‘Report: Joe Paterno Knew of Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse as Early as 1976’

Coulda knocked me over with a feather.

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

Memory lane.

It’s kind of funny the way some American universities beat their students’ brains out.

I mean, it’s strange for any institution to do that, of course. But these are life of the mind type places. Places where they keep some of their students dumb by giving them bogus – even non-existent – courses, and then, just to make sure their cognitive capacities are totally wiped out, they let them play football concussed.

Still goes on. Every day. In high school as well as college.

But now the players are suing. And winning.

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

Do you think this new category of sports costs will change anything?

Ha. If you do, you don’t know anything about Americans and football.

‘The NCAA can take away scholarships, wins and championships. On a completely different level, North Carolina is looking at having its soul ripped out.’

Oh yeah? This commentary in the aftermath of UNC’s two-decade-long massive academic fraud ups the the rhetoric-ante and informs us that universities have souls, UNC has a soul, and it’s looking at its soul being ripped out.

Most immediately, the soul-threat the writer has in mind is trouble with a couple of accrediting bodies; but you and I know that beyond a brief probation, UNC will be fine. The NCAA has let it off lightly and so will the accreditors. All will be well. Indeed, UD has no doubt that in a few years things will have so supremely settled down that UNC will be inaugurating an improved academic fraud game plan for its athletes and other interested students.

But this matter of a university’s soul… UD has done some scooting about online, and people do make a habit of assigning souls to universities. The soul seems to be a central meaningful place or group: the library, the faculty. It may be a common faith (Notre Dame’s Catholicism.) Or it may be non-profitness rather than commercialization.

Here’s the Soul Man himself, Cardinal Newman:

[The university] is almost prophetic from its knowledge of history; it is almost heart-searching from its knowledge of human nature; it has almost supernatural charity from its freedom from littleness and prejudice; it has almost the repose of faith, because nothing can startle it; it has almost the beauty and harmony of heavenly contemplation.

Or in UNC’s terms:

It is almost unbeatable in its knowledge of free throws; it is almost its own search-firm in its knowledge of football recruits; it has an almost supernatural advantage in its freedom from standards and integrity; it has almost the repose of sleep, because nothing can enlighten it; it has the beauty and harmony of hunky competitors.

By which UD means that while most writers, after Newman, consider a university’s soul some central meaningful spiritual/intellectual aspect of the place, after UNC, writers will need to take on board the fact that the only soulfully alive place on some campuses seems to be the athletic department. Surely the soul of Penn State, Auburn, Baylor, Alabama, the University of Oregon, and UNC lies somewhere in the vicinity of the locker room. And that is a soul that no accrediting body can rip out. Only a bad coach can do that.

“I think that a university with a Division I sports program cannot, by definition, be considered ‘great.’ In such a place too much time, energy, attention and resources are given to big-time entertainment that is essentially meaningless.”

A writer for the Auburn Citizen wrote this last year, and ever since then UD‘s been chewing on it. In particular, when UD reads about big-time football schools like the University of Hawaii, Western Michigan U., and Eastern Michigan U. — all of them perennially in the news for bankrupting their students and keeping their schools down in order to subsidize shitty coaches and put on games no one attends — UD ponders that “meaningless” thing.

The pathetic state of EMU in particular has attracted the attention of the national media. Singling out that school, an HBO show called The Arms Race featured the following facts:

At Eastern Michigan, the sports program lost $52 million over the past two years according to Howard Bunsis, an accounting professor at that school. Plus the school football team has not a winning season in nearly a couple of decades and regularly posts the smallest attendance figures in all college football.

(That amount by the way is nothing next to national joke Rutgers, where “in the last 12 years, the school’s athletics department has lost $312 million.”)

The leadership of all of these universities — president, trustees — goes ape-shit whenever anyone suggests that the all-consuming activity that has basically killed their school is meaningless. (Faculty and students, two groups immiserated by athletics, feel differently, but who listens to them?) The ferocity of their unanimous response to suggestions that they lead their university in a more meaningful as well as fiscally responsible direction tells you that for these people taking down a university through the removal of all revenues via football is obviously patently totally on the face of it worth it.

