“The Dodge Challenger was also displaying an Oklahoma University parking permit,” the arrest affidavit states.

The long tradition of university football players wearing immediately identifiable clothes, or driving cars with immediately identifiable parking permits, during the course of their robberies is burnished once again in the case of the University of Oklahoma’s Parrish Cobb.

Here’s UD‘s favorite headline:

Oklahoma cornerback Parrish Cobb, burned for 2 Noah Brown TDs, charged in 3 robberies

You wanna get the important stuff out there first, and only after that get around to his off-field activities…

Some nice comments at Deadspin:

(spring practice)

Stoops: Is there any video?

Cobb: I don’t think so.

Stoops: Well take an extra lap. Wait, we’re in a new era. Make it two.

Sex, Blood, and the American University

I’m not gonna do that thing where I say They started as monasteries and other religious-type entities and look how far they’ve fallen! I’m not gonna say universities – much less American universities – must continue to represent a higher, purer, realm of activity than, say, Myrtle Beach Bike Week.

No, no, let it rip. Let sex-scandal-soaked University of Minnesota produce as a finalist for regent a football player with exposure issues. Let UMN’s current regents grumble about having been left out of the hiring and compensation decisions around their incoming multimillionaire football coach (background on him here). Let the probable upcoming scandal and massive buyout of this guy’s contract also weigh heavily on the pointless dithering trustees. Fine. Fine.

Go ahead and make universities places where highly paid employees routinely injure students so badly they have to be hospitalized. Where brainwork means concussions. Football players with exposure issues are part of the grand legacy of American universities, as are sadistic-training hospitalizations. As are – at some of our highest profile schools – child rape, gang rape, and woman battering.

But consider this:

I don’t want to scare you, but more and more people are talking about a fundamental change in the higher education of this country. More and more people are talking about a minor league for football.

And American universities had better watch out, or it’s ave atque vale Richie Incognito, Johnny Manziel, and Peyton Manning. These guys are not merely the heroes of schools like Nebraska and Tennessee – they’re the trustees of the future. Their ethos is the school ethos. All the money and the passion and the very identity of the university follow them. What happens when American teenagers are able to go directly into a minor league system and bypass the university?

UD‘s friend David Ridpath is all excited.

For anyone that loves football at all levels and wants college football in a more educational setting along with providing more talent for the NFL, it is simply a no brainer.

A lot of people are excited. But if you’re a university, ask yourself: What happens to the trillion dollars you’ve already invested in new stadiums and all that shit? You’re already looking at seriously declining attendance at the games, and serious resistance to paying vaster and vaster student athletic fees. Much more fundamentally, you are football. Nebraska, Penn State, a hundred others – What happens when a few grade-conscious pussies tiptoe out on the field for you? As Mrs Dalloway put it – the death of the soul…

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

UD thanks Charlie.

“To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.”

Anyone who blogs about universities – ‘specially university athletics – has the very same task Samuel Beckett describes. How do you make room for – make sense of – the mess? For the theater of the absurd production that schools like New Mexico State (and let NMSU stand for myriad others like it) stage every single day? Go here for background on this clown school with its budget-killing big sports program and its vast empty stadium. Then go here for an update, as the state of New Mexico pulls funding from the school and lets the big thinkers on campus figure out how to keep their players rolling around in a huge vacant shell.

But that’s just one state school, from a notoriously anti-intellectual state. Consider the sporty devolution of the University of Minnesota, of all places, where they pay coaches millions of dollars to preside over endless sickening drug and sex scandals. People are now officially worried that the state legislature might be too grossed out to approve UMN’s funding requests. You’ve even got some restive citizens wondering about – wait for it – whether athletics might compromise a university’s mission. They seem particularly upset about coaches’ salaries.

But UMN to the rescue! They’re about to appoint this guy as one of their regents. Good optics.

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

The Washington state senate shows you what can happen to a university’s autonomy when it keeps fucking up its athletic budget.

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At least we’ve got the very top of university football, with packed stadiums and plentiful revenues, to admire. Dave Zirin describes these lucky schools.

[Clemson’s] head coach in 1981, Danny Ford made $50,000 that year (adjusted for inflation, that would be $140,000 today). Dabo Swinney takes home a base salary of $4.55 million. He also made $1.4 million in bonuses for a total salary of just under $6 million. As for players, their lot in life is the same as in 1981, except now they receive a $388-a-month stipend.

[Clemson coach Dabo] Swinney was asked about the idea of actually paying players, given the dramatically transformed economic landscape of the game, and he said that if players are ever paid, “I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as there is.” To call the desire to end this rank exploitation “entitlement” is Orwellian in the extreme. He might as well write “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” on the locker-room walls.

