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Throughout his tenure as president, [University of Louisville president James] Ramsey has deferred to [vp for athletics Tom] Jurich in all athletics matters. He supported Jurich’s decision to keep Pitino, without punishment, after the Karen Sypher scandal. He supported Jurich’s decision to give football coach Bobby Petrino another chance despite the sex scandal that got him fired at Arkansas. He supported Jurich’s decision to keep football recruiter Clint Hurtt even after he was tainted by his involvement in the recruiting sex scandal at Miami… Already national commentators have lumped together all of Jurich’s controversial personnel decisions and concluded that UofL is guilty of condoning sexual misconduct for the sake of winning.

Talk about rushing to conclusions! Does that seem to you the record of a university that condones sexual misconduct for the sake of winning? Whoa, Nellie!


But look. Louisville’s is not the record of a university at all, is it? The opinion writer I quote above argues that universities are about this and universities are about that and the University of Louisville has to toss out all its pimps and whores and remember it’s a university yadda yadda.

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with this picture. Think about Donald Trump’s huge success so far in the presidential campaign. The more Trump behaves in a way diametrically opposed to presidential, the more votes he gets. Because a lot of Americans loathe government and love people committed to trashing it.

In the same way, a lot of people loathe academic institutions and love people committed to trashing them. Bring in squads of scummy coaches to run your school, give them complete freedom and the highest salaries in the state, and they will of course run your university into the ground.

To the cheers of thousands of onlookers.


Where’s UL’s faculty? Have you heard a peep out of any of them?


The University of Louisville has a permanent hard-on. It’s difficult to think when you’re like that.

But that’s the whole point.

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16 Responses to “University of Louisville Fully Erect”

  1. dmf Says:

    ah yeah this “Where’s UL’s faculty? Have you heard a peep out of any of them?” is the real story behind all of these happenings, why should we trust (let alone fund) these folks to educate our young citizens?

  2. felonious grammar Says:

    Very insightful.

    And sad.

  3. Derek Says:

    I doubt anyone here knows what the faculty are or are not doing. It’s the middle of a semester and I’s suspect that many of them are teaching and grading and advising and researching and writing. They are, in other words, doing their jobs. That they haven’t, to the limited knowledge of folks here, weighed in in a place where we can judge their level of sanctimony is really not all that germane a question. We should trust these people to educate our citizens because unless you have evidence otherwise, during the middle of the semester they are educating those citizens. Or, to put it another way, “doing their jobs.”

    We don’t know what’s happening on campus. We don’t know what discussions are going on behind the scenes. We don’t know what faculty leaders are saying to deans and the provost and president. But because we don’t know, maybe we should be a bit more generous in our assessments?


  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Derek: I disagree. Scandalous sports-related events have been going on at UL for years and years. Most schools with that sort of established story feature one or more professors who take time from their schedules to write short op/eds for the local newspaper in which they take the leadership of the school to task. The economists I’ve talked about at a number of sports-scandal schools come to mind; but there are many others — people who alone or with colleagues give voice to their opposition to the direction their school has taken. It’s amazing to me that no UL professor – as far as I can tell, and I read local as well as national news on the subject every day, looking for exactly this – has said or written anything.

    This is the best I can do. Local reporters seek out faculty and get an emailed response.

  5. dmf Says:

    well and it’s not just the sports-fiascoes but issues like grade inflation, student debt, and the slow but sure dismantling of the humanities/fine-arts, the sports are more symptoms than causes, as for just doing their jobs that’s too much like just taking orders.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    dmf: I did find this guy, who wrote about how awful the school was getting well before the whormitory story.

  7. charlie Says:

    Don’t tink so, Derek. NYAG’s office was on the receiving end of a whole lot of that state’s citizens complaining that non-profit unis were scamming students through the aegis of the financial aid departments. Turns out to have been true.

    http://www.ag.ny.gov › Media Center › Press Releases

    If the FSs had shown just a bit of curiosity, if they had bothered to listen to their students, if they had attempted to do their god damn jobs, then unis wouldn’t have been capable of carrying out this scheme. If you’re claiming that tenured profs too busy to know what many of my former high schools soon came to realize, them maybe FSs aren’t that smart….

  8. dmf Says:

    thanks UD that’s pretty well done on his part (would have been good to hear how/if he was going to get busy organizing faculty resistance) but (as you know) exceptions proving rules and all.

