Teamwork in the Heartland

It’s almost impossible to pull this many charges acting alone. It takes a village.

My favorite part of this is, of course…

… (how could it be otherwise?) Baby Face Emmert.

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UD thanks Dirk.

Make a note of it: The lower-scoring the student, the more football-mad.

[A]pplicants with lower-than-average SAT scores prefer schools with athletic success. Those students “valued” athletic success for longer periods than high SAT applicants.

That theoretically translates to loyalty, which translates to donations. That translates into long-term financing of the whole [university football] enterprise — even when it’s bad football.

“Academicians can talk all they want to,” [former Sun Belt commissioner Wright Waters says]. “The American public loves sports, period. It is what it is. We have a sports page, not a math classroom page.”

Low-scoring students supporting loser football: The recipe for success at so many American universities! Dennis Dodd sings its praises, and shows how you can bring this winning combination to your school.

America to Kentucky: Bind Up Our Nation’s Wounds!

Be as Philip cutting through The Forest of Thorns and heal the pains of thought!

Our native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with a pale cast of professors. Your state’s universities lead the nation in ruddy red-blooded, black coal’d, athleticism. As it is said:

Among the top seeds in the March Madness NCAA men’s basketball tournament is the University of Louisville. The public university is known nationally for almost nothing except its ability to translate its success on the basketball court into money.

As it is said:

Ladies and gentlemen, sports fans of all demographic ages, Nike jersey and sneaker sizes, your University of Kentucky Wildcats!

Finally, a team without false collegiate pretense, a team that plays on courts stripped of scholastic varnish. Finally, a team fronted by a major university that knows we know that this team now annually has the same relationship to college as pigeons do to stone soldiers standing in town squares.

No team, as politicians vowing partial truths say, is “more transparent.” No team has made it so clear that its full scholarship recruits aren’t “student-athletes,” but assembled to spend seven months using Kentucky as a luxurious basketball facility.

Kentucky, your universities are luxurious basketball facilities. They are almost nothing but sports-revenue generators. You waste barely a spikelet of bluegrass, barely a burp of bourbon, on the weariness, the fever, and the fret, of consciousness. You are the nation’s true Sleeping Beauty.

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UD thanks John.

“[W]hat happened at SU does not require one minute of Congressional time.”

If this gross miscarriage of justice doesn’t require the concerted attention of our elected representatives, I don’t know what does. UD would like to know what the commenter quoted in my headline thinks is an important use of our government’s time. Here you’ve got one of our nation’s great men, a great coach, dragged through the mud by some rogue organization…

Representative Katko is worried that Syracuse University’s fate raises “serious concerns that the NCAA standards are not applied in a uniform fashion nationwide.” Since virtually all big-time sports programs do what SU does, UD agrees with the congressman; but he needs to think about the logistical problems involved in suspending or shutting down all of America’s competitive basketball and football programs. To say nothing of what this will do to national morale.

Welsh Leak

Proud national emblem!

Beware, My Foolish Heart!

Yet another I Do But I Don’t true confession.

The lads are up to their pupiks in heartbreak.

When will it end.

“Remember the mission of the university. Though that may differ slightly depending on whom you ask, we must make academics the foremost priority at OU. This is not accomplished by diverting the largest portion of the general fee to pay for six-figure coaching salaries while graduate students struggle to pay rent.”

Beautifully written, a model of reasoned concision.

But, at a school like Ohio University, ornamental only. Geisha-prose.

“When your own fans readily accept the data that your product is a killer — when concussion awareness outpaces deep-seated loyalty — your sport can’t remain mass-market entertainment forever. At some point, the morality questions around football will be too embarassing to ignore.”

Our product is a killer – Great new slogan for university football.

Come to Football U and Get Your Brains Bashed Out

You started the process in high school… continue it in college! … and finish it altogether when you go professional…

[Y]ou see all those former players with CTE on television, or in person, and you can’t help but wonder if you might be among them someday, and you can’t help but ask yourself whether it’s worth the trade-off.

In the end, this is probably a good thing for professional football, at least in the short term. It is a young man’s game for a reason, but in the longer term, it does make you wonder if the NFL can ever stem the tide, as the players themselves become increasingly disposable. What happens if the game continues to be more and more compressed by its own violence?

On that compression idea: Maybe you’ll start to see players retire during their university years. The need for fresh blood will make freshman players a hot commodity, while juniors and seniors will be shunted into special on-campus hospital/retirement homes once they’ve gone gaga.

