Ed Keller, baseball player for Oklahoma State University back in the day, chairs the board of trustees there… The Board of Trustees! Where have they been during OSU’s long years of academic fraud, pimping of coeds to football recruits, money gifts to players, etc. etc.? What is a board of trustees? What does it do?
Okay, so the best answer to those questions is (see Penn State) nothing and nothing. We know this. Does it bother Yeshiva University that a man just found guilty of massive racketeering is on its board of trustees? Does Brown give a shit that Steve Cohen is on its board of trustees?
The best answer to these questions is no and no. Au contraire, if you’re a sports slut like OSU, you positively want a board of trustees made up of mindless jocks and boosters. In order to get to Number One, your coaches are going to be breaking a lot of rules, and the last thing they need is even one trustee with a conscience.
How do you keep all the trustees in line? If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, you know how the thing is done. All BOTs have one really well-connected bully (see Auburn’s Bobby Lowder) who controls everyone else on the board by withholding information, threatening to drop them from the board, whatever. This person takes advantage of the fact that for most university trustees the position is little more than something to boast about rather than a series of meetings one really means to attend, etc. Note that some universities have boards made up of thirty, forty, fifty people. You don’t have to be an expert in organizations to know that these groups are pointless, bootless, bogus.
Sports Illustrated is going after low-hanging fruit like this Okie joke first; expect more such multi-part investigations. And expect, in each case, that at some point someone’s going to say Hey doesn’t this school have a board of trustees? What does the board do?
Answers: Yes. Nothing.