P.S. Your Kid is Dead

House-sitting, gunny-style.

University basketball players get paid off! Shocker!! And double shocker that it happens here, at Mr UD’s institution…

… the University of Maryland.

Lawdy. Hand me my smelling salts.

Jeez, get asked to resign by some private school teacher who approaches you in UD’s favorite tearoom…

Teaism (I’ve featured Teaism on this blog), and twenty-four hours later, you resign.

Go figure.

Chez UD, trim some limbs…

… put them in a pile, then take a break
from work (because you feel you are about
to die of heat stroke).

Five minutes later: voila.

A deer buffet.

Bits of comment thread to yet another article about dropping-like-a-stone college football game attendance.

The whims and vagaries of the TV people trump the attendees. The multitude of TV timeouts give the home viewer an opportunity to re-beer, recycle past beers, walk the dog, etc… while we in the stands are baked, rained and/or snowed upon while subjected to 120 decibel commercials or the always entertaining Guess What Our Starting Left Tackle’s Favorite Pizza Topping Is!

[W]e the ticket holders are asked to pay full price and get our lazy butts in our seats by kickoff to watch Our Guys pummel a Div II or III team 75 -3. My friends have dubbed these generic patsies the “Tennessee School for the Dead.”

I live in a state where the football program [is] getting out of hand and having several sexual assault claims has tanked enrollment. They rely on football to help get the school name out but that can go another way also.

Maybe the sight of men, who have never been in a college classroom, trying to give each other head injuries has simply become less entertaining.

… blaring music played on the sound system …

Clocked time of actual play in every NFL game over two seasons and found it averaged eleven minutes of action in a three-plus hour game. NCAA games are probably similar. Slow and boring, especially without the distractions a TV broadcast can offer. And that’s before you get into the issue of the apparent inevitability of brain trauma from playing gridiron football, which makes attending a game seem more and more like sitting in an ancient Roman arena watching gladiators kill and die for our amusement.

The majority of time spent in the stands is wasted listening to commercials, having music blasted at you during every stoppage in play, watching kiss cams, and being bored along with the players as they stand around waiting while referees review yet another play.

[Arizona State shows] people with milk mustaches sponsored by a local dairy, fans with weird hair styles sponsored by Sport Clips, muscle-flexing and air guitar contests sponsored by ??? All can be seen on the new 8 million dollar jumbotron.

A sport that almost guarantees that those who play it for any length of time are going to sustain cognitive damage cannot prosper for long.

[V]ery few football-playing rapists are ever held accountable.

Well…obviously the problem is all those outmoded stadiums! College presidents ought to vigorously campaign for new stadiums…you know, so they can attract the cream of the crop student candidates. And then they can hire coaches they can pay millions and millions of dollars. And then complain because the public isn’t supporting higher education.

And – check it out – almost no comments in defense of university football.

Comrades! Is announcing another glorious success in our latest five-year plan!

Da, is close to $85 million athletics debt at people’s university, but here is good news: Central Committee has just announced it is ‘implementing a budget management plan that will narrow annual deficits steadily until achieving slightly above break even in FY 2024′!

This is truly great news, and I cannot wait for totally deficits-free 2024!!

And remember, comrades – say it with me:

Success in athletics … is the biggest and best marketing tool a major university has at its disposal.

The Garrett Park Fourth of July Parade

The signs say

Uncle Sam on the back of a Saab
convertible. Foreground, La Kid.

Garrett Park boy scouts.

Independence Under the Heat Dome

They just labored by, every one of them inviting a heart attack while enacting what people persist in calling a Fun Run. Judging by the expressions on their faces, UD would say it’s a Stun Run; but every Fourth, UD‘s hometown, Garrett Park, Maryland, puts on a full day of activities, and they’re not about to suspend the morning race.

As for UD, she has put out a flag,

seating, and citronella.
GP’s parade will be by soon.

“Death, and parking issues.”

This blog has long chronicled the special thirst of university students in Wisconsin, America’s #2 drunkest state. The University of Wisconsin Stout is an alcoholic standout even by Wisconsin standards, and, in an effort to reduce the carnage, the school has attempted to shut down some particularly grotesque local bars.

UW-Stout seems to have started with the hilariously named Rehab Bar, featuring an all-day Intervention Fest, and routinely offering all the booze in the house for a few bucks. Pretty much everyone in there seems to be drinking illegally, etc. etc.

The understandably pissed off owner, faced with a chancellor and a city council determined to put him out of business, agreed to be shuttered on the condition that his liquor license be transferred to his buddy Elizabeth Hart, another bar owner.

So the council looked into Hart’s business practices, and it turns out… Well, it turns out that a lot of bars are pretty disreputable joints…

Based on [a] five-page background report … Menomonie Police Chief Eric Atkinson recommended that the council deny [Hart’s] application, a recommendation that was echoed by UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer.

