“Gov. Robert Bentley says applications are being sought for nine Auburn University trustee positions that are coming open this year.”

Qualifications:

1.) Must be a man.

2.) Must have played football for Auburn.

3.) Must be willing to take orders from Bobby Lowder.

‘Michael Stern, the chairman of Auburn’s economics department and a former member of the faculty senate, said athletics is so powerful at Auburn that it operates like a “second university.”’

The question at Auburn is whether there’s a first university. I guess certain parties at Auburn would like to think so; but when one quarter of your trustees played football for the school, and when until very recently the school was run by the legendary Bobby Lowder… And so many academic scandals UD has lost count… I mean… really?

So now there’s this breaking story about the jock major du jour at Auburn – public administration. How legit poli sci professors at the school tried to shut it down, and how the athletics department kept that from happening, in part by offering to pay for the major. The Wall Street Journal seems the main source for the story – they quote from various emails in which athletics personnel worry themselves sick about the intellectual well-being of their players if the major is punted – but it’s all over the place now…

What UD finds moving about Auburn is its tragic endless search for a home – a warm permanent curricular roof over the team’s head. Not long ago, under their legendary chair of sociology, Thomas Petee, a man who, like North Carolina’s legendary Julius Nyang’oro, was able to chair a program, teach regular classes, and teach AT THE SAME TIME hundreds of independent study classes per semester, Auburn athletes en masse took soc. That scam got blown and they reeled over to public administration, which is now also well on its way to oblivion.

What next?

Athletes at Auburn are like passengers on the listing Titanic, grasping desperately at one side of the ship for survival and, water rising, racing desperately to the other side.

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See, what people don’t realize is that when the athletics department chooses a major for the lads it’s not just a matter of looking for gut courses. You need an entire organization – you need please-mister-quarterback-let-me-touch-you professors, downtrodden and manipulable tutors, mercenary administrators (remember: athletics has huge money to spend on selected departments and majors), etc., etc. You have to set up a whole world for this to work, and you have to watch out for people who (cough) might be inclined to leak incriminating emails about what you’re doing. I’m sure that, even as I write, everyone at Auburn – trustees, deans, students, boosters – is working overtime to create this new world.

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UD thanks Derek and Andrew.

You gotta hand it to Auburn University.

The place has an astounding consistency. Jockshop di tutti jockshops, it now has its trustees busy looking into two new degree offerings:

How to Make Beer.

How to Keep Turfgrass Looking Good.

Boards of trustees are like sausages.

You really don’t want to know how they’re made. I mean, good ol’ Auburn’s looking for a couple of trustees at the moment — dumb as a goal post Auburn, which is about to get hit by the NCAA again — and I can tell you (if you really want to know) the mix they’re looking for. A guy, a local yokel, who played football for Auburn coupla decades ago and graduated with the sort of higher level understanding of the world you’d expect from a jock who took scads of independent studies with some of Auburn’s finest – like say Thomas Petee . Basically Auburn’s looking for two of the most feeble-minded football freaks it can find. Luckily, the school has graduated many of these, so the search will be a cinch.

You want to know how Penn State makes its sausages? Its thirty-two sausages?

Well, take long-term trustee (since 1997 – wouldn’t want any new blood) Carl Shaffer. Carl’s formal education stopped in high school. He is an impressive farmer, but there’s nothing in his description to suggest knowledge of universities. Or for that matter of public relations. Interviewed about changes to the BOT recommended in the wake of Sandusky (for instance, reducing the number of them to 21), Shaffer said

“This is our university — this university is unique in a lot of ways from other universities … I think it’s up to this board to decide how we’re going to take this university forward.”

… Shaffer said Penn State’s size and location are what make it different: “A lot of things might not fit for us,” he said.

So the same board of trustees that oversaw Sandusky, Graham Spanier, Joe Paterno, Timothy Curley, and Gary Schultz, should be left alone to work out Penn State’s problems because… we’re unique! There’s no one else like us! And how are you unique, Carl?

Well, there’s our location.

You mean you’re the only university situated in the place where you’re situated? Yes, Carl, true; but I can name, oh, hundreds of thousands of universities — all of them, really — unique by virtue of existing on terrain on which no other university exists.

And your size? Let’s see. You have a large student body scattered among many campuses throughout the state. That’s because you’re a land-grant university.

“The stain is permanent and has spread to the [Penn State] board of trustees, whose obliviousness borders on negligence …”

With the beginning of the Sandusky trial, the rhetoric-fest also begins. The outrage expressed months ago, when the story broke, now expresses itself again, often with an emphasis on the pathetic obsession with football in Happy Valley.

They’re pointing the same thing out about pathetic Auburn: “The shooting has shaken Auburn, a city of 53,000 that revolves around the football team.”