So what is the transcendent meaning they attach to what looks to the rest of us like suicide via sports?

UD thinks a hint can be found here:

It is as though they see a successful sports program as a winning multi-million dollar lottery ticket. Never mind that millions of lottery ticket holders lose.

UD thinks a more vivid and valuable analogy would be to the cargo cult phenomenon. Long ago in our ancestral past, godlike men appeared and won games and there was jubilation among the people. Then the big men went away.

Ever since, we have built gleaming stadiums and training facilities to induce them to reappear.

They will reappear.

We will never give up.

This is the meaning of our life.

“Now who’s responsible ah say who’s responsible for this unwarranted attack on my person?”

I mean sure! Sure!

Ole Miss is sure gonna look into this shocking attack on our honor!

‘Cusumano knows that some are accusing him of turning a blind eye just to win basketball games.’

Once you start paying attention to what schools – high schools and universities – will do to win basketball and football games, you’re in for a treat. School officials will do anything, it turns out, to attract and retain tacklers and dribblers.

There’s the almost thirty year old recently arrived Sudanese gentleman who has been winning games like crazy for Catholic Central High School in Ontario. Everyone – the coach, the recruiters – is shocked right down to the ground that a 6’10” adult male isn’t fifteen, but twice that.

“At 6’10 he was pretty dominant, he was dunking on everybody, it was pretty hard,” said Fazar Yousif, 15, who attends Kennedy Collegiate high school.

Now, for us, for the States, he decided to tell the truth:

When he entered [Canada] his passport and visa application listed his birth date as November 1998. But when he applied for a U.S visitor visa in April, his fingerprints matched an individual who’d already applied for a [US] visa with a birth date in November 1986…

Closer to home, there’s Bellevue High School in Washington, where they just go ahead and break every goddamn rule in the book, baby!

The report focused on excessive payments to coaches from the Wolverines booster club that were never approved by the school board. Investigators say tax records show during a 10-year period, the club paid coaches more than $500,000, with the majority of that money going to the head coach.

Investigators also found players used false addresses, the district and coaches failed to monitor player addresses, and that the head coach directed and encouraged players to attend The Academic Institute — a small private for-profit school in Bellevue.

The report says coaches coordinated tuition payments for some athletes paid by the booster club or its members so they could attend the private school, where investigators claim some players were able to pass classes they failed in public schools.

I think it’s safe to say that for these lads the transition to university football will be a smooth – even unnoticeable – one. Steady as she goes!

“[T]he first mistake made by [the University of Louisville] was in limiting attendance at [the] Minardi Hall sex parties to basketball players and recruits rather than opening the orgies to all students.”

If they had, the NCAA would look the other way – as they seem to have done with the University of North Carolina – because the offense would have been university-wide. If it’s not restricted to athletes – if it’s official campus-wide crapulousness – then the NCAA says fine, fine. Some schools don’t hire pimps to set up whorehouses in their dormitories, and some do. Some schools don’t steal their students’ education, and some do. It’s all part of the rich texture which makes up the tapestry of American university education.

(Haredi or halfback, you can now go to court and sue a school, a state, or the NCAA for having been deprived of an education.)

A few weeks after Brandon Bourbon’s suicide, a reflective little essay about his very short life…

appears.

A career on the brink of success as the starter for a big name coach in a power five conference had derailed, and he had finished his college career playing his last game at Yager Stadium in Topeka, Kansas. In front of an announced attendance of 5,403 he had rushed for 17 yards on 13 carries and caught three passes for forty yards. And that was it…

[One day Brandon Bourbon] retweeted a link to an article from Scientific American that just a single concussion has the ability to triple the long-term risk of suicide. Bourbon suffered at least one concussion during his time at the University of Kansas, missing time in 2011 as a result of that injury. It is not hard to imagine that he suffered others during his playing days as well.

This single tweet, mixed in amongst Bourbon’s other Tweets, may have been a stab in the dark at an individual trying to understand and comprehend the lasting effects of head trauma…

… It is unclear what led Bourbon to take his own life. Did his 2011 concussion play a role? Was it years of subconcussive trauma to the head? Were there outside factors of which no one is aware? Was it the rapid descent from starter for a team in a power five conference to unable to continue his career at that level because of injury and NCAA rules? Was it the fact that he had lived and breathed football for decades, and with the end of his college career, the driving factor for the majority of his life had been removed?

Background here.

Be-

Knighted.

The Time of Indifference

We’ll use this Alberto Moravia title to describe not the moral degeneracy of twentieth century Italy, but the moral degeneracy of one of America’s most noisily Christian universities, Baylor. One of the victims of one of Baylor’s woman-beaters is indeed currently suing the school for “indifference,” and UD thinks she’s got a winner on her hands. It’s hard to come up with a university as consistently indifferent to beaten and raped women on its campus as Baylor.

Baylor knew three [football] players had serious assault charges against them and chose the best course of action was no action…

But you have to understand…

The one area on the field where [the team] consistently struggled was defense, and all three of the players in question were defensive linemen.

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

I guess Baylor figures there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

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

Remarkable candor on the ethics of accepting into a university setting – and deifying – violent people.

Talent trumps all, said Peter Schroeder, a sports management expert, chair of the University of Pacific’s Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences. “A really good player can make a big difference.”

SHOCKER

Some Eastern Michigan University Faculty Members Want More Funds For Academics And Less For Sports

(The link goes to Page Not Found; use search engine to get to article.)

John Sharp’s Hero Makes His Highest-Profile Tackle Yet

Texas A&M’s chancellor, Johnny Football’s biggest booster, must be thrilled at Johnny’s latest play! Sharp can sleep well, knowing it was his relentless defense of Johnny throughout his violent, troubled years at Texas A&M that made it possible for the lad to come so far. Well done, Chancellor Sharp!

Mary Willingham

Word is to the provost gone and word is to them all
And word is out to all the press, and that’s the worst of all
That Mary Willingham taped her chats
With the highest Tar Heels of all

Oh rise, arise Mary Willingham
Arise and tell to me
What thou hast learned from thy taped chats
With everyone at UNC

“I told them all the simple truth
As it came down to me
And all they gave me in reply
Was haughty hostility.”

Oh rise, arise Mary Willingham
Make sure you’re in good hands
Or thou shalt be beheaded by
A posse of basketball fans

How Provincial Universities Stay that Way: The Key is Sports

Iowa State University President Steven Leath said he would love to see athletics at ISU provide financial support to academics.

However, he was not optimistic about this occurring anytime soon.

“We are facing a number of very large, comprehensive serious lawsuits related to athletics,” Leath said. “So before we would change our budget structure and put money into academics, we want to at least get past some of these immediate lawsuits.”

“Both professors agreed that they know other students who are struggling to make ends meat and are not benefiting from athletics spending.”

It’s a good typo… Not a great typo, but a good one, and in a few hours, when the hangover wears off, the writer will correct it, so you will click on the link and go to the last line in the article and say to yourself Where does UD get off making up typos in order to make people look ridiculous?

Anyway. I tire somewhat of Rutgers University (in the BBC series, Aristocrats, the dying Charles Fox says I tire somewhat of life), but HBO’s Real Sports featured it as one of America’s exemplary suicide-by-sport schools, and who can argue with the producers’ choice? The fairy-tale world of Fat and Skinny at Rutgers is undeniably riveting:

… Rutgers spent about $26,000 per home game (seven games) last season to board its team in a hotel on the night before kickoff and $69,154.20 total on food before four games.

… [One] Rutgers student … said he works two part-time jobs – moving furniture for the school and driving a cab – and still “can’t afford some meals.”

“Some days I don’t eat,” he said. “Some days I skimp by just drinking water.”

Asked … if he suffers from hunger pains, the student shook his head and said, “some days, yeah,” before adding, “sometimes there are events on campus where there might be light refreshments and things like that. I’d usually try to find one of those and go there.”

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