First, read the glorious history of Western Kentucky University’s decision to go Division I…

here. (Read the rest of my WKU posts here, if you can stomach it. Scroll down.)

Next, enjoy this beautiful observation from a faculty member at a university meeting last week.

Dick Taylor, an assistant professor in the school of journalism and broadcasting, asked [the president] if money spent on the football coach could be used towards education.

“In my three years, I’ve watched just the football coach … go from 250,000 a year to 450,000 a year to 850,000 dollars a year,” Taylor said. “I really wondered if the money could be better spent in what our core is which is educating students to get jobs.”

LOL.

Northern Kentucky University: BUILDING WINNERS FOR LIFE

Here’s the photo I want you to have in mind as you read the following summary of the Scott Eaton story at Northern Kentucky University. I want you to see how dressed for success the guy is, how he’s doing the Number One thing that Joe Paterno’s statue does (did), how next to him on a presentation board there’s the slogan BUILDING WINNERS FOR LIFE rather than, say, STEALING FROM YOUR SCHOOL AND FUCKING EVERY FEMALE IN SIGHT. I want you to think about how many American universities, as they sport up, fervently embrace and abundantly pay and abundantly esteem douchebags like Scott Eaton.

Smiling sweet-smelling Scott Eaton who came to pathetic NKU knowing he couldn’t do anything for it but that it could do plenty for him, and immediately began his sex and money extravaganza.

He did it for years, too, and that’s onaccounta no one cared, no one understood, some people were being cut in on the deal, some people were too scared to speak up about The Athletic Director, etc.

Dumb, pathetic, desperate schools like Northern Kentucky University are sitting ducks, and their desperate athletic programs are set up to attract people like Scott Eaton, who know losers for life when they see them.

Keep increasing the budget, Kentucky! It’s working!

I’m sure next season will be much, much better.

And if it’s not, fire the latest coach and coordinators and hire another new batch.

Keep doing this long enough, and you’re gonna start to win!

The school’s governing body for athletics, the University Athletics Committee, voted in favor of a $12.5 million budget increase from the $91.9 million in 2012-13, a number the department actually exceeded by $4.2 million due largely to capital projects such as new track, softball and soccer complexes. Most notable in the new budget: projected football expenses are up 32.6 percent, from about $9.5 million last year to $12.6 million for ’13-14.

Roughly $2.4 million of that $3.1 million increase is to cover the higher salaries of the new football staff. Just counting head coach Mark Stoops and his two coordinators, that trio makes a combined $874,000 a year more than predecessor Joker Phillips and his coordinators. At Tuesday’s meeting, athletic director Mitch Barnhart said those numbers reflect the school’s strong commitment to a football program that last year suffered through a 2-10 season before firing Phillips.

And wow. As always, a big-time athletics program benefits the university academically. UK’s US News and World Report ranking has gone from 112 in 2007 to 125 today. With those numbers, no wonder UK is devoting hugely increased resources to sports.

University of Kentucky Football has been Sordid…

… for as long as I’ve been following it. But now that they’re on a losing streak, the crowds are pissed.

I mean, they’re always pissed. But now they’re also pissed.

University of Kentucky police will increase their presence at the next UK home football game as a result of fights among tailgaters outside Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky.

Police are getting wounded as they try to break things up.

More police will be patrolling at future games. So.

That will be expensive. Great use of money for a university.

And that will be hyper-surveillance. Always fun at a sports event. But if your fan base is made up of jerks …

Of course a lot of these people aren’t students. They aren’t even fans. Why watch a shitty team play? They’re there because violent drunks love a tailgate. Any tailgate.

Northern Kentucky University: Guess they’re too busy with their exciting…

… transition to Division I (details here) to notice who they’re hiring. As chair of a department.

One of her students has complained to a dean, but, you know… it’s just an anonymous student… Fuck him. And the staff members who keep resigning? Ditto…

But hey… WE’RE GONNA BE DIVISION I!!!

Hyuk! It’s the University of Kentucky again!