You’d never know there were universities in these locations.

[I]f all this is true, Sandusky was allowed to operate for years because other men decided there was something more important than innocent children.

Football.

Indeed in what way can it be said that universities, as we understand them, are at these locations? These are places where people are driven by blind fanaticism toward patently unworthy objects. It’s hard to get farther from the ethos of the university.

You’d think the local Auburn boosters…

… would wait a decent interval before the it had nothing to do with Auburn football bullshit started up. But here it is, bright and early Monday morning:

This is not a sports story. It has a sports element, but it is not a sports story.

As such, it is not a reflection on college athletics or Auburn specifically. It is a reflection on our society…

Auburn football players, past and present, were involved, but that is not the story. The story is that young people have had their lives snuffed out far too soon. The story is that we as a society have issues that need to be addressed.

… The sadness and anger that is being expressed today, the questions that are being asked, should be focused [on] the loss of lives, not that some of those involved, some of those who died, used to play college football. To make the sports angle the focal point of this story is to miss the greater issue at hand.

If you’ve read University Diaries for awhile, you know what I call this tactic: Going Cosmic. This thing that happened, this problem that confronts us, can’t be understood (the writer uses the word ‘senseless’ four times in his senseless opinion piece) or even in a modest way solved. No, no… it’s society, society, society.

It doesn’t occur to this fool that Auburn is a society, a self-enclosed world designed to generate bad outcomes. Its board of trustees is full of former Auburn football players. For decades the school was for all intents and purposes run by Bobby Lowder, a football-obsessed trustee. Cheating is endemic – player payments, bogus courses, you name it.

You want to understand the heart of Auburn society? Here’s an ESPN writer:

Here’s what we say to athletes from a very young age: Here’s a scholarship for excelling at a violent game, here’s fame for excelling at a violent game, here’s a chance at millions for excelling at a violent game. We reward young, immature people for excelling at a violent game and then, when that violence crosses over the constantly moving line of what’s socially accepted, we all jump back and gasp in faux horror like total phonies and call for drastic action.

Senseless! Tragic! Society’s to blame! Or, to quote again from this unconscionable local opinion piece: “What’s the world coming to?”

Oh Lordy Aunt Bee yes what’s it coming to??? I declare I need smelling salts.

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Tons of these coming in now. Just a senseless random event having nothing to do with Auburn’s football culture.

This writer is particularly pissed that an article in the New York Times about the murders quotes someone suggesting that “guns and marijuana appear to be a part of the culture around the Auburn football program.”

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

Auburn football and guns? Nah.

Most university boards of trustees are divided up between those who …

… know everything, and those who know nothing and want to know nothing. Those who know everything are a small group of insiders extremely close to the president and the coach and local politicians. They do the president’s bidding. Those who know nothing and want to know nothing have a spotty attendance record at trustee meetings (why go?) but get a huge kick out of being able to say they’re a university trustee.

Auburn University’s board of trustees is instructive. For decades, ex-trustee Bobby Lowder basically ran the school – academics (intellectual inquiry at Auburn centers around figuring out how professors can help athletes cheat without the athletes getting caught) and sports. A power-obsessed, corrupt mover and shaker, Lowder typifies the broad-shouldered bullies who can intimidate and take over boards of trustees.

When the shit hits the fan at universities, unseemly blame-tossing almost always breaks out on BOTs — between members who’ve been meaningless muckety mucks, and the power boys. Recall the panic in AU Park when its president turned out to be robbing the school blind. In that case it was William Jacobs, strapping head of the BOT, who withheld information and shooed trustees away from his endless shoveling of money to Benjamin Ladner. When the American University story broke, the know-nothings moaned that they’d been blindsided.

Same thing at Pederasty State.

The trustees dislike how a few board members appeared to have been notified that charges against Curley and Schultz were imminent while the vast majority of trustees were left in the dark until Saturday.

Yes, and that’s in a big old article all about how we’re supposed to pity and admire the principled trustees… the good trustees, who got all beat up by the big boys…

No. When these things happen, the entire board of trustees has got to go. They are trustees, kids. The university is in their trust. They either didn’t do anything, or they worked as hard as all the other Paterno-tools to cover up things.

University trustees are, in UD‘s experience, either a nothingness or an embarrassment. Or both.

Auburn University, Laughingstock Central…

… is currently being sued over its reappointment of the bodacious Bobby Lowder to the board of trustees.

“He stacked Auburn’s board with his closest cronies and those who owed him the most money… He always chaired the athletics committee. He always hired the coaches and fired the coaches. He alone ran Auburn– almost into the ground. He alone hired and fired the presidents, the good ones and mediocre ones.”

This man, Bobby Lowder, remains on the board of trustees at Auburn University. Read all about him here.

The latest sex and money for Auburn players scandal is coming soon to a tv screen near you. Bobby Lowder has instructed Auburn to have no comment in response to the players’ allegations.

Auburn: The shame of the nation.

Auburn? A Sports Scandal???

Now I’ve heard everything. You mean to tell me that people are pointing fingers at a school one-fourth of whose trustees are former football players for the school? That has a total of two women on the board? Among whose trustees sits the Amazing!!!! Bobby Lowder? A school that has the longest record of sports scandals in the history of the universe?

Puh-leeze.

Auburn has one of the dirtiest sports programs, and is one of the most anti-intellectual universities, in America.

Its sports program is a national disgrace (here’s one of many cheating scandals).

But you begin to understand how Auburn maintains its brainless belligerent ways when you look at its board of trustees.

Must say, it’s a new one on UD, but when she thinks about it, it makes perfect sense: Make your trustees Auburn football players.

Plus keep the girls out: Auburn’s board of trustees has got two women, twelve men. Half of the Auburn student body’s female, but you wouldn’t want the board to reflect that in any way. And girls don’t get football.

From the Opelika-Auburn News:

Auburn University is an academic institution first. Granted, athletics create plenty of spirit and excitement — and generates millions in revenue — but schools are just that. Schools.

News of Randy Campbell’s appointment to the university’s board of trustees comes with a mixed bag of feelings. Campbell was obviously a leader on the football field, quarterbacking the Tigers to the 1983 SEC championship and working as signal-caller …

Like any other academic institution, Auburn University is a business that sells education. [Amazing sentence, no? Amazing definition of a university — a business that sells education.]

With business brains and a dedicated love for Auburn, Campbell is a fine choice to replace outgoing Paul Spina as the trustee for District 6. But of 12 trustees on the board, discounting Gov. Bob Riley who serves as chairman, three played football at Auburn.

That’s one-fourth…

Yes, perception does matter, and Auburn’s gotten a lot of bad publicity because its trustees have been jocks and its presidents castrati.

So how does Auburn respond to the problem?

By appointing another football player to the board.

As we follow, on University Diaries, in the months to come, the clown school that Auburn’s become, keep these facts in mind.

Lowder Takes a Powder

It’s a mad mad mad mad mad mad world at Auburn University; but every now and then, under incredible external pressure (lawsuits, legislative boycotts, mass uprisings), a glimmer of sanity appears.

As in : The dread Bobby Lowder has decided not to seek yet another term as an Auburn trustee (he’s been one since 1983).

To be sure, the rest of the trustees are a sad bunch; but getting rid of Lowder is a big first step.

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UD thanks an Auburn reader for the link.

You sort of have to brace yourself for an article titled “The Moral Catastrophe at Michigan State.”

Are you braced?

Then let’s go.

[One of dozens of lawsuits against MSU] contends that [now-jailed MSU athletics physician Larry] Nassar raped someone — a former MSU field-hockey player who was 18 years old at the time — in 1992 and filmed the act while doing so. [I]t alleges that MSU — and, specifically, George Perles, a current member of MSU’s board of trustees who served as the university’s athletic director at the time of the rape — went “to great lengths to conceal this conduct.”

The article cites ESPN’s extensive reporting on a university-wide culture that for years enabled Nassar’s student-rapes.

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

Ask yourself. Why is Perles on a university board of trustees? What sort of a university puts an AD/football coach on their board?

The sort of university that believes its athletics program is the most important thing about it, and wants the hushing up of the program’s many scandals to take place at the highest levels. MSU chose to give an AD/coach who already had a record of significant infractions a position as a trustee. Think about that.

Think about the long reign of Auburn’s Bobby Lowder (background on Lowder in these posts). The model, at these and other morally catastrophic jockshops, is a virtually all-male culture of sexual entitlement, cronyism, and secrecy. It’s how you get Penn State and Baylor and the University of Kansas and too many other catastrophes to mention.

The University of New Mexico – a ridiculous school in one of our most anti-intellectual states –

– has long assumed, correctly, that its ridiculous trustees will listen to the shit the athletics department tells them year after year about taking care of that pesky deficit. Crazed highly-paid coaches, some still working for the school, others suing the school; games in which no one takes any interest; student athletic fees through the roof; academic quality in the toilet; a deer in the headlights president and an empty-threat legislature – you know the drill. Trustees know the drill…

Cuz everything’s gonna be fine as soon as the athletics department not only kills the deficit, but starts making HUGE money. Hold onto your Stetson!

