Ban…

laptops.

The Staff of Life…

… in Adelaide.

‘[A] school already serving probation has reinforced its scofflaw reputation by having basketball coaches implicated in a bribery scheme documented by FBI surveillance.’

A writer could almost envy Louisville’s sports journalists. The whores, the bribery, the coaches, the chiseling ex-president – it’s almost too good. Tim Sullivan takes full advantage, in passages like this one:

At a time when it has been absolutely essential for [the University of Louisville] to be beyond reproach, it appears to have strayed beneath contempt. Lecturing the NCAA Committee on Infractions on precedent and proportionality from such a disadvantageous position risks being received as the epitome of arrogance and the nadir of self-awareness. It’s like complaining to a cop about being cited for speeding upon crashing into a parked car.

Nice. This is also good:

“At bottom, the penalty the COI imposed is simply unfair,” U of L’s appeal reads. “It wipes away the collegiate careers of numerous student-athletes because they were unwillingly drawn into McGee’s schemes; ignores the University’s efforts to investigate and redress McGee’s misconduct; and imposes one of the most severe sanctions possible – the vacation of a Division I NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, two Final Four appearances and multiple seasons of competition – because of the participation of a handful of student-athletes who did little wrong.”

The problem with this account is that it paints members of the 2013 team as unwitting innocents — this though Powell has described several of them as enthusiastic regulars. At least two of those players – Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell – were formally disassociated from U of L for failing to cooperate with its investigation.

If your goal is to depict players as having sex foisted upon them, their active participation could pose a high hurdle.

LOL.

Are you smart enough to graduate from college if you punch someone unconscious ….

… in front of a million cameras on the sidelines of a football game?

Apparently this was too much even for Tennessee State University, which, over the objections of his teammates, has expelled Latrelle Lee.

Two Little Shits from Kentucky

“He’s kind of a neatnik in his yard,” said Skaggs, the co-developer who built Rivergreen 20 years ago. “You’d see all the little clippings sitting in little plastic bags waiting for pickup every week.” Indeed, on a recent afternoon, a black garbage bag filled with yard clippings still sat in Boucher’s driveway in front of his three-car garage…

Like most everyone else in the Rivergreen development, Goodwin told me, Boucher pays in the ballpark of $150 a month for professional landscaping, while Paul insists on maintaining his yard himself. Goodwin said that part of what nagged at Boucher was the difference in grass length between his lawn and that of his libertarian neighbor’s. “He had his yard sitting at a beautiful two-and-a-half, three inches thick, where Rand cuts it to the nub,” Goodwin said.

… Also at issue, according to Goodwin, is Paul’s tendency to mow outward at the edge of his property, spraying his clippings into Boucher’s yard. Boucher, he said, has asked Paul to instead mow inward when near the boundary line, and even sought help from the Rivergreen Homeowners Association but has gotten no relief.

Goodwin recalled picking up Boucher, a devout Catholic, at his home after church one Sunday afternoon several years ago. Boucher had confronted Paul about his yard-maintenance practices a few minutes before Goodwin’s arrival, to no avail, and Goodwin saw Boucher grow agitated as they both watched Paul blow grass onto his lawn. “I’ve asked him and I’ve asked him and I’ve asked him,” Goodwin recalls Boucher fuming. “How long can you sit there taking someone plucking a hair out of your nose?” Goodwin asked. “How long could you take that before losing your temper?”

… But across Bowling Green, sympathy for either man appears to be in short supply. Goodwin described them as “two little shits” who have brought embarrassment upon the town.

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

SING IT:

Two little shits from Ken-tucky
Gated and forced to be neighborly
Toxic with masculinity
Two little shits are we!

[YUM-YUM]
Everything is about our lawn! (chuckle)

[PEEP-BO]
Fighting about where our border’s drawn! (chuckle)

[PITTI-SING]
Mow right, or you will be set upon! (chuckle)

[YUM-YUM, PEEP-BO & PITTI-SING]
Two little shits are we!
One little shit who, grasses snipping
Blows ‘cross the line offensive clippings
Must undergo relentless whipping —
Two little shits are we
Two little shits are we!

‘[B]ut, you know, if you look at something like Harvard and Yale, they have an endowment of a combined $60 billion. I mean, that’s an astronomical amount of money. And, in effect, by it being tax free, aren’t we the taxpayer subsidizing these elite universities that are hardly hurting for income? I mean, aren’t we all paying for it?’

