You know what this means.

Rick Pitino’s raise this year will be in the millions.

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

And turning your athletics dormitories into whorehouses for recruits, players, and the fathers of players, will, uh, continue to be viable:

If missing the tournament this year is the only penalty, more schools will take the chance.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste…

… unless it’s inside a university-issued football helmet!

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

UD‘s loving the CTE headlines leading up to the Super Bowl. Her favorite so far:

[Ken] Stabler’s Brain Damage Intrudes on Super Bowl Fun

In the same, er, vein:

Ken Stabler’s CTE Diagnosis Put[s] Damper on Super Bowl Glitz

There’s also:

NFL’s New CTE-Tainted Reality

This tainting glitz-dampening fun-intrusion risks making this year’s Super Bowl a kind of Masque of the Red Death, the field crashed by a guy in a red suit and a facemask.

Updated version of the party crashing.

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

Despite His Own Concussions, [Merril] Hoge Thinks Football Critics Go Too Far

Kind of a black knight thing going on there.

As Johnny Manziel Goes the Richie Incognito Route, Remember His Greatest Enabler: The Chancellor of Texas A&M.

Both Richie and Johnny were obvious wrecks during their college years, but at Incognito’s University of Nebraska and Manziel’s A&M, keeping them on the field was far more important than noticing that their mental health was shot. Not only was everything bad they did fine, just fine; John Sharp, one of many washed-out politicians who run universities in Texas and Oklahoma, babbled incessantly to the press about Manziel’s adorable perfectness. He was “innocent” of all the wrongdoing of which he was accused. “My mother wishes I was as nice a kid as Johnny when I was a sophomore in college,” Sharp told a newspaper.

Manziel’s the kind of alcoholic no one could miss, but Sharp missed it, or didn’t care.

Yet what’s most important in this is Sharp’s leadership skills. As head of the university, he established for the entire community the proper attitude, the proper emotion, the proper language, to bring to their quarterback. Sharp modeled a paternal gruff humor, an indulgent folksy tolerance that turned into outraged attacks on the press for reporting the things Manziel did.

So now Manziel has really imploded — not that this means he won’t be picked up by another football team, of course, but he has certainly imploded…

And after all much of the fun of watching NFL games is watching players get fucked up six ways to Sunday on and off the field: concussions, domestic violence, on-field fights, bar fights… Something in us loves fucked up athletes and loves to witness and contemplate the things they do that finally get them locked up. Right now there’s the insanely hyped OJ Simpson tv series.

It is a story that could tell us, on a smaller scale, why O.J. Simpson was the way he was, and what happens when a young man is venerated for his strength and power, and never has to learn how to do anything else.

It fails to tell us any of that.

But we can learn something by looking at the presidents and chancellors of our universities, people like Penn State’s Graham Spanier and Texas A&M’s John Sharp. They lead their university communities in venerating players – and of course sometimes coaches – whose darkness turns out to have been there for anyone to see.

“How can anyone justify pumping more money into a non-essential sports program that is already being funded with private money?”

Non-essential? Non-essential?? Them’s fightin’ words.

Baylor: A Rape Extravaganza

The Baylor University Song

One more rape to settle
One more charge to deny
One more man to pick up after
Our school’s Christian but all we do is lie

I only know that
When they’re jailed our game’s so empty
Though I try to forget
It just can’t be done

Each time a recruit rings I still run
I don’t know how in the world
To stop thinking of them
‘Cause I still love them so

Wyoming: Tossing Millions at Trivialities

This local editorial says all the right things about the budget-stressed state of Wyoming giving millions to university football and slashing millions from public education. (See this post for details.)

We don’t believe for one moment that this money is going to improve UW’s chances of having a winning football team – which really is the goal behind this. At best, it keeps pace with other schools in the Mountain West Conference. And it does nothing to ease the impacts of UW’s bigger problems: Quality athletes are not going to play in Laramie, at least not consistently, when they have options with better amenities and climates.

This is a myth, a dream, that UW’s athletics department and its supporters peddle. It is time to move on to a smaller conference and perhaps even a different division – at least in football.

True, there is some value in seeing athletics as the “front porch” of the university. But in times of fiscal crisis, it is unwise to toss millions at trivialities when cuts are being made that hurt the public schools, and UW’s academic programs, and the state’s poor.

The editorial board even tries to make the argument that sports are less serious than study.

Athletics are an extravagance; academics are not.

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

Wyoming is just like Oklahoma, where the University of Oklahoma’s president is yet again explaining to stupid us (“the public misunderstands”) that we shouldn’t even ask the question posed in this Tulsa World headline:

HOW DO [OU’S FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL COACHES] MAKE $8 MILLION AT A SCHOOL FACING A $20 MILLION BUDGET CUT?

We shouldn’t even ask this, because the money’s not coming from the state and hell that’s how people spend their money in Oklahoma! They don’t give a shit about whatever else the university does. What else does UO do? Don’t ask! Don’t even ask!

Boren misunderstands that the real question isn’t about state or non-state funds. Oklahoma and Wyoming are two of our most happily and severely concussed states. They don’t cotton much, round them parts, to thinking.

The Soviet of the People’s Five-Year Plan…

… meets in Fargo to discuss raising the student athletics fee 35.5%.

[Student] Conner Swanson … questioned why [the North Dakota State University athletics deputy director and senior associate athletic director for development] were requesting a fee increase when athletics and other organizations received an increase for a five-year plan two years ago.

“What has changed and why are you back two years later and not five?” Swanson asked.

“I’d have to go back and take a look at (that fee increase) and get back to you,” [the deputy director] said.