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But every now and then there’s a kind of … eruption on the part of one of the trustees. One of them suddenly flies over the cuckoo’s nest and lets out his anger at having been lied to and infantilized for years and years and years. It never seems to happen at our most craven sports factories – Auburn, Nebraska, Louisville – but it can certainly happen elsewhere. Because it’s very rare and beautiful and precious and fleeting, like one brief brilliant flash of a peacock’s tail, we take note of it here at University Diaries.

Rob Doughty, president of the UNM Board of Regents – which is responsible for signing off on years of consistently failing budgets from [the] university’s athletics department – says he feels he’s been lied to and won’t rubber stamp any future athletics budgets nor consider forgiving any of the department’s estimated $7.5 million deficit before seeing significant changes.

… “I want to know right now, in front of everybody, why are we [this much] in the hole when I was promised last year that we had a balanced budget?” Doughty intensely questioned.

… “I’m very upset today. I feel like this Board of Regents and the folks that were there, and especially me, were misled and were told things that weren’t true. And [athletics was] making false promises.

“And, I have to say, that in my time at this university in the last four years, as I sit here today, I think I’m as mad as I’ve ever been…. I think the projection line was done just to balance the budget…. [I] want to know what research was done, what analysis was done to really back the projected figures.”

Hey can’t put one over on Doubty Doughty. That projection line was done just to balance the budget!

I’m sorry, kiddies. Either all of these people are idiots, or this is the way they want things to be. It’s a way of life. You don’t get to break in, a century after the cargo cult has established itself, and say Maybe building a landing strip for magical gifts won’t make the magical gifts appear…

Oh, let’s start with the trees, shall we?

One night, in the winter of 2013, crowds of Michigan State University students ripped trees out of the landscape, burned them in the streets, and jumped over the flames. Here’s the Nazi-book-burning-fun image. Close to sixty similar bonfires went up all over East Lansing in response to MSU having beaten Ohio State — another perennially torching and rioting school — in a football game.

You want links? You want links to decades of torching-the-town and scorching-the-earth and torturing-police-horses Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan State? Sorry. Too fucking depressing. Look them up yourself.

It’s a long tradition: After football games, or after the firing of child-rapist-enabling coaches, or in celebration of holidays, hundreds of drunken shits gather at America’s football factories and attempt to incinerate their neighborhoods.

As if places like East Lansing weren’t bleak enough. Let’s establish a university where we admit hundreds of people who, as one, yank out of the ground all of the saplings planted in an effort to bring some life to our cold terrain.

A university! Maybe East Lansing harbors some gangs we might expect to do something like kill trees and set the town on fire. These are university students. Michigan State University is a university.

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

But, as all of America’s media is madly noting today, MSU has a specific culture. (I’ve just linked you to today’s Michigan State University Google News page. Scroll down. Endlessly.) It’s the same culture Penn State and Ohio State and plenty of other NCAA-favorites (the NCAA’s getting excoriated everywhere too – like – hey – turns out it’s corrupt) exhibit, and it’s a deep culture – the work of decades of abjection in the face of athletics.

At this point, schools like these are basically distilleries. Rape and pillage are what you get when you’re a big ol’ distillery packed with twenty year olds.

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So the depraved people at MSU let a depraved doctor systematically rape hundreds of children. Same thing with a coach-rapist at Penn State. The president of MSU and the athletic director just resigned. And now we’re breathlessly told that this is just the beginning of the massive numbers of sports-related crimes about to be exposed at MSU.

Funny thing: It played out almost exactly the same way at Penn State! And Auburn! I could go on!

The trouble at Michigan State appears to go beyond Dr. Nassar, who was a university employee for decades and the physician to two women’s varsity teams. An ESPN investigation Friday described a pattern in which sexual assault complaints involving prominent athletes, including more than a dozen on the football team and a few in the celebrated men’s basketball program, were handled by the athletic department rather than through regular university channels.

Michigan State insufficiently complied with federal officials monitoring the university under Title IX, the gender-equity law, the report found.

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MSU … will not face criminal charges for [its] part in Nassar’s actions, though [it is] facing multiple civil law suits from over 100 victims of his abuse.

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It’s a culture, see? You don’t dump the prez, bring in a deer-in-the-headlights replacement, and create a new culture.

It is, as they say, what it is. The sadistic, greedy, amoral coaches who, once finally fired, dedicate the rest of their lives to suing the school for four hundred million dollars. The deities on the money teams who sack quarterbacks and women. The brain-damaged ex-football-hero trustees. The student body seething with alcoholic bullies. When they tire of watching pledges die from booze forced down their gullets, they head out to the town saplings.

The school’s too busy dealing with five ongoing high-profile athletic and academic and fraternity scandals to notice the creepy little team doctor or the elderly has-been coach off raping children somewhere. And all the decent people on the faculty, in the administration, and in the student body keep their heads down and do their work and pretend their school’s not a saloon.

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