If anyone has expressed an obscene amount of entitlement, it’s Swinney. Here is someone working on a refurbished plantation who makes millions of dollars off the sweat and head injuries of overwhelmingly black, unpaid labor, and yet when asked about the Black Lives Matter movement in September, he said, ”Some of these people need to move to another country.”

… College football is a septic tank of entitlement. It’s a fungal culture created by the head coaches of Big Football. Dabo Swinney is the very embodiment of that culture: adrift, clueless, and filthy rich.

Yuck. Another fine mess.

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

UD thanks John and Carl.

American Professors as a Greek Chorus

“It’s going to continue to drain money from the core mission of the university. And there’s no end in sight. How many years do we do this?” keens a University of Massachusetts professor as the school’s ignorant padded armies clash by night

It’s gotten quite lyrical, this national chorus of professors lamenting the tragic infinitude of university football — or, as the latest installment in Bloomberg’s series on the subject has it, “Football is Forever.” The author of the series points out that

Once a school fields a top-division football team, it’s nearly impossible to reverse the commitment.

I can’t go on, I’ll go on would be the more modern, tragicomic, version of this classic truth: The morally and financially rancid circus of big-time university football (toss in basketball, of course) cannot be dismantled. Eight times a year an addled elephant will be made to balance on its back legs in front of four rich drunks in the luxury suites and forty poor drunks in the bleachers, plus there’s the police and the littering tailgaters and the clean-up crew and that’s all folks. That’s the show. It struts its stuff forever and forever, signifying nothing, but royally fucking over your university.

“I was at a New Years party and a mom was talking about the colleges her daughter is considering applying to. Mom said there is no way she’d let her daughter attend the [University of Minnesota], in light of the rape allegations… I think the U needs to step back and consider whether the constant negative branding some of their male sports teams create is worth it.”

Minnesota: Not just rape: Gang rape!

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

Well, UM used to be a respectable school, and now that it’s going down the tubes the wise men are gathering (see this article and its various theories) to explain what happened.

The short version is of course reputational death by football. Like this:

ICK FACTOR ——-> INSTITUTIONAL FINANCIAL COLLAPSE

That is, your scummy team and its scummy coaches generate such massive alienation/disgust that the school hemorrhages money and reputation in every direction – ticket sales, coach buyouts, athletic facility debt repayment, lawsuits, SNL skits, declining enrollment, declining alumni support (see the comment in this post’s headline), blahblah.

Problem is, you can get this outcome in two wildly different ways: Through a president who’s nothing but a football coach, and through a president who is simply appalled to discover that a person of his or her cerebral delicacy is at a jock school, and who refuses to sully him or herself with the brainless assholes at Athletes’ Village. You can be Ken Starr of blessed memory (Ken’s still playing the last down); or you can be UM’s Eric Kaler. You can be President Booster (Oklahoma’s David Boren has held on the longest with this unremittingly nauseating approach) or President I’m Better Than This, Dammit! and you will still run an extremely high risk of implosion. Forces that transcend your provincial world (see this Bloomberg series) are in play, and only a genius tactician (like coach, president, chancellor, head trustee, and reincarnation of Jesus Christ Nick Saban) is going to be able to thread his way through the blockers.

*************
UD thanks Keith.

Christmas Cheer.

It’s a beautiful thing.

What’s even more beautiful is that, the way things are going on this country’s campuses, next year the cheer will be volleyed back and forth from one side of our universities’ stadiums and arenas to the other. Call and response.

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

But hey maybe not. Maybe when you’re down to He Hits Women cheers, you begin asking yourself whether you want to be there.

‘Administrators and trustees discussed the idea of creating a football team with an accompanying marching band and cheerleading squad as a potential enrollment booster.’

Chicago State University.

Words fail me.

Farewell 2016, U of Smell!

[There’s] the question of the board of trustees, the school’s accreditation, Foundation problems, including a forensic audit. Two football players were shot Saturday night at an off-campus party…

Then the athletic director issues a statement about a surreptitiously obtained game plan and the university again is back on the front burner, with the heat turned up.

This blog excitedly looks forward to 2017!

Excellent Writing at Year’s End.

“On the Art and the Science of the Gun,” UD would title it.

It is a summation of American culture, AD 2016.

“Never mind the stupidity of awarding this guy a multimillion dollar contract and firing him a few months later.”

Yes, never mind.

Hush now.

Listen up: This is a university, where people are smart. What we did was smart. This is what we did.

