he knows enough to ask his correspondents to keep the emails private, but he doesn’t seem to understand the unlikelihood of this approach to privacy working.

In the 2009 correspondence, Jones also asked Davis to remove his name and comments from the email and wrote that his comments “are meant solely for you,” adding that at least one of the women should face expulsion.

Davis responded to Jones that day, saying the photos chronicling an engagement party did not include minors.

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

So here comes all that correspondence for all of us to read – onaccounta oodles of never-ending Baylor rape trials and their evidence – and we get a good look at what we already knew: Southern sports factories are typically run by endless layers of assholes. The management structure of these schools is like that dim sum dish, thousand layer cake, only here it’s thousand layer assholes. Art Briles, Ken Starr, Buddy Jones – a whole royal asshole family ran Baylor, and now the place is trying to replace them with less assholery, but we’ve got a tradition here, people.

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

For earlier posts on the asshole triumvirate, go here.

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

NEW BAYLOR FIGHT SONG

(sing it with me)

Perverted Little Tarts!
Perverted Little Tarts!
Drunk and slutty through the years
Seducing with their arts!
They tempt our jocks and bring them low
Then claim that they were raped
Lord guide us as we courtward go
And pray that nothing got taped.

You learn how to read these after awhile.

Darren Carrington, a [University of Oregon] senior wide receiver, was arrested early Saturday morning on misdemeanor DUI charges. Carrington was arrested at 3:15am after his car collided with a McDonald’s drive-thru …

Carrington [broke] a man’s arm the night before Halloween while dressed as The Joker. He failed a drug test before the 2015 National Championship Game and was suspended the first 6 games of last season. In October 2015 he was cited for an open container. [BUT!!!] Carrington had 43 catches and 5 touchdowns last season.

In other words: The kid stays in the picture.

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