‘It’s kind of the American dream for a lot of people, a working class fantasy, the chance to walk off your steady job that makes you miserable … taking care to not just burn the bridge with your employer, but to napalm the shit out of that bridge on your way out the door, middle fingers waving, while your coworkers applaud.’

TrendingOn-field retirements in the NFL … Half the ticket-holders leave at halftime; why not players too? New staff specialization: Stay in the Game Coaches exhort wavering players to win one last one for the Gipper, while from just behind the sidelines phalanxes of Estate Planners rush the field…

“Breaking News: Drake Davis receives scholarship offer from Baylor.”

The witty commenters at Deadspin do it again, as Louisiana State University finally dumps professional girlfriend beater, Drake Davis.

But of course it won’t be Baylor that gives him a scholarship, much as that self-righteous institution adores violent men. It’ll be East Central Southern Mississippi All Praise To Our Savior Junior College.

“I am not suggesting anyone use the burning bed approach for dealing with an abusive man, but it was effective, and it is a fact that they do all eventually go to sleep.”

LOLOLOLOL

Football! All for Football!

In the span of a few weeks, my university announced completing a new $2 million giant scoreboard for the basketball arena replacing four small but perfectly functioning scoreboards, finished a new $6 million “academic center” ostensibly to provide athletes (but no non-athletes) a luxurious place to study but importantly also to host game day alcohol-driven hospitality for gung-ho athletic boosters, many of whom probably have no idea where the school library is. It also paid Howard University $350,000 so it could beat them (barely) in football, enhancing the probability of becoming “bowl eligible,” giving it the right to play, at some meaningful additional cost, some other second tier team in some obscure location in early January before perhaps 10,000 fans. Simultaneously, students were sweltering in the largest classroom building on campus because the undoubtedly ancient air conditioning decided to temporarily die.

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

Sing it, brother.

Football, all for Football
All I am and have and ever hope to be
Football, all for Football
All I am and have and ever hope to be

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into your hands
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into your hands

For it’s only in my team that I am free
For it’s only in my team that I am free

Football, all for Football
All I am and have and ever hope to be
Football, all for Football
All I am and have and ever hope to be

“There are all sorts of ways to try and explain how an NFL team in one of the country’s biggest markets fails to fill its stadium for the first home game of the season—the high cost of tickets, traffic, worries about Hurricane Florence, the generally bad experience of attending a live NFL game…”

The Redskins – UD‘s local team, I guess – go the way of most football lately (university and professional); and UD finds it refreshing that Deadspin‘s writer just says it: “the generally bad experience of attending a live NFL game.”

I mean, UD figured she was weird when, having scored a coveted ticket to a Redskins game a few years ago from a friend of a friend, and having even gotten good seats, she sat next to her comatose husband and did two New York Times acrostics. In the blurry pit down there, anonymous, heavy-suited men staggered en masse a few feet forward and a few feet back for what felt like hours. All around her in the stands, people acted like jerks — they were just as bored as Les UDs, but they were also drunk. Life felt tedious and hardly worth living.

And you think it’s bad in the NFL! University football games, with very few exceptions, are really emptying out.

You have to beat up a woman at least seventeen times to get thrown off the Louisiana State University football team.

Four, five, six, beatings won’t do. They’ll suspend you while you’re working your way through the legal system, sure, but that’s it. None of this Me Too nonsense at LSU; a man’s a man, and a football player’s a tackler.

So wide receiver Drake Davis was just arrested for multiply beating his girlfriend (an LSU student) while out on bail for having beaten his girlfriend, and I think he’s up to six arrests at this point but whatever the number he’s clearly well under the number of beatings that would trigger any serious punishment from LSU football.

A word of advice for Davis: See if you can keep it around fifteen. Fifteen is perilously close to seventeen, and I’m thinking seventeen is the absolute limit for LSU.

*******

Local commentators are wiping their brows and wringing their hands over Davis and certain others on the team.

The presence of three LSU Tigers in the toils of the law raises obvious questions about the team’s cultural values.

Pretty hoitsy toitsy phrase you got there, fella… Cultural Values… Are you uncertain if they have them, or are you wondering what they are?

UD thinks she can distill them down to something very very simple:

Louisiana State University will recruit absolutely anyone who can play football. It does not give a shit if its players beat up its students.

You sort of have to brace yourself for an article titled “The Moral Catastrophe at Michigan State.”

Are you braced?

Then let’s go.

[One of dozens of lawsuits against MSU] contends that [now-jailed MSU athletics physician Larry] Nassar raped someone — a former MSU field-hockey player who was 18 years old at the time — in 1992 and filmed the act while doing so. [I]t alleges that MSU — and, specifically, George Perles, a current member of MSU’s board of trustees who served as the university’s athletic director at the time of the rape — went “to great lengths to conceal this conduct.”