In [Bob] Diaco’s three years as head coach, UConn’s football squad ran up an 11-26 record. This year, the team was 3-9, and on Monday, athletic director David Benedict announced that Diaco was out, effective Jan. 2.

Under his original contract, firing Diaco in early 2017 would have cost the school $800,000. But last May – after Diaco’s second season, in which the team had six wins and six losses – UConn agreed to a contract extension that increased its buyout obligation to $3.4 million.

Six/Six. 6/6.

 

Fucking Six/Six Man!

 

The board of trustees got a major boner when we did that good.  Plus we got scared!  We thought:  Now that Diaco’s so hot hundreds of other programs are gonna wanna snap him up!  Don’t let him get away!  Don’t let him get away!

 

Oh but look.  We lost the boner.  Oh no.

 

Now you have to give us the money to give the man who gave us the boner that went down.

 

Understand?

“While awaiting his rape trial, a [Loyola University student] played 3 years of college golf. Now, Ben Holm is headed to prison.”

Par for the course.

Nice Jesuit school too. They must be in contention with Baylor for Most Hypocritical Religious Institution in the Land.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm likes a good scathe…

… and there’s nothing more scatheable than the surrealistic boxing with shadows that occurs when a local team booster, distraught that no one attends his university’s football games, troubles deaf heaven with his cries. SOS is particularly fond of this form of the persuasive essay and is always delighted to find a new one. So let’s go!

HEADLINE: UNM Football Has Earned the Right to Expect More Filled Seats

The University of New Mexico sports program is your typical farce/horror, with years of scumminess and scandals to its name. Because of this history, and for all of the other reasons students and others are staying home or leaving the stands early, few people attend Lobos games. Even when they’ve got a winning record.

The New Mexico football program has pulled a 180 since hiring a new head coach five seasons ago. But despite putting a winning product on the field, attendance has inexplicably continued a downward trend.

See, that’s why he says in his headline that the team “has earned” butts in the seats; they’re winning games. They got them an incredibly expensive coach who’s doing what he was hired for!

But the little shits complain about the expense.

Several readers have expressed dissatisfaction this semester with the perceived high price tag of the football coach, questioning how someone in his position could justify such a high salary.

And you know what else? The writer doesn’t mention it, but given that most of them don’t attend games, they’re also pissed that their student activity fee is insanely high, meaning they’re paying the dude’s ridiculous salary.

Even though no school in the Mountain West had a better conference record, no team had worse attendance …

Inexplicable. How can this be? Don’t all our students live for a winning football team? Where the fuck are they?

Some might argue the reduced attendance is due to a struggling economy that leaves no additional money for entertainment, but that doesn’t appear true as other schools have no problem filling [their] stands.

Additionally, package deals were available at the beginning of the season — some offering tickets for less than $6 per person.

Less than six bucks! That seems a pretty compelling piece of evidence that you couldn’t pay most UNM students to go to the football games. What might be behind this?

New Mexico has tried to lure in fans this season by revamping its concessions, offering free fan giveaways and introducing alcohol sales. It even opened up the field to the public after the game in an effort to give fans a better game day experience, to no avail.

With no professional sports teams, it seems odd that Albuquerque and the metro area don’t turn out in better numbers, especially for a local product that many have a direct connection to.

Yeah. Well. The beauty of the booze solution is that it makes an already pretty gruesome social scene a good deal more gruesome. You might not know this, but a lot of people dislike being around loud belligerent drunks. People with children, in particular, seem to object. Universities try to deal with this problem by stationing tons of police everywhere (thus adding to the expense of the enterprise); but again, inexplicably, the more an event looks like an encounter with a police state, the less people want to attend it.

The fans that do show up deserve a lot of credit as they likely supported the team even when it was down, but it still seems like the team has earned the right to expect more. Is it too much to ask the community to show student-athletes who proudly represent the name on the front of their jerseys that it cares?

If so, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise when coaches start to jump ship to pursue vacancies in places where it is not.

Now it’s getting desperate. And, as I say, surreal. For what can be the point of this writing? Are we trying to guilt-trip people into having fun? (Or scare them: You might lose your million-dollar coach!) UD has read versions of this essay in which the writer instructs the local gentry that it’s their responsibility to attend football games. A civic duty, like voting. But voting is over in an instant; here’s the deal with football games.

Attending football games is boring. Plays take a matter of seconds, there’s an endless amount of time between plays when nothing happens, and the replays are limited. You can’t change the channel if the game’s lousy. The weather conditions are usually crappy, and the seating sucks unless you’re in a suite. You’re often clueless about injuries. I sit in a press box with replays and constant players updates and I get bored, so I can’t really blame students for staying home and watching on TV under greater/cheaper conditions.