Silly girl. “[T]he American people get a great bargain with these endowments.”

“Really what needs to happen is that colleges and fraternities can’t look … the other way and then act all shocked when someone dies,” he said. “For every death there are multiple hospitalizations before that and sexual assaults and horrible behavior. They need to change the environment — it’s a public health issue.”

The carnage is not only unsurprising, as John Hechinger notes; it’s more than acceptable, and a great recruiting tool. Along with a rising death toll, there’s been a “50 percent increase in [Greek] membership in the last decade.” The synergy between colleges and universities advertising campus enclaves where sadists can gather unmolested, and fraternities signalling to the same applicant pool the deeply satisfying pleasures of Men in Groups, has over the years grown and thrived and – most recently – been captured on tape, so the whole nation can now enjoy pausing and repeating over the slaughter of eighteen year olds.

UD sees no reason why we should pretend that this arrangement doesn’t make almost everyone happy. Enough with the faux outrage. Watching grieving parents rage is part of the fun.

Universities advertise blood on the gridiron and blood in the frat house because that’s how you attract a valued demographic. Blood lust makes generous alumni.

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

[F]or the University of Michigan, Greek life is a liability.

Renée Graham wrote for The Boston Globe last week that “(f)rom hazing deaths to racist parties, fraternities and sororities are incubators of behavior ranging from objectionable to criminal.” And though I promise I’m not trying to be anti-fun, it’s a compelling argument. When was the last time a fraternity made national news for something even marginally wholesome, not for killing a pledge or hosting a blatantly racist party?

Many students go into Greek life in the fall looking for parties, camaraderie and memories to last a lifetime. A nontrivial number of them, though, appear to find the kind of camaraderie that would leave them to lie on a couch for nine hours, dying from alcohol-induced asphyxiation. I realize universities value the sort of alumni loyalty that’s built at fraternities and sororities, but it’s time to [ban them at Michigan].

This is from a strong and well-written student editorial in the UM newspaper.

But this guy forgets the history of his institution. UM is overwhelmingly football and frats now, and it’s too late to change that.

Snapshots from Home: Coming Attractions, and Boardwalk Attractions.

Les UDs live in Munro Leaf’s house (Leaf’s NYT obituary was written by another Garrett Parker, Ben Franklin, with whose daughter UD went to school); they bought it from his sons. Leaf wrote The Story of Ferdinand, which is about to be released as a major motion picture — and may even be an Oscar contender.

Having grown up just down the street in Garrett Park from the Leafs, UD knew Margaret Leaf a little (Munro had died by the time our families got to know one another). Margaret also wrote children’s books.

Faithful readers know that Les UDs have various memorials to Ferdinand in and around the house – most famously, two topiary bulls in the front yard that children love and dogs love to bark at.

Anyway, what with the film coming out and all, UD has now received two media inquiries about her house from journalists preparing stories about the new film. If anything comes of these inquiries, she will of course link you to it.

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

UD has deep Ocean City roots. Her grandfather, Joseph Rapoport, in partnership with one of his brothers, Nathan, owned several boardwalk businesses and concessions. UD‘s father graduated from Ocean City High School.

Rapoports started buying property in Ocean City in 1905.

Joe and Nathan had a falling out of some kind, and Joe moved (in the ‘thirties? ‘forties?) to Port Deposit, an odd, amazing little town at the foot of bluffs overlooking the wide Susquehanna River, where he bought a department store that did insanely well because not long after he bought it, Roosevelt built a naval training facility a short walk away, and suddenly tens of thousands of people needed a department store. UD has vivid memories of visiting her grandfather at his store in Port Deposit. It’s a successful restaurant now.

Back in Ocean City, Joe’s brother Nathan was becoming legendary – “Mr Nathan,” a local celebrity and benefactor who continued to own property and run concessions for decades.

The boardwalk building Nathan retired to and died in – he lived on the top floor, and the bottom was – is – an ice cream parlor – is now all over the local news. The city has informed Nathan’s granddaughter, who has been leasing it to the parlor for forty years, that it owns the land it sits on, and it wants the Rapoports out of there and the building demolished. The Rapoports don’t really own it (it’s all very complicated: here) and after over a hundred years they need to disappear so the city can take it.