Now how you gonna get around a nepotism policy and hire the coach’s daughter?

Let’s see. Well, make sure the coach is right there, of course, in the room with the trustees. So they can see her rich powerful daddy.

Then ask for a voice vote.

A divided University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Tuesday narrowly approved hiring Kirby Willoughby, the daughter of UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, as a graduate assistant in the athletics department.

The trustees voted by voice, and no individual votes were counted. When reporters polled trustees as they left the meeting, eight of the 19 who were present said they voted against the hire…

After the meeting, chairman Britt Brockman said he did not hear enough opposition to request a roll call vote.

… [The coach] was present for most of the meeting…

The wonderful world of Western Kentucky football

WKU: a perennial University Diaries favorite:

“Our president has great vision and does not settle for anything less than excellence,” [coach Willie] Taggart said. “The school has put a lot of money and resources into upgrading the football program. We have unbelievable facilities and the budget to get the job done. It won’t happen overnight, but we’re going to get this thing rolling again.”

Western Kentucky has struggled mightily since leaving the I-AA level in 2007, compiling a 4-32 record the last three seasons. WKU posted a 2-10 mark in Taggart’s first season at the helm, snapping a 27-game losing streak along the way. The Hilltoppers have not won a game at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium since Sept. 20, 2008. That home losing streak currently stands at 15 games.

“Western Kentucky University’s board ran roughshod over faculty regent Robert Dietel last week, as it rushed to embrace Division I-A football…. WKU’s board told Dietel to shut up. Contempt dripped from [one board member]: ‘People on this board dedicate their time for free. They have better things to do than let some university professor just keep talking.'”

Dietel can take no pleasure in what has ensued over the last few years, though I’m sure he’s not surprised. He told the idiots at WKU what would happen. They didn’t listen. The school is now a money-hemorrhaging laughingstock.

Here’s our most recent information on WKU:

There will be a lot of empty seats at LP Field in Nashville tonight when the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky open the 2011 football season at 9:15 p.m.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, 40,262 tickets were available at Ticketmaster.com, including nearly 10,000 in the lower level. The stadium, where the NFL’s Tennessee Titans play their home games, holds 68,798 fans.

They’re desperately handing out free tickets so the stadium won’t look like a funeral home.

Mr. DeWayne Peevy is the sort of person you get when you run an athletics franchise as dirty as the University of Kentucky’s.

Everyone’s upset because Peevy – a UK athletics public relations guy – went and got all peeved with a UK student reporter who had the gall to interview a couple of basketball players without getting Peevy’s permission.

Yeah, just a couple of amateur college athletes, but there’s a big, big big old public relations machine right behind them, and you don’t, like, just, you know, call them… I mean, are you crazy?

When he found out that the reporter had committed journalism, Peevy punished him and his newspaper by withholding various other forms of access to the team.

The Associated Press Managing Editors group sent a letter to Kentucky’s Director of Athletics:

This is a level of abuse of free speech not tolerated at universities in other states and is particularly abhorrent at a taxpayer-owned institution…

Peevy does this sort of thing all the time – whenever anyone dares to do some independent reporting.

Because of course you need to control the news very closely when your franchise is filthy top to bottom (scroll down). You don’t want a free press reporting on what’s going on. Peevy is seeing to that.

“[W]hile [University of Kentucky President Lee Todd] was touting the value of a Top 20 degree, the real UK value, measured in relation to UK’s rankings vs. the cost to attend, was doing just the opposite. It was going down in value: from Todd’s arrival to now, students now pay twice as much for a statistically worse-ranked education.”

Yes, UK’s now richly retired last president gassed on endlessly about how UK was on the verge of becoming a top-twenty university. How could it not soar into that empyrean? It spent most of its money on corrupt coaches and apathetic administrators. It embarrassed itself on a regular basis. It spat on the state’s most important living writer, Wendell Berry. Ain’t that how it’s done?

