“[T]here was a lot of real quality dialog that took place in that weekend.”

A few years ago, when he was football coach at the University of Washington, Steve Sarkisian went on a couple of those all-important coach retreats – at taxpayer expense, of course – so that real quality dialog, as he puts it up there, could take place. This article shows you two receipts for two such events, representing major hundreds of dollars in state-reimbursed booze for between ten and fifteen people.

UD would love to have been at those dialogs. Like this, only with guys.

Now that Sarkisian has behaved, uh, strangely at his latest job (the upshot of those expensive dialogs is that Sarkisian dumped his UW job right after UW paid for them), the gloriously scandal-free University of Southern California, people are… I dunno… beginning to ask whether Coach might have a wee problem. Which has brought on one of the peppiest Coacha Inconsolata pieces UD has ever read. (Put Coacha Inconsolata in my search engine for clarification of that term.)

TIME TO GET OFF SARK’S BACK, orders the campus paper’s sports editor. Coach’s public apology was

as down as I’ve seen Sarkisian, or any college football coach for that matter, during his tenure at USC — even worse than the team’s last-second loss last year to Arizona State.

Pure Coacha Inconsolata. After all, there he was, “manning up and opening up about his issues in front of reporters — not an easy thing to do.” Courage, indeed, to hold a press conference when your public behavior is so obscene that you don’t have any choice.

The writer ends on his strongest argument.

[I]f this year’s team wants any chance at playing in the Pac-12 championship game or even the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, they’re going to need Sarkisian — not in rehab, not at home, but on the sidelines with his headset on and ready to go.

Shambling wreck or not, we need this guy!


Two other quick points:

1.) Keep in mind Norwood Teague’s recent alcohol-fueled demise at Minnesota. USC’s president is surely thinking about the damage ol’ Norwood did to that school as he ponders Sarkisian’s fate.

2.) What’s with the need for weekend retreats on top of all the country club memberships coaches get? Can’t these guys meet anytime at one of the clubs USC is paying for?

“[C]oaching is the only form of dictatorship that isn’t frowned up[on] by the United Nations.”

Everybody’s talking about junk bond status Alabama State University’s brand new football coach, a man who makes Billy Gillispie, Bobby Knight, Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, and of course Mike Rice look like milquetoasts.

Alabama State is one of this blog’s stalwarts (put Alabama State University in my search engine) – a school so corrupt and mismanaged, with so farcical a crew of trustees, that the mind boggles. You might argue that it’s really not the sort of school that can afford another scandal – hiring a notorious head case to coach a team that a school with a 24% six year graduation rate shouldn’t be wasting the state’s money on anyway – but you’d be shouted down by all the people who think things are peachy there and that nothing’s more exciting than a brand new coach.

The last coach is suing, of course. But at least ASU’s got the amazing Brian Jenkins.

“[R]eports swirled on social media of shots fired inside the school’s Strozier Library.”

Florida State University students have been told to “seek shelter immediately, away from doors and windows.”

First his father, and now his father-in-law!

Jared Kushner, the publisher of the New York paper Observer, is an old hand at defending those near and dear to him who have become enmeshed in the American criminal justice system. He tried to keep his father out of jail, but eventually Charles Kushner

pled guilty to eighteen felony counts of tax fraud, election violations, and witness tampering. In the strangest twist, Charles admitted to taking revenge on a hated brother-in-law by secretly setting up him up with a prostitute, then taping the encounter. He spent sixteen months behind bars for his crimes.

That was in 2009, so Jared had a few years respite before today, when “a federal judge certified a RICO class action” against his father-in-law, Trump University president and soon to be United States president Donald Trump. The class action will argue that Trump “misrepresent[ed] Trump University… to make tens of millions of dollars but deliver[ed] neither Donald Trump nor a university.”

(And that’s just the class action. Don’t even talk about the

court battle [Trump just lost] against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman when a judge ruled that Trump was personally liable for running the university without a license.

Schneiderman accused Trump of fraud, claiming he had cheated students out of $40 million. New York Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern found that Trump and Michael Saxton, who served as the school’s president, knew that the university was being run without a license.

A determination of damages in that case is pending.)

This latest effort on Jared’s part (read the badly timed editorial in his paper here – I mean, badly timed because a day after Kushner published it the RICO thing happened) to keep a family member out of the hands of the justice system has a wonderfully DeLilloesque postmodernity to it, with Trump insisting that after all Trump University was bogus and the class action people ought to have known this:

[Trump argued that anyone] could have known as early as July 2009 that Trump University was not an actual university…

It’s possible that Trump – and his son-in-law – and maybe his son-in-law’s paper – know, as of today, that the Attorney General’s case against Trump and his namesake university is actual.


UPDATE: Though there’s not much his son-in-law’s paper can do for him at this point, Donald Trump still has friends in high places:

[Florida Attorney General Pam] Bondi accepted $25,000 from Donald Trump three days after a spokeswoman said she would be reviewing a complaint filed by the New York attorney general against Trump’s for-profit schools. Even though they’ve received complaints in Florida as well, Bondi’s office has yet to take action.

Sweet! Helluva job, Pam. Keep working for Florida!

Once again, the university’s front porch speaks.

And it would be the University of Miami, a comprehensively filthy athletics program. (Put University and Miami in my search engine if you dare.) Of course the dude in question is just your average majorly fucked up nineteen year old male (the article I link to doesn’t even specify the UM drug test he failed), but the entire media apparatus of the United States of America is currently trained on the University of Miami because… Well, they don’t call football the front porch of the university for nothing.

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on the latest I love it but I can’t watch it anymore football fan confession. (Here’s another. UD thanks Dirk for sending the link to it.)

Despite the pull football exerted on [Steven] Almond, a lifelong Oakland Raiders fan, he decided that he couldn’t watch it anymore because of its seamier side: its violence, misogyny and the corrupting influence of big money.

“It’s complicated,” Almond said. “But for me, the darkness was enough to realize that I didn’t want to be a sponsor anymore.”

Darkness? Them front porch lights are shining brighter and brighter.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge…

… instablogging. Strange bridge. Its long long span over the bay and the boats is daunting at this early point in the drive. The girders and struts curve impossibly in front of you. The overcast sky darkens the container ships in the distance. There’s a line of them, like a funeral convoy.

Traffic is slow. UD and her sister listen to Eva Cassidy sing a Paul Simon song. The opposite shore is flat long and dark, like the container ships. No white-sailed pleasure boats out there on a Tuesday afternoon.

And here are the yellow-jacketed construction guys whose work is the reason we’re moving so slowly. We’re at the very highest point of the bridge. The sun begins to emerge.

Okay, we’re going like gangbusters now. Descending into Queen Anne’s County.


Starting point for today’s walk: Cambridge, Maryland. A bayside hamlet we’ve never visited. We’re not expecting to be impressed. Small bay towns tend to be a bit thready.

But the drive… Once past the bridge, you settle into a trance as flat corn and soy fields sidle by. Tobacco? Probably still some of that being planted.


In the event, we are pretty impressed with Cambridge. Sunny day, charming marina, lighthouse, seabirds, sailboats. We walked around the piers and docks, gazed at the bridge over the Choptank River.

And now we’re having lunch overlooking the water at the Hyatt.

Robin Williams dies.

Suicide. Reportedly. A shocker.

He had been “severely depressed.”

Much to think about here.

At the very end of his book on suicide, A. Alvarez (himself a failed suicide) writes that suicide is “a terrible but utterly natural reaction to the strained, narrow, unnatural necessities we sometimes create for ourselves.”

And then too one thinks of the Stevie Smith poem:

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.


David Foster Wallace writes about depression in Infinite Jest:

[I]t was as if a large billowing shape came billowing out of some corner in my mind. I can be no more precise than to say large, dark, shape, and billowing, what came flapping out of some backwater of my psyche I had not the slightest inkling was there. … It was total psychic horror: death, decay, dissolution, cold empty black malevolent lonely voided space. … I simply could not live with how it felt. … I understood the term hell as of that summer day and that night in the sophomore dormitory. I understood what people meant by hell.


It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self’s most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. … It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed….

“Dean of Students Arrested on Charges of Grand Theft”

Where else but at never-a-dull-moment FAMU (put that acronym in my search engine for many earlier posts about FAMU’s homicidal marching band, its other high-level thieves, etc.) would the dean be in jail for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from students?

This post’s title headlined some articles about this event that were published earlier today. He’s now the former dean.

“After people were done with household chores like reindeer slaughter, fishing, and gathering berries in autumn…”

Other blogs recommend YouTubes; here, for what it’s worth, is UD‘s idea of an entertaining YouTube.

“The exchange’s public relations staff has helped [Scott H.] Irwin shop his pro-speculation essays to newspaper op-ed pages, according to emails reviewed by The Times.”

Here’s a link to the New York Times story.


And here’s a link (UD thanks Stephen) to where one of the people written about in the NYT piece seems to threaten to sue.

Read the comments on certain articles and you’ll discern, in some of them…

… the deep structure, if you will, of a situation. Example: Jockschool Louisiana State University is jacking up game ticket and parking prices because the program loses millions every year, and will lose more with every year, into the foreseeable future.

A few comments on the article:

Jesus H. Christ, ALLEVA. [Alleva is the athletic director.] You pay 4.6 million a year to ONE guy [- Les Miles, football coach -] and your ENTIRE DEPARTMENT is in the whole half of his salary? So whats your grand idea? Make the thousands of fans pay more instead of cutting elsewhere? … Ask [Les Miles] to take a pay cut to keep LSU football alive without going into the fans’ pockets. Asking 1 man to sacrifce or 100,000 men? You wanna bet on what the answer will be? Pathetic.


[I]t’s bad enough you make loyal fans pay a kick back for the RIGHT to buy a ticket …. now you charge for parking that has been free for years … I could take my family to eat at Ruth’s Chris [Steakhouse] for less then what a coke and hot dog cost … Les Miles makes more then probably the rest of his coaches combined and the man can’t tell time … he recruits thugs and benches kids because he has his favorites… costing us national championships …


the real issue is where is all the tv money, merchandising money, ticket money, bowl game money, etc etc ???? would love to see a breakdown of expenditures to see where the WASTE really is going.

A cartoon Allen Frances included in …

Saving Normal, his book


about the benighted DSM-V.

Recent discussion here.

[Click on the image for a bigger picture.]

Ooh, let’s be quick on this one…

… and just post a link before we even really read the thing!

Okay right so we fund research – we here being the federal government, being our taxes – and these three NYU medical researchers give the results to China in exchange for money.

Details here.

‘… you wouldnt see women going and killing one another and slaughtering when do you ever see women rolling around drunk like they do or gambling every penny they have and losing it…’

Life imitates art – Molly Bloom and gambling emerge in the real world, on the front page of the New York Times.

This Molly totally approves of gambling.

Her soliloquy – a tell-all, just like Leopold Bloom’s Molly’s – will appear in 2014.

It’s not clear if Bloom herself will appear in order to promote it. She might be in jail.

The University of Cincinnati’s Disbarred Trustee

I think they really need to update this webpage. It says Stanley Chesley is a member of the Kentucky bar, but he’s not. He’s been disbarred.

The Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the disbarment of famed class action lawyer Stanley Chesley, a partner at Waite Schneider Bayless & Chesley Co. in Cincinnati, for “unreasonable” fees received in the settlement of a class action. Under Ohio Rules of Professional Responsibility, the disbarment may provide grounds for disbarment in Ohio as well.

Eh, unreasonable is a relative thing. You think it’s unreasonable for Stanley to have collected 20.5 million dollars for doing nothing in a class action suit. Others may differ.

Let’s see what he did for his cut of the settlement.

[Chesley] show[ed] up at the mediation and [went] through the motions of announcing the agreement.

Nice work if you can get it; and he doesn’t have to pay back anything, so fine. However, his greed appears to have embarrassed the bar enough for them to dump him.

Ohio’s next.

UD, an English professor, is a big believer in re-reading what you wrote and editing as the need arises. Go to it, Cincinnati.

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