There’s a petition, natch.

I’ll be updating events about the Ocean City Rapoports here.

‘Why is [David] Williams paid so well? It’s inexplicable, according to Tom Fornelli, columnist for SBNation.com, who writes: “[F]or some reason, Vanderbilt’s AD gets more than twice as much as the next-highest paid athletic director in the country [even though] he’s not at a school you’d consider an athletic powerhouse.”‘

Finally, an explanation. He keeps Vanderbilt’s stadium, full of fancy upgrades, free of messy crowds.

FRATOCALYPSE

Ohio State, Florida State, Penn State, the University of Michigan, Texas State, and many other schools are either suspending their entire Greek system or suspending many fraternity chapters. The butcher’s bill is getting a wee bit too high, so time to take a breather before resuming the carnage.

‘This [Thanksgiving season], more people than ever will be thankful that their sons do not play football.’

After each [university football] game, we see statistics: number of third-down conversions, yards gained rushing, interceptions and more. But no listing of injuries. There are always injuries. We see the player down who doesn’t rise; the trainers rush over, he is helped up or carried off. We know concussions abound; despite the protective gear, we sometimes see blood flowing. This week, legendary sportscaster Bob Costas said football may soon “collapse like a house of cards” because of one “fundamental fact. …This game destroys people’s brains.” He acknowledged that tackle football is most dangerous for youths under 20.

Why is there no injuries list for each team after each game? (I don’t favor exposing vulnerabilities opponents could exploit. Anonymized statistical reports suffice.) By not systematically reporting injuries as important information, the football world sanitizes its narrative, making the game seem less harmful than it is.

Samuel Gorovitz
Syracuse.com

‘So, it was a successful procedure, if you consider paralysis, lack of consciousness and a lifespan of less than a day as indicators of “success”.’

UD laughed, years ago, when her friend Paul Laffoley assured her that head transplants were just around the corner. She felt guilty for laughing, because Paul sincerely believed in things like that.

And now in his visionary way he turns out to have anticipated Sergio Canavero.

Although the procedure isn’t quite there yet. The procedure described in my title was on a monkey.

Here’s the same writer, for The Guardian, on Canavero’s latest one, using a human.

[T]his recent successful human head transplant? It was on corpses! Call me a perfectionist if you must, but I genuinely think that any surgical procedure where the patients or subjects die before it even starts is really stretching the definition of “success” to breaking point.

“Imagine a world,” she said, “in which everything was the same about higher education except there have never been Greek organizations. An 18-year-old waltzes into a dean’s office and says, ‘I want to start an exclusive club on campus that doesn’t allow women and serves mostly white and privileged students and we’re going to throw parties all the time that are illegal, and at these parties, all the bad stuff that happens on campus is going to happen disproportionately.'”

Yeah, UD sees where Lisa Wade is going with this…

But two can play that game! Imagine a world in which everything was the same about higher education except that there has never been quasi-professional football and basketball on many campuses. An 18-year-old waltzes into a dean’s office and says ‘I want to start a corrupt and bankrupting enterprise which will bring anti-intellectuality, illegality, violence, and global derision to our campus, and will ultimately put our president, athletic director, and senior vp for finance in jail for criminal neglect.’

The NYT‘s Frank Bruni forgets that frats/quasi-professional sports represents “the total way of life of a people,” as Clifford Geertz put it, and you can’t just decide to extract one element of a total culture (fraternities, university-sponsored alcohol sales at stadiums, coach-sponsored on-campus houses of prostitution for recruits and players, general excitement at the spectacle of college students getting their heads concussed, decades of fake courses, the adulation of violent, mentally ill people if they can play football, the routine cancellation of scads of classes so that everyone can attend games…) that you don’t happen to like….

Ooh, you don’t feel comfortable with guns in fraternity houses! The thought of packs of young men, alcohol, secrecy, weaponry, and post-game rage makes you uncomfortable, does it? Well fuck you. It’s a way of life, and you don’t get to say ixnay on the guns but the sexual assault of scores of female students is okay… Not at all or all in all, as Tennyson says…

Airos

Navy Admits Its Aircraft Drew Lewd Images in Sky

Nice example of ambiguity.

Dr. Christina Puchalski, Director of The George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Health has studied the effects of faith in doctors.

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