Actually, no. As this commenter – on an article about the newest faculty member on the university’s board of trustees – points out, Todd’s master plan trashed the school’s ranking and offered students an ever more amply paid, notoriously corrupt, sports program, coupled with angry, undercompensated faculty. Not really a recipe for a high US News and World Report outcome, though perhaps UK’s administration believes that the magazine uses sports wins in determining rankings.

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

The new trustee, Irina Voro, points out that the school treats faculty like “bumpkins.” Plus she “cited a Russian proverb: ‘A fish starts to be rotten at the top.'” Plus, she said that “a friend who is a former UK auditor couldn’t decipher the UK budget that is furnished to each UK trustee.”

Well, only a bumpkin wouldn’t realize that when you’ve got a sports program like UK’s, a lot of sleights of hand are called for.

University of Kentucky: Bigger, louder ads!

Gray said that either Rupp Arena or a new downtown arena had to meet the needs of UK’s basketball program.

When asked how Rupp Arena was not currently meeting the needs of the program, Barnhart said, “In today’s world, we’ve got to make sure the fan amenities are what we think our fans deserve.” Those amenities include “electronics” and updated concession stands, he said.

Well, UK. University of Kentucky. What would this blog do without the University of Kentucky. Gotta spend their money on a brand new – or overhauled – stadium… It’s those needs… meeting the needs of the program…

For amenities (needed so that UK can charge more for tickets), and for mysterious ‘electronics,’ which probably means – yes! – the biggest, baddest Adzillatron money can buy! Our fans need loud, huge advertisements exploding in their faces every moment of every game, and, dammit, we’re going to find the money for it!

Get ready, Kentucky! Bigger, louder, sponsor information!

Daktronics Inc., in conjunction with the University of Kentucky, are pleased to announce the addition of an integrated, high definition football video and sound system for Commonwealth Stadium, home of the Wildcats. The debut for the multi-million dollar system is scheduled for the Wildcats’ 2011 home opener September 10 vs. Central Michigan. … The most visible components of the system will undoubtedly be the two high definition Daktronics HD-X video displays to be installed behind each end zone. Measuring approximately 37 feet high by 80 feet wide, each display will provide live and recorded video in high definition, with picture in picture capability with multiple zones to show scores, statistics, and sponsor information. …

Yes, your Adzillatron can never get enough upgrades. There’s a lot of sponsor information to pound into your head, and students love to pay for the privilege.

How you get to be as bad as the University of Kentucky.

The short answer: Get a president who doesn’t preside.

From an interview with the latest one on his way out the door.

On UK’s scandalous athletics culture:

I wish the country as a whole wasn’t as crazy as it is about athletics. It’s out of whack. But it’s a reality that you have to deal with in this position.

On the Wildcat Coal debacle:

Todd and the Board of Trustees received a lot of criticism for accepting $8 million from coal operators to build a new dormitory for the basketball team in return for naming it Wildcat Coal Lodge. Author Wendell Berry pulled his papers from UK, and others complained that the university is too beholden to an industry that denies climate change and resists calls to become more environmentally responsible.

If he had it to do over, would Todd handle Wildcat Coal Lodge differently?

“I tried to handle it differently,” he said. “We had some other suggested names. You have donors who … want to name it what they want to name it. They are good donors for us across the whole university and they are capable of giving more. We discussed other names, but when it came down to it, it was a decision to take the donation.

“I would be glad to build a Wildcat Green Lodge,” he added, if donors would give UK the money to pay for it.

Common thread? You can’t expect me to do anything! I’m only the president.

Bravo. University of Kentucky Faculty Acts Against the Adzillatron.

Background here.

They will lose this round. UK’s destiny is way Adzillatron. But the faculty is fighting. If they’re in it for the long haul, they will eventually win.

All Eyes on Kentucky!

Not only is the president who helped steer the University of Kentucky into the ground about to retire, but, as reported here, a loud, contrarian faculty member is about to take a seat on the board of trustees.

And not only that, but the big tall Turkish guy UK was counting on coming to campus for a semester and playing basketball for them (no one reporting this story even pretends he’ll be a student, or that he’ll stay for more than three months) might not be able to make it.

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