The plus for the university community will be an increase in student opportunities for Volunteer Points.

UD’s friend John Shelton Reed is featured in this long Sports Illustrated piece about the UNC Chapel Hill fiasco.

John Shelton Reed,a UNC sociology professor for 31 years, sat on the special-admits committee in the mid-’80s and recalls three athletes – one a men’s basketball player – being admitted with rock-bottom SAT scores of 200. That was possible then under NCAA rules but far from the norm for most UNC athletes. Reed and two colleagues voted no, lost, and moved on. “To this day I regret that I didn’t blow the whistle right then and there,” Reed says.

Also see:

As the athletic budget was expanding from $9.1 million in 1984 to $83 million last year, no one in power saw that a department with that much weight would seduce, intimidate, or alter everything in its orbit.

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“I have hanging in my home office a framed Distinguished Alumnus award that the university was kind to give me about twenty-five years ago. It’s always meant a lot to me. But I look at it now and think, Jesus, do I really want that on my wall?”

The question is not: What punishment is appropriate for TSU basketball players involved in a massive on-court brawl?

The question isn’t even: Why does a school as desperately bad as Texas Southern University even have athletics programs? The question is: Why is Texas Southern University a university? Why hasn’t it been shut down?

Texas Southern University fell in the bottom 5 percent of all institutions on graduation rates in 2011, graduating only 11.8 percent of its full-time freshmen within six years of initial enrollment. Some 80 percent of Texas Southern’s freshmen are from low-income families (i.e., Pell Grant recipients); 90 percent are from underrepresented minority grants and many are weakly prepared for college, with a median SAT score of 800 out of 1600 and an average high school GPA of 2.7. But so too are the students at Tennessee State University and North Carolina Central University, yet they graduate at rates more than three times as high (35.5 percent and 38.4 percent, respectively). In fact, Texas Southern performs at the very bottom of its closest 15 peer institutions and has for many years.

Sickeningly corrupt TSU needs to lose its accreditation. Its pathetic, out of control sports program is only a small part – but of course the most notorious part – of its utter institutional failure.

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As for TSU’s sparring partner, Southern University, here’s how it did in a recent APR review:

Southern University received the stiffest penalty of all; the NCAA said its [academic progress for athletes] data was unusable and barred all of its sports teams from post-season competition.

I hear America singing.

Either have a great basketball program or have a lousy one with great students. Give me the great program every time. [I] don’t care if our starting point guard got a D in anthropology. I don’t care if our center cheats on an English lit test. That’s on them. These guys are here because it’s a step on the way to pro ball. If they want to apply themselves in the classroom and get something more out of the college experience, that’s great but I don’t care about that either. These guys aren’t here to learn how to fix the world’s problems. They’re here to entertain the fans and bring money into the school via tv and ticket revenue, as well as raise the school’s profile to a segment of perspective attendees.

A lot of people will disagree with me and that’s fine but I feel like I’m being realistic and honest and they are not. Look into ANY D1 school with a fine tooth comb for 10 years and you’re going to find dirt. Only difference between SU and those other schools is that for some reason our school and our coach were the subject of long-term NCAA harassment and they were not.

From the comment thread on this article (UD thanks Alan for the link to the article).

La Boeheim

Mi Chiamano Jimi

Yes, they call me Jimi,
but my true name is Mother Teresa.
My story is short.
A championship team
I embroider on campus.
I am happy happy and at peace
and my pastime
is to make friends at the YMCA.
I love all things
that have gentle sweet smells,
that speak of love, of spring,
of dreams and fanciful things,
those things that have poetic names …
Do you understand me?
They call me Jimi…
Buds in a vase…
Leaf and leaf I spy!
That gentle perfume of a flower!
But the flowers that I make,
Alas! Vacated.
Other than telling you about me, I know nothing.
I am only your martyr who comes out to make your school a champion.

The Tao of Cheating.

Syracuse can still stubbornly cast its basketball coach, Jim Boeheim, as a martyr because college revenue sports embody the Lance Armstrong principle: Cheating is a universal expectation, so the crimes of individual cheaters don’t have as much impact. Armstrong, once the winningest cyclists of all time, broke the rules in a sport where the rules barely mattered. (In fact, from 1996 to 2010, every single Tour de France champion except Carlos Sastre had either tested positive for cheating, confessed to cheating or been suspended for cheating.)

Unless you understand the tao you can’t understand. And you can’t understand the tao.

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