I mean. The University of Texas considers itself a very respectable academic institution, ja? So here’s an article, plus comments on the article, in its campus newspaper.

Perhaps the most important line in the opinion piece is this:

Turner will likely turn pro after one year.

Turner is Myles Turner, a hot basketball prospect. UT’s trying to get him. UT, with the U for university.

Now the author of this opinion piece, a UT student, doesn’t even bother pretending that Turner will do anything academic while he’s at UT. He will play basketball for a season and leave. Indeed, pretty much everyone who writes about Turner agrees with this. So UT, like several other universities, is pissing itself blue at the prospect that this guy will visit campus for a few months, dribble the ball, and leave. This is the most important issue, the most riveting thing, on this American university campus at the moment. Will he or won’t he dribble the ball?

The opinion piece writer argues that Turner would actually be wise to go to another school, because despite what you’ve been told about Texas and sports, the school doesn’t really care much about basketball. The school only really cares about football. There are schools that care more about basketball, and Turner should go to one of those.

Again, note that in his arguments (he has others) against Turner coming to Texas, the student doesn’t say This guy, this Myles Turner, he might get a better education, even if only for a few months, at a better school… Because, you know, UT is a school, and … No. This guy will get nothing that UT or any other school has to offer. Too obvious even to put this down in words.

Now read through the comments on the article from other UT students. Most of the commenters are very angry because the author, Evan Berkowitz, has dissented from the piss yourself blue with excitement position that all true UT people must assume on the question of recruiting Turner. Some say Berkowitz is a faggot Jew who should shut the fuck up. Others seem embarrassed by their fellow students’ anti-semitism.

How to explain any aspect of this to anyone with even a vestigial brain?

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7 Responses to “Sometimes UD wonders how to explain American universities to Europeans, much less visitors from Mars.”

  1. Dr_Doctorstein Says:

    Well, to be fair, Berkowitz is not just a “faggot Jew” “who should go back to the northeast.” It’s much worse than that: he “hates the taste of beer”!

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Dr_Doctorstein: I didn’t even mention that. I was afraid to mention that.

  3. Mr Punch Says:

    The “one and done” thing in basketball is a HUGE embarrassment to American higher education – including some pretty respectable schools, such as Duke. I believe, though that if a player isn’t in good academic standing when he(or she?)leaves school to turn pro, it does count against the program’s APR.

  4. Mr Punch Says:

    BTW, I understand that the NBA rule that promotes this situation (by barring the signing of players just out of high school) was an initiative of Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, an alumnus of both George Washington and Northwestern.

  5. JND Says:

    The author is right on one thing: the only sport that REALLY matters at UT is football. Not that the Horns have anything against winning in any other sports; they are all for it. But none of it matters. If football loses, UT loses. If football wins, UT wins.

  6. Beltier Says:

    There is a good reason the students stay for only one season, and do not focus on academics while in school–they can become multimillionaires at the age of 19 by departing for the NBA.

    You describe this as if it is some absurd state of affairs, but it makes perfect sense.

  7. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Beltier: It’s only absurd if you think the word “university” makes any sense.

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