The article cites ESPN’s extensive reporting on a university-wide culture that for years enabled Nassar’s student-rapes.

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

Ask yourself. Why is Perles on a university board of trustees? What sort of a university puts an AD/football coach on their board?

The sort of university that believes its athletics program is the most important thing about it, and wants the hushing up of the program’s many scandals to take place at the highest levels. MSU chose to give an AD/coach who already had a record of significant infractions a position as a trustee. Think about that.

Think about the long reign of Auburn’s Bobby Lowder (background on Lowder in these posts). The model, at these and other morally catastrophic jockshops, is a virtually all-male culture of sexual entitlement, cronyism, and secrecy. It’s how you get Penn State and Baylor and the University of Kansas and too many other catastrophes to mention.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm Salutes the Superintendent of Terrell County Texas Schools…

… for use of passive voice above and beyond the call of duty. In response to a more than ordinarily ugly fight among players – and a coach!- at a recent football game, she wrote the following:

The incidents that occurred at the Sanderson v. Marfa football game on Friday, September 7th are unfortunate and embarrassing for both communities and school districts. There were actions by both teams that were unacceptable. The appropriate notifications have been made to UIL and TEA. The district will review the incident. Once all the facts are gathered, a decision regarding necessary actions will be taken. Until that time, and based on what is known now, we support our coaching staff.

Ya gotta admit that when it comes to failing even to touch on the subject of her statement – i.e., to use the word fight – the woman is punching above her weight. The incidents that occurred is so wondrous a phrase in its avoidance of actuality that even here, in her very first words, she sets a standard. There were actions by both teams that were unacceptable. Let’s not say what they were. And let’s use the passive voice: actions by both teams.. What actions? Don’t ask.

Notifications have been made. Who made them? What do you mean by notifications? Teams, not people, attacked other… teams. And the district will review… Do you mean you? The superintendent? Teams, district — keep it vaguely corporate and the appalling immediacy of students and their coach beating the shit out of people on a football field disappears. Once the facts are gathered, a decision will be taken. Gathered by whom? What sorts of decisions are available? Who will make them? Where are we…? What is known….? Who knows it…?

Let’s translate into English.

The Friday fight at the Sanderson v. Marfa football game on Friday, September 7th angered and embarrassed all of us. Players on both teams attacked other players, and even a coach reportedly joined the fight. After I review footage, and talk to participants and witnesses, I’ll decide on punishments.

Note that SOS has dropped the superintendent’s last sentence. It’s dumb and unnecessary for her to pick sides when she just made clear she doesn’t know the full story.

‘[The University of Mississippi] athletic foundation’s assistant director of development … said the tailgating experience wasn’t set up to earn money but to provide a family-friendly [experience].’

‘Course, ‘family friendly,’ in the heart of the heart of the southland, might not be exactly what a coastal elite like UD would envision…

Truth be told, Jewish blueish UD has never, after all these years blogging about them, been able to make much sense of red-state tailgating qua tailgating; and the latest documentary evidence from Ole Miss hasn’t helped her along any.

I mean, before we go to the tape, and before we consider tailgating as such: Is it family friendly to break pretty much every NCAA rule? Repeatedly? Is the school’s last football coach, super-Christian Hugh Freeze, with his staggering lies and corruption, and his, uh, sexual issues, family friendly? Was the school’s large-scale racist rally after Obama won the presidency family-friendly?

Okay, and is an “all-out brawl” at the school’s last tailgate family friendly?

UD acknowledges that everyone in the video is well-dressed. She acknowledges a preponderance of chinos and polo shirts. This models, in a family-friendly way, good personal grooming for the next generation. But what are the children at the tailgate making of grown men, drunk out of their minds in the middle of the day in public, smashing each others’ faces bloody to the rattle of a thousand giant red plastic alcohol cups?

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

I wonder if Ole Miss wonders why attendance at its games is tanking. Maybe this Ole Miss student can explain it.

‘The announced [Idaho State University] crowd of 5,062 on Friday against Western State Colorado marked the third consecutive decline in home attendance for a Bengals football home opener. Many fans followed the suggested whiteout protocol, but over half of Holt Arena’s multicolored seats were vacant, giving the crowd the look of a half-bleached laundry load.’

Comment from ISU’s interim AD:

“Our community has demonstrated that they love their Bengal athletics. There’s just no question. I can see that from a mile away …”

The Democratization of American Football, cont’d.

Once again, everyone gets a chance to run down the field!