In a memo, Meyer expressed his concerns about the proposed transfer to an Eau Claire group he said is “associated with establishments that target college students with drink specials [and] would perpetuate the current high-risk drinking culture that exists at the Rehab.”

Although Hart had only one traffic contact on her record, her husband, Jared (Jed) Hart — who has also been known by more than two dozen other names — was charged and federally convicted in 2014 of tax fraud that took place in from 2008 to 2011 in regard to The Pickle [one of the Harts’ bars] of Eau Claire.

Eau Claire police provided a list of complaints associated with The Pickle and the Pioneer, most of them reported or witnessed by Jed Hart. Included in the violations were battery, drugs, disorderly conduct, counterfeit money, theft, check person, death, and parking issues.

Janessa Stromberger, assistant city attorney for Eau Claire, told [the investigator] that in the past few years since Jared Hart was released from prison, “his establishments had been more cooperative and easier to deal with.”

He’s a real pussycat now! Nothing like time in the federal pen to turn you all soft and nice… Real good role model for the kiddies, too… I ain’t goin’ back there and I don’t want to see you get in no trouble either…

Despite the many advantages of turning Rehab over to the Harts, the council rejected their application.

How to mark Franz Kafka’s birthday?

With his greatest legacy.

Was it something I said?

Why is Martha’s Vineyard shunning me??

Is it my defense of female genital mutilation?


Bloody but unbowed!


UD‘s contribution:


Martha’s Vineyard, Be Not Proud

Martha’s Vineyard, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art none.
For those whom thou think’st thou dost shun
Are shunnèd not, poor Martha, nor yet canst thou diss me.

My barring from parties which but superficial be,
Gives me much pleasure; thus let disinvitations flow,
Happily this best of men does from thee go,
Rest from you libs, and soul’s delivery.

Thou art slave to cash, glitz, pr, and richer men,
And dost with status, cliques, and snobb’ry dwell,
Yet outcast solitude can serve us just as well…
Tis better than intimate dinners!  Why swell’st thou then?
All summer seasons past, I wake eternally
And the Vineyard shall be no more; Martha, thou shalt die!

Hey, no shit, it’s hell under a burqa.

In a statement [issued on her first day as a Canadian citizen], [Ensaf] Haidar [said] that she wanted to use her first day … to raise awareness about the plight of women forced to abide by Sharia, or traditional Islamic law.

“As a Canadian who was born in Saudi Arabia under laws of Sharia where human rights are non-existent, I realised the power [misogynist] men [have] over powerless women with no rights.

As a refugee in Quebec and Canada I have noticed the fast growth of Islamist groups loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Saudi clergy imposing the Burqa and enforcing Niqab on girls and women as political flags to mark jihadi territory.

Nowhere in Islam is a woman required to cover her face. This is medievalist misogyny that treats women as animals and property of men and shamed into attire that befits slavery, not humanity.

It is for this reason that on the first day as a Canadian I have raised the issue of banning the Burqa and Niqab in Ontario as I feel Premier Ford is a man who will listen to my plea and end the war by deception being waged by Islamists against Canadian values.”

Haider’s husband, a dissident against the appalling Saudi regime, remains in prison there.

Shocker! Most socially progressive country in the …

world, mandating assimilation to Danish values. A real blow to cultural relativism, that.

Finally, A Name For It.

The propensity of America’s sleaziest university presidents to recruit/admit/hire/defend the sleaziest imaginable players and coaches now has a name: The Heimlich Maneuver.

Named in honor of Luke Heimlich, convicted child molester and, thanks to the eager backing of OSU president Ed Ray (so eager he’s talked himself out: a spokesperson tells a newspaper Ray is “not available for Luke Heimlich questions“), hero of the OSU baseball diamond, The Heimlich Maneuver designates the complex series of moves by which sportswhore presidents and their … uh … Andre McGees… do everything humanly possible to keep miscreants who can catch and throw balls students in good standing at their university. It really doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or indeed, now that you’re on campus, what you’re doing; block and tackle at a high level, and go ahead and drink drug bully rape assault steal cheat and shoot off your assault rifle to your heart’s content. We were all young once. Or, if we’re Jerry Sandusky, we’re all young at heart.

Even the majors are saying no to Heimlich; the only place he’s welcome is at the contemporary American university.

“[I]f a university relies on students for a large part of its athletic department revenue in an effort to sustain expensive sports like football, then it shouldn’t have those sports.”

If your athletic department can support the massive amount of time and money involved in fielding a successful team, then by all means, go ahead and do it. But if your school is creating a football team from scratch as a way to raise revenues, or get attention for your school, or attract students, in the long term it probably isn’t worth it financially.

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George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
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Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
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The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
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From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
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The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
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I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
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Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
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University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
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[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte