Chapel Hill’s Notoriously Clueless and Stonewalling Faculty/Athletics Person, Joy Renner…

… gets a university-wide prize for doing her part to maintain the illusion (is there anyone left who actually holds this illusion?) that disgraced jockshop University of North Carolina is a serious institution of higher education.

Chapel Hill’s new awardee (name: Joy)
Gets a prize for maintaining the ploy
That full-time sport jocks
Prioritize Locke
Over the next game against Illinois.

Life of the Mind, United States of America

Comments, in Atlantic magazine, from people who’ve stopped watching football.

The Penn State/Jerry Sandusky abuse tragedy made it clear that any reprehensible act can be excused as long as the team is winning…

Baylor [University] wanted a winning football program and part of the cost of that was the victimhood of multiple young women who were students there…

Football has always been a violent, dangerous game that offers boundless prosperity to a highly select few and ruin to many, but fond memories and enjoyment to most…

It’s a bunch of large men assaulting each other in an attempt to cross a line with a ball. I know it’s barbaric, but it’s also very entertaining—like a violent chess match… They essentially trade their physical and mental well-being for pride and large sums of cash…

[I]t is, at its heart, an amoral beast that chews human bodies up and spits them out in pursuit of nothing more or less than the almighty dollar.

“President Schulz … chairs the NCAA board of governors, the NCAA’s highest-ranking committee.”

Well, you get what you ask for.

For the last few weeks, this blog has been following the tanking fortunes of jockshop Washington State University — as in, pretty bad school stays pretty bad because it’s a jockshop and jockshops are notoriously subject to the contingencies of the college sports industry and therefore keep suffering financial crises. Forget academics – little to see there. Forget student morale – low to vanishing. And why? Because the big money goes to greedy coaches and heavily indebted sports construction projects, and because the school keeps soaking its students for outrageous athletics fees.

And by the way forget reputation: Under Mad Dog Mike, the lads on the football team have really been pulling out all the stops student-assault-wise…

But then when you consciously appoint as president a major NCAA macher, what do you expect? The school is clearly being run for the pleasure of boosters (I guess; I really don’t know who’s happy about the sort of school WSU is, with the exception of the guy at the top who chairs the NCAA board of governors), and as the shit hits the fan we’re beginning to hear from oh I don’t know professors and students … They are not happy.

They might begin by asking who appointed as president of the university a person who could certainly be expected to pee his pants over sports and sports alone.

Administrators have asked students to consider paying an additional $50 per semester to help bring the athletics department into the black. The department has been operating at a $13 million deficit since 2014, partly because of higher coaching salaries, an expensive new football facility and lower-than-projected TV revenue.

The selfsame malsain Mike must be fed, or he’ll take his … curious… ways elsewhere…

One student pithily sums up the way WSU is being run:

“When was the last time you went to an expensive steakhouse, ordered more food than you needed and gave the bill to a stranger on the street?”

Mad Dog and Mr NCAA are certainly getting overfull meals every day. Let the students pay for it! Leach, that builder of young men’s characters, gets close to three million a year (with assorted perks thrown in), and as more players get arrested and pummel undergraduates we can expect that salary to rise like crazy. Five million in two years? Almost certainly. Let the students get pummeled and let the students pay for their pummeling.

The Leath Beneath My Wings

Give a boy a sports program. Give him his own fleet of planes. Watch him play, and watch Iowa State University pay!

ISU president Steven Leath thinks he can fly, and he thinks he’s exempt from rules about using university planes (why does an impoverished – apparently impoverished, not great university have a fleet of planes?) for personal trips.

No one at ISU seems able to keep Leach grounded.

I mean, far from being able to control the lad, university personnel struggle mightily to hide the expensive damage he does as he busts up said planes in order to fly to vacation homes.

Iowa State University President Steven Leath caused “substantial damage” to a university airplane he was piloting when it made a hard landing at an Illinois airport last year — a costly incident kept quiet for 14 months… University pilots were sent to pick up Leath and his wife with the school’s second airplane. The roundtrip flight cost more than $2,200 and was charged to the “Greater University Fund.” Leath controls that pot of unrestricted donations, which Iowa State says pays for its “most critical needs.”