‘I’m on automatic I’ve heard it all before … But I’m still here … Now isn’t that strange – I can’t find the reason… So I can’t find the cure.’

How long can a university football program remain on automatic?

A hollowed-out, expensive, stadium; a perennially losing team; staggering costs to students and faculty; a statewide embarrassment… Yet on it goes, tearing down the reputation and finances of a university forever and ever.

Take University of Kansas football. This 2015 article called the program “doomed,” but it wasn’t, even though the millionaire coaches, million-dollar buyouts, and on-field losses continue.

Increased football spending was supposed make more money for the entire Kansas athletic department. It has not. Instead, there has been a domino effect of failure: Kansas is second to last in the Big 12 in the number of men’s and women’s teams it fields…

This fall, Kansas fans figure to have a front row seat to the worst college football team money can buy — and a up-close view of how everyone else loses in the process.

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

Apparently it’s all finally too much for one KU professor – a guy in the law school has tweeted:

What’s the argument for continuing KU football (serious question)? It’s an enormous money loser for a cash-strapped university. Life-altering injuries and cumulative brain damage are inevitable. Wouldn’t this money be better spent elsewhere (e.g. more scholarships)?

To charge KU students higher fees to support the football team (the biggest drain on KU’s athletic budget) just seems wrong. With yesterday’s loss to Nicholls St., it seems like an appropriate time to ask: why have a football team?

Not that this guy’s tweet will go anywhere; but UD thinks it’s worth noting that at least one person on KU’s campus is asking these questions.

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

UPDATE: And then there’s the University of Maryland. A columnist in the school newspaper first reviews the program: Lots of seriously losing seasons; excessive and expensive coach changes; shitty game attendance; the heatstroke death of a player on the practice field; damning reports in the sports press of a “toxic culture” in the program.

In light of these problems and others, the time has come for frank discussion of a question seemingly absent from the discourse surrounding athletics at this university — namely, whether the university should continue to sponsor a varsity football program at all. There are a few compelling reasons to think the answer is a resounding “no.”

The whole massively costly football deal is “a project that will be useless to the vast majority of the student body.” Football players get concussed and may suffer lifelong brain injury.

Very nice final paragraph:

President Wallace Loh’s favorite metaphor for athletics is that they’re the “front porch” of the university, the face we present to the public. Allow me to extend the metaphor. If your front porch regularly required multi-million-dollar improvements, caused brain disease in those who sat on it and recently left someone dead, wouldn’t you consider removing it?

Bravo.

Scholar-Athletes Take the Field as Football Season…

begins!

Play-by-Play of University of Florida Football!

Seven Florida Gators have been suspended for the season opener against Charleston Southern.

Dynamic sophomore receiver Kadarius Toney and senior defensive end CeCe Jefferson headline the list of players.

The suspension of Toney and reserve defensive tackle Kyree Campbell stems from their role May 28 altercation on campus with a group of local Gainesville men. Jefferson will sit out due to academic reasons, a source confirmed.

Defensive tackle Luke Ancrum, cornerback Brian Edwards, tailback Adarius Lemons and walk-on offensive lineman James Washington also will not play.

Toney and Campbell brandished Airsoft rifles during the confrontation in May. Then on July 22, police stopped Toney for a seat belt violation and discovered an assault rifle in his backseat.

Four Gators — receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells, quarterback Emory Jones and tight end Kemore Gamble – lied to university police when questioned about the incident and had to appear in front of the student conduct council. None was suspended.

And every one of them on scholarship!

“The [Coastal Carolina University] Chanticleers played six games in the newly renovated 15,000-capacity Brooks Stadium in 2017, but only scanned a full-season total of 15,248 tickets last season despite announcing an official season attendance of 89,754.”

Well, that one’s got it all. A poorly ranked university whose students don’t even care about football lies pathetically about game attendance at its newly renovated stadium. Does it get any lower?

At Arkansas, which stumbled its way through a 4-8 season last year, scanned attendance was 58 percent of its announced figures. No matter, the Razorbacks’ football stadium is reopening this season with an increased capacity of 4,000 following a $160 million renovation project.

“[P]hony attendance figures are … another small piece of the rickety structure that holds up the college sports scam,” notes Deadspin‘s writer.

Another small piece?

The NCAA supposedly requires a 15,000 “actual or paid” two-year average attendance to stay in D-I, but even that threat appears to be completely toothless. According to the WSJ, “The NCAA accepts the announced attendance numbers schools submit ‘at face value.’”

And why? Why, why, why?

You know UD‘s take on why a school whose students don’t attend football games would spend tens of millions of dollars enlarging their stadium, right?

It’s because they can’t think of anything else to do. What else do universities… do?

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