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This is from Saul Bellow’s Herzog, describing a hard-nosed friend of Moses who enjoys lecturing him about The Real World. Simkin sees Herzog as a head in the clouds dreamy idealistic type who because he’s not watching out for reality will always crash into it and fuck up his life:

I’m a greedy old money-grubber — I don’t claim I’m a candi­date for sainthood, but . . . Well, that’s just the frenzy of the world. Maybe you don’t always take cognizance, Professor, being absorbed in the true the good and the beautiful like Herr Goethe.

Ever since the multiple woman bashing incidents on the Florida State University football team, we’ve had a rash of Reality-Instructors. Their job is to tell us what’s up, what the deal is, the lay of the land, the facts on the ground, prevailing conditions, the stone cold sober truth. On the subject of big-time university football.

UD‘s favorite Reality Instructor so far is this guy. From his title (Let’s Stop Pretending FSU is Different Than Anyone Else) to his final paragraph, this guy has some cold water to throw on our assumption that universities are universities.

His main point is that all the other jockshops recruit with arrant disregard when it comes to criminal records and things like that. Why should FSU be any different? It’s not as if universities are about moral values or something. (And don’t even ask about intellectual values…) Get with the program, fool!

[This is what bothers me most about criticism of the coach]: The idea that he should be blamed for recruiting these kids at all.

It’s preposterous.

I mean, we’re all adults here, right? We know how the world works.

College football is a billion-dollar business. Virtually every coach in the Power 5 conferences is a multi-millionaire. These universities are making anywhere from 20 to 40 million dollars with these new TV deals.

With big money comes big pressure. And these coaches – all of these coaches – try to get the best players possible to come help them win football games at their respective schools. Many times that means recruiting kids from rough cities with tough backgrounds. It’s just the nature of the sport.

To the rest of the country though it’s Florida State that has become the poster child for what is wrong with college football. Wins trump everything else in Tallahassee. It’s all Fisher cares about. It’s all the community cares about. It’s the only thing that matters.

What I find fascinating — and just a bit ironic — is how [the coach] and FSU are vilified for this culture while not a peep was written or spoken about what happened in Gainesville last year.

The everybody does it argument always has as accompaniment

1.) they’re just as bad; and/or

2.) they’re worse.

UD had read long, long comment threads in which fans compulsively compare their team’s vileness to the slightly greater vileness of this or that other team. In this case, Gainesville – the University of Florida – is trotted out to demonstrate that very bad actors and cynical multimillionaire coaches are equally distributed among America’s institutes of higher learning, so why pick on us?

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