What could be more critical to Iowa State University (famed for having inspired Jane Smiley’s Moo, a novel jammed with campus incidents just like this one) than supporting its president’s ongoing effort to figure out how to land a plane while the wind is blowing? The man is a treasure. He’s the guy who explains why the sports program is too poor to do anything about academics.

“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.”


Games, games, and the president’s toys.
All jolly things for all jolly boys!

In following the ongoing Washington State University fiasco…

UD has said that WSU is one of those American universities that doesn’t have a president – only a football coach.

Someone at WSU had the bad idea of letting its latest president-impersonator (very latest – he won his audition only a couple of months ago) out to talk to the press. Everyone was wondering what he’d say on the subject of Coach Crazyass and his Merry Marauders, and this clueless genial man did not disappoint.

“Clearly, at the end of the football season, I think it’s very fair that athletic director Bill Moos and myself and coach (Mike) Leach all sit down and say, ‘Hey, is what we’re doing working?’ ” Schulz said. “But we don’t do that in the middle of the season for anything.”

Not for anything! When you’re doing this well, you don’t fuck it up!

The Spokesman-Review covered the team’s recent history of encounters with law enforcement in stories on Sunday, revealing what appear to be systemic problems within the athletics department. Since Leach started coaching the team in early 2012, players have been arrested 29 times – more than any other college football program in the nation, according to ArrestNation.com.

The new prez has also said he won’t comment on team carnage that occurred before his ascension… WSU being a remarkably bloody location for a long time… And people are wondering why he won’t. But Mr President won’t say. That’s just how he feels. He just doesn’t feel like talking about that stuff. Fiddle-dee-dee.

As the school, under the leadership of Coach Crazyass, goes down the tubes, two factions are emerging. The allies of the coach think it’s a shame that the evil media is paying so much attention to non-events like football players breaking the heads and jaws of WSU students. This phenomenon – common on quite a few campuses – is as we all know a small price to pay for attracting the most aggressive tacklers in the country to your campus. You’re going to lose a few students. I mean, not to death haha! But to grievous injury… UD has suggested reducing the yearly student athletic fee of anyone who can show he or she has sustained significant physical or mental trauma from the lads.

The other side thinks all the attention WSU is attracting onaccounta its crazy coach and his marauding men is not a good thing.

“As a former WSU regent, I am saddened that the university’s efforts to focus on world class academic excellence are in danger of falling victim to a ‘just win baby’ mentality driven by the bottom line of big money athletics,” Marr wrote. “I encourage the regents to seize leadership on this.”

In response to this, the regents have been totally, unanimously, utterly silent.

Then there’s faculty, another peripheral group we certainly expect to keep its trap shut.

“[The coach is] embarrassing us on ESPN, on a national stage,” said Matthew Sutton, a history professor. “To me it’s just outrageous.”

Sutton said he initially brushed aside negative comments about Leach when the controversial coach was hired in 2011. Leach had been fired from Texas Tech in 2009 for ordering that a player be locked in an equipment shed, and later a darkened office, during practice.

“I gave him the benefit of the doubt,” Sutton said. “I’ve since realized that all the criticism from my colleagues about him was correct.”

Oh yeah now I see how it is! Before, this was just a dude with a bad behavior sheet the length of a football field, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But now – well, I guess all those colleagues who told me what a shit he was were right…

And why didn’t all of those colleagues… you know… designate a spokesperson and object to your university deciding to be led by a hopped-up son of a bitch? Now you’ve got yourself in the classic jockshop place: A clueless prez-impersonator; Coach El Duce and his Dudes; hospitals full of hemorrhaging undergrads; and even a fan base beginning to question The Wonderful World of WSU Football.

But don’t panic. There’s an established triage here: 24/7 surveillance for the team. Various forms of bribery (free tickets and more) to the cops to keep them from reporting stuff. Put the president back in his cage. Don’t worry about trustees and faculty – there will be a squeak here or there from them at worst. Hold off for a year on the next student fee increase. And for god’s sake: Hold a bunch of charitable events featuring players, staff, and coaches!

“The financial adviser for a longtime University of New Hampshire library employee says the man would have been pleased with the university’s decision to spend one fourth of his $4 million gift to the school on a video scoreboard for the football stadium.”

From the moment UD got a load of the now-notorious story of the UNH librarian and his gift to the school (the story has gone all the way up to the governor), she’s been calling bullshit on it. She hasn’t posted on it because she thinks it’s not only a non-story, it’s a kitsch story.

It’s about people projecting onto a photograph of a pale solitary thready bookish recently deceased man a big fat volume of values (scholarship over football, quiet reflection over rahrahrah, etc.) which seems not fully to have represented the guy. Yeah, he was a librarian and he liked books; he also spent years failing to complain to anyone, far as I know, about what a squalid party/football school UNH happens to be. In fact, “Morin got really into football in the year before he died: ‘In the last 15 months of his life, Morin lived in an assisted living center where he started watching football games on television, mastering the rules and names of the players and teams.'” (UD thanks Wendy for that link.)

That’s why UD wasn’t surprised when someone who knew him well said – well, look at my headline. The school decided to use much of his unrestricted gift to buy a scoreboard. He would have been “pleased” with it. You might not like it; you might think he wouldn’t have liked it. You’re entitled to your opinion, but not to any outrage on his behalf.

What? You think that in absolute terms, as it were, it was a lousy thing to do with his money? Now you’re guilty of betraying this guy’s wishes.

“[The police chief] said that [the] behavior of WSU’s student-athletes has improved tremendously…”

It’s gone way past Orwellian in Pullman Washington, where the most criminalized football team in the country, Washington State University, enjoys high praise from the police chief even as his officers keep arresting its players. The team’s coach, a big-mouth bully trailing accusations of player abuse from coaching job to coaching job, is loudly and persistently outraged that his guys, currently subjecting the WSU student body to torture and disfigurement, should be arrested at all, given that most of this stuff started during fights and other people were also fighting but his guys were picked up just because everyone knows who they are and just because they’re the biggest so they inflict the most damage.

Add humongous, ever-growing student athletic fees, and you’ve certainly got a creeping Ick Factor problem on that campus…

WSU is becoming a kind of laboratory for an emergent reality in American football schools. Until now, we’ve been told to regard player violence on many football campuses as a sometime thing – this domestic violence, that armed robbery, that melee, that beat-up freshman. The coach’s job was to be the wounded daddy, disappointed that junior had misbehaved. The player disappeared and we went on with the show.

WSU shows us how this picture has evolved. The coach has gone from disappointed daddy to belligerent defender of violent people. Sure, they’re violent! But so are a lot of other people, and if other violent people aren’t arrested, our guys shouldn’t be.

The violence itself has become less individualized and more team-centered: Attacks aren’t just one lunatic like Richie Incognito; they’re now liable to be three or four players working as a … team. Which is how schools like WSU rack up national most-arrested titles.

Everything’s getting more explicit: Under pressure from splashy New York Times exposés, police departments like Pullman’s are more likely to actually arrest players.

And though schools keep trying to fudge the numbers, huge spikes in student fees to pay for the glorious athletics department have not gone unnoticed.

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

UD thinks Mike Leach, a very high-profile Donald Trump supporter, knows exactly what he’s doing. Once a man like Trump is elected, the sky’s the limit.

The University of Missouri.

Trash all around.

MOB…

justice.

Ah yes! I remember it well.

UD‘s pal Dan Kane thinks it’s time for the University of North Carolina to recall – in a four-part series – its august academic history.

Headline of the Day

WSU COACH UNHAPPY WITH POLICE ARRESTING HIS PLAYERS

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

Unhappy coach
Left all alone
Playing to the press
Playing warden to your team
You are trapped in recruitment
Of your own device
And you can’t believe
What it does to me
To see you
Crying

Unhappy coach
Tear your lies away
See through all your crap
Melt your cell today
You are caught in recruitment
Of your own device

Unhappy coach
Fly fast away
Don’t miss your chance
To field another team
You are dying in a prison
Of your own device

Lonergan Out at GW

UD‘s university found itself with a basketball coach accused of verbally and emotionally abusing players. After a brief investigation, it has fired him. Background here.