“We fired 29 tenured faculty members,” [former University of New Orleans chancellor Tim] Ryan said. “That didn’t cause nearly as much controversy as [my beginning the process of] going to a Division III athletics program, when only 500 people a game were watching our Division I athletics program.”

He’s outta there. They stayed in Division I.

Concussion crisis…

raging out of control.

“[University of Wyoming] athletics appears to remain a priority, as the vote to approve the [increased] appropriation came on the same day that the Joint Appropriations Committee voted to cut $45 million from Wyoming K-12 funding and eliminate the $3.3 million Family Literacy program budget.”

Keeping them dumb in Wyoming.

********

And okay – today’s theme on University Diaries seems to be stupidity. I mean, UD keeps reading more and more Americans worrying about how stupid we are. The context seems to be the GOP presidential front-runners, and it’s not confined to the left.

I don’t mean obvious stuff like Bill Maher’s. The Weekly Standard, which UD thought was Sarah Palin’s biggest booster, just ran a review of a book called Too Dumb to Fail. Excerpts from the review:

I had thought that Matt Lewis’s new book about the conservative Republican future, Too Dumb To Fail, had a title that was accurate but a bit ahead of its time. Then, on the eve of the book’s publication, Sarah Palin endorsed the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, with a rambling “speech” that thoroughly earned a New York Daily News front page headline “I’m With Stupid”…

[Southern evangelicals] as a group tend to lack intellectual curiosity and rigor. Bringing a decidedly unintellectual group into the [conservative] movement, Lewis contends, encouraged the movement itself to move away from its strength, its use of argument to explain America’s challenges and propose real solutions that solve them…

Pandered to by [media] “leaders” who profit enormously from keeping their flock sheltered, this has created a worldview in which conservatives are an embattled majority suppressed only by the betrayal of elites and their putative leaders. “Informed” by such falsehoods, it is no wonder when we ponder a future as I write of a Republican party led either by a demagogue or a charlatan.

********

And here’s a description of the highest-profile student/athlete at one of America’s highest-profile public universities.

[Maty] Mauk isn’t just stupid. He’s a true hard working moron.

********

There’s one thing UD likes about this sudden national freeing of stupidity from the closet.

When La Kid was a kid, she and I loved a series of books called The Stupids. Then we were instructed by a child-something specialist among our acquaintance that it was very very wrong to read The Stupids, very wrong to use the word, let alone laugh at The Stupids.

Of course UD and La Kid ignored this person. But it’s always sort of been in the back of UD‘s mind as an annoyance that this person said this to her and to her daughter. It makes UD happy to see how far we’ve come as a country just in the last couple of decades in terms of naming the problem openly.

Maty Mauk Crosses a …

line.

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

Yes, after the drunken bar fight and after the fleeing the scene of an accident thing and after other unnamed disciplinary whatnots, the seriously fucked up hero of the Mizzou gridiron seems to have crossed one line too many, even for the University of Missouri, one of America’s sleaziest jockshops. Let’s review:

Seven Mizzou football and men’s basketball players have been arrested eight times since January [2014]… 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.

There’s the other celebrated Mizzou football YouTube (Maty doing coke has gone viral) of Maty’s last coach trying to recite the alphabet. There’s the coach’s reward for generating this sort of publicity. There’s one of Maty’s recent predecessors as quarterback:

[Blaine] Dalton was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance, minor in possession of alcohol, possession of false identification and three traffic charges, including a lane violation and failure to provide insurance.

Sextuple play! Beat that, Maty!

At Mizzou, it’s not just about getting filmed. Look at the people who do the filming.

Director of video operations Michael Schumacher spent $7,605.50 [on a Mizzou corporate credit card] in a single night at Olympic Garden, a club conveniently located on the Strip that “feature[s] literally hundreds of the world’s most beautiful ladies (known as the Dreamgirls) in a relaxing and spacious setting.” One of those charges included a $2,000 tip on a $4,400 bill. Maybe I don’t understand how strip clubs work, but was Schumacher being extra generous, or is “tip” just how you say “blowjob” on a receipt?

The University of Missouri: America’s most amazing video operation.

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

Hold on there a minute! The white line never moves!

We don’t really know what’s on the table. At first glance, if we had to make a guess, we know what our first answer would be. I would say cocaine, but we don’t know with 100% certainty. Also, I’ve watched the video at least 20 times and the white substance that is on the table, never really appears to go up Mauk’s nose. That white line never moves.

Sordid Florida …

State has settled a lawsuit in regard to their Jesus figure for about a million dollars.

Unfair!

Tucker Readdy, kinesiology and health professor and Faculty Senate chair, spoke for himself saying it’s unfair to only look at additional athletics monies and ignore the millions going to other [University of Wyoming] departments.

“In the short term, sure, it’s easy to question priorities,” he said. “But in the long term, we’re talking about the development of the whole university — we can easily be talking about why the Science Initiative is getting funding but other academic areas aren’t. I don’t think it’s a fair question to isolate athletics and say, ‘Why is athletics getting some money right now and these academic programs aren’t?’”

At a time of significant cutbacks in state funds, a UW professor warns against thinking of athletics as somehow … different from other parts of a university.

Haven’t read this yet.

Reading it now.

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

What does it mean that the most popular and unifying form of entertainment in America … features giant muscled men, mostly African-American, engaged in a sport that causes many of them to suffer brain damage?

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

As Susan Margulies, a concussion expert at the University of Pennsylvania, explained to Charlie Rose, no helmet has been devised that can “effectively reduce the rotational acceleration, that sloshing within the head that’s happening in the brain itself.”

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

Randle El is just one of many players to point out that the violent nature of the game — the focus of our guilty pleasure — is the same thing that breaks spines, shatters bones, renders middle-aged men demented.

The NCAA.

America’s FIFA.

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