To be sure, the boredom is occasionally broken by watching someone get severely concussed; but the drama is over in a second. Plus a lot of people don’t like watching young men get severely concussed.

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

Now SOS will let you in on the real reason a lot of students ignore your football team.

They are ashamed of the school. They don’t want to be seen publicly associating with it, and they’re certainly not going to cheer for it.

Why?

Well, you just type university new mexico in this blog’s search and engine and start reading.

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

And I just know you’re not interested in the one way you might actually be able to turn this around.

Try giving some money to the (get ready for it) academic side of your university.

Ever since Carl, UD’s buddy at the University of Minnesota, sent her…

… news that UM’s football team is boycotting the rest of its season (the little that’s left) unless ten suspended players are unsuspended, and unless it gets an apology from the school’s president for having suspended the players in the first place, ol’ UD‘s been pondering this one.

This is a new one on her. A university football team, en masse, refuses to play or practice, goes on strike, puts a jock school’s big-money super-ticket on ice. All at once a hundred and twenty glutes hamstrings and quadriceps enter the inactive list.

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

The announcement made for a spectacular visual. With trembling hands a wide receiver read from a sheet of paper, while behind him loomed suited-up troops.

The next day the university’s president issued a vaguely conciliatory statement, and today (Saturday) he has issued another, less conciliatory, statement. Here’s what he’s trying to convey to the lads.

Even though the courts decided there was insufficient evidence to go after a bunch of players who seem to have been involved in a gang sexual assault against a student, the university can do its own punitive thing. The team’s thing is that the guys are unjustly condemned since the courts turned down the case; the school’s thing is fuck that this place has had a shitload of sex problems from players as well as coaches in the last couple of years and we can’t afford to look as though we’re doing nothing.

I mean the school doesn’t say that; it doesn’t say that a random half-attentive blogger like UD can scroll through her University of Minnesota posts and be astounded by the number of sex scandals its sports teams have generated lately, but c’est entendu. It’s like Baylor or Penn State – do you really think this nation’s galloping-fucktard campuses are going to let the next run of rapes slide? We’ve got a critical mass problem here. We’ve got a money problem here. You know how much clean-up costs? The latest estimate for rapeabilly rapscallion Baylor is $223 million. (UD thanks JND for the link.)

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

So. A few more comments on this story if I may.

The team’s gotta be counting on a groundswell of support from students, alumni, the local community. They might not want to hold their breath. Fuck Fatigue has set in, UD suspects, as well as General Gross-out. Whatever else you want to say about the incredibly detailed university report on the events of that night, it for sure makes for nauseating reading. It even features a high school student, a person the team’s trying to recruit. One of his possibly future teammates is quoted saying “it was good the recruit was having sex because that might make him more likely to come to the university.”

Shades of the University of Louisville, our first official house-of-prostitution university.

Another reason we probably shouldn’t expect much support: There isn’t even that much interest in the game. After having built an insanely expensive new stadium because that would bring in huge numbers of fans, UM has watched the stadium steadily empty of spectators even as UM has got a huge debt to pay back on the place.

Datz right – tanking football game attendance is a national trend. But add to that the peculiarly off-putting business of rooting for a sorta scummy team and you’re talking rows of dead bleachers.

So the team isn’t playing and the students aren’t watching – a quintessentially postmodern moment here, no? Simulacrum City. Animatronic fans and billion-dollar gifts from trustee venture capitalists are going to have to keep the show going.

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

UPDATE: That was quick. Boycott over.

UD‘s gotta figure that the guys had a chance to read the university’s report on the incident. I ain’t kidding when I say it’s stomach-churning. Maybe you don’t want to put yourself on the line for the people featured in the report.

UD admires the team’s solidarity in defense of their teammates. But anyone making their way through the eighty sickening pages describing what these guys actually seem to have done will conclude they’re not worth fighting for.

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

It’s all over but the satires.

Point One:

[The football coach at the University of Wyoming] is getting a pay raise to $1.4 million a year, starting next year. He is currently guaranteed $850,000 a year. The new contract provides for raises that will take his guaranteed salary up to $1.7 million in 2023 and includes added incentives, such as two $625,000 payments if he stays through the term of the contract.

The coach’s raise comes as the university has eliminated more than 100 staff and faculty jobs… No university faculty and staff received pay raises this year.

Point Two:

Board President John McPherson [said] : “We’re not shortchanging the academic side of the university by agreeing to [the] terms of coach Bohl’s contract.”

LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

LOL.

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