No doubt Lonergan is considering a lawsuit.

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

Duh.

Soak ’em. Then stuff ’em full of weed and beer and they’ll shut up about being soaked.

No, I don’t suppose you’ll find this under Educational Mission on Washington State University’s welcome page, but students there are beginning to sense what’s up. Of course WSU’s athletics deficit is in the trillions, and of course they’re raising undergraduate student fees like mad and trying to fudge the numbers – that’s life in these here States.

But the question is whether WSU students will ever – in sufficient numbers – comprehend what’s being done to them. The grown-ups want to put on games. The young’uns don’t go to the games in great number. They have schoolwork. The grown-ups like to be invited to the president’s box during games, where they can get tipsy with him and talk money. The students wonder why they’re paying for the president’s box.

The sight of young people remonstrating with adults for the adults’ irresponsibility is strange and unseemly. But there you are.

As students and as an editorial board, we believe this proposed fee sets a precedent that students can be charged every time a university department goes into the red.

No matter how costly the fee, students should not have to pay extra due to poor budgeting by any department, let alone Athletics… [W]hy are students being asked to foot the bill for [the AD’s] budgeting decisions?… [W]hy is [he] spending money before he has cash in hand? … This fee does nothing to improve the education of WSU students, many of whom choose not to attend any sporting events and most of whom are not student athletes.

As an editorial board we believe imposing an athletic fee on the general student population is unfair to students and rewards financial irresponsibility. Schulz and Moos shouldn’t have to charge students to fix the Athletics deficit.

But sit tight, kiddies! We haven’t yet heard from the Cannabis and Liquor Board!

Other revenue sources included in the plan are doubled donations from the Cougar Athletic Fund by 2019, totaling $2 million in that year; beer sales in Martin Stadium, though the Liquor and Cannabis Board has yet to approve this; and increased single-game and season ticket sales for football and men’s basketball.

Once they approve beer sales (can marijuana be far behind?) you’ll forget about all your money worries.

In ten years or so, the university will be selling propofol at the games.

Stoops to Conquer…

… eventually. Until that time, gutter-school University of Kentucky’s football coach Mark Stoops will have to content himself with a behemoth salary and a $12 million buyout – a buyout so obscene that this utter loser of a coach, playing to rapidly emptying stadiums, seems to have UK by the balls.

Stoops entered 2016 with a sense of security thanks to a whopping $12 million buyout that Kentucky, after dropping $126 million on a stadium renovation and $45 million on a new training facility, seemed unlikely to pony up and pay no matter how this season unfolded.

But one of America’s poorest states will pony up. (And it’s actually $18 million.) You know it will. When the only games going at your state university are football, basketball, bourbon, and coal, you’re going to spend what paltry resources you have on those games and nothing else. You have a proud legacy of filthy coaches, crime-ridden teams, blahblahblahblahblahblahblah to protect.

Shocked. Shocked!

This local booster cannot believe it! One Washington State University football player after another is getting arrested!

Opened the paper this morning – the electronic version of it anyway – and saw a story by Jacob Thorpe about a Washington State football player being arrested for assault. A different Washington State football player. What the heck is going on? Let’s recap for those of you who haven’t been paying attention. There was a fight this summer in which some still-unidentified WSU players were allegedly involved. No one has been charged in that incident. Yet. Then starting safety Shalom Luani missed a week after an assault arrest. And now linebacker Logan Tago has been arrested, charged with assault and robbery in an incident that dates back to early June. Really? You thought Hangover II was bad, this is worse. And, in our version of Hangover III, we’ll also say the same thing we said when Luani was arrested. This has to stop. Again, we don’t have any idea of veracity of these charges. That has to be determined by the court system. But just the idea of high-profile athletes being even peripherally involved in such incidents makes us shudder.

Just the idea! Even peripherally!

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

And when you’ve got those guys, and Mike Leach, and all, how can this be happening? Another shocker.

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