  9. Derek Says:

    Charlie — wait, wut? The NYAG? That has to do with Louisville how? Focus, man. Let’s deal with one petulant hobby horse at a time.

    dmf — Yes, I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt for faculty who were, yes, actually doing the actual jobs that they were actually hired to actually do. Sorry — if I were at Louisville and I were in the middle of the semester and this story broke within the last two weeks and I had thirty exams to grade and lectures and seminars to prepare and a chapter deadline — thus just describing my last two weeks — maybe I might not be inclined to run to the Louisville Courier Journal to write an op-ed so that some anonymous pustule on a blog comment section wouldn’t compare me to the SS. Especially if, say, I was working on an op-ed on something else related to my specialty. Or giving a public talk. Or, shit, spending time with my family when I wasn’t doing my teaching and research and writing and service. (But you win a sticker for succumbing to Godwin’s Law, so kudos for that.)

    And again, unless someone here has any actual insight as to what is going on behind the scenes, maybe wait to see how this plays out? I realize that rushing to judgment is awesome — it allows you to feel smug. And if I’ve seen nothing else here at UD it’s that self-satisfaction is the preferred default setting among the commentariat. But seriously, none of you, UD included, has the faintest clue, the tiniest hint of a scintilla of a smidgen of what is happening right now among the faculty at UL. That no one ran to write an op-ed piece means fucakall. (I have an untenured friend who teaches at UL and his tone seems to be one of bemusement, and the comments from his colleagues seems to range from shared bemusement to anger to embarrassment. I suppose that’s not enough for you brave keyboard warriors, though, heroes of narratives your imaginations get to weave.)

    So let’s see what happens. maybe no one loses their job — that would be scummy, and I’d hope the faculty senate or whatever their prevailing body is, would say something. Maybe we need to have more details come out. Maybe there are plenty of faculty going to their chairs and senators asking what’s going on. Is this happening? Do any of you know?

    I just don’t get the impetus to somehow blame the faculty in this scenario when the faculty have literally done nothing wrong from what I can tell. If someone has something that we historians call “evidence,” then by all means, present it. But instead what we have here is people who don’t know a goddamned thing trying to outdo one another to blame the exact wrong constituency. You all just walked into a 7-11 that was robbed and as the good guys with guns started taking aim at the poor bastard behind the counter. Inside your gun toting circle, you might be proud of yourselves. From the outside, you look like slack-jawed, mouth-breathing morons.


  10. Dr_Doctorstein Says:

    I tried for years to effect some basic reforms to the basketball and football programs at my own Division II school. The issue for us wasn’t anything as spectacular as strippers and hookers, merely the practice of recruiting obviously academically doomed athletes and watching them flunk out after playing them for a single season. At times I had as many as a dozen other faculty on board, but we got exactly nowhere. Once we actually persuaded the school’s Faculty Athletics Committee to adopt our proposed reforms and recommend them to the president; he accepted the recommendations politely and then ignored them. Some suggested taking our concerns to the press, but those concerns are so boringly wonky, and our school so little known, that the world would not care even if it knew.

    I would think, though, that faculty at the really famous sports schools, at a moment of acute embarrassment like Louisville is currently facing, might make a difference by piling on and taking matters past some tipping point. But like pretty much all of my colleagues, they seem to be far more concerned with their careers than with the integrity of their institutions. And why not? It’s not as if their peers think any less of them merely because they work at a sleazy sports powerhouse. The rational choice is to work on that next book, not to beat one’s head against the stadium wall.

  11. dmf Says:

    “But like pretty much all of my colleagues, they seem to be far more concerned with their careers than with the integrity of their institutions. And why not?” but as i noted above these are not ultimately separate matters their careers (and their professionalism) are being undercut by many of the same players (not the athletes but the admins) and attitudes, note the ever growing budget cuts in matters related to quality of teaching, research, and let’s not forget learning (and the related expansions of class-sizes, use of adjuncts, online/blackboard/powerpoint/etc.)

  12. Dr_Doctorstein Says:

    I agree, dmf. Institutional reputation is not just some amorphous collective good; it also provides a tangible individual benefit to the individual faculty member (and ultimately is the ground in which she lives and moves and has her being). But as that benefit declines, what’s the individual faculty member’s most rational short-term response? Is it (1) to try to shore that reputational benefit back up by fighting some of the most powerful forces on campus? Or (2) to compensate for the loss by doubling down on one’s own teaching/research?

    (1) will make a lot of people, probably including your bosses, hate you, and in any event might not succeed.

    (2) has a much higher likelihood of success (assuming you’re competent in your field), and a lot of people (including your bosses) will love you for it.

    Maybe it’s another version the tragedy of the commons. In the short term, the response that makes the most sense for each individual ultimately leads to the collapse of the whole.

  13. charlie Says:

    Derek, YOU made the claim that UofL FS was too busy to figure out the level of corruption going on within their own institution. That, despite all that it would have taken to get up to speed was to read a newspaper every so often. Which is seemingly the same thing that happened to FSs across the nation regarding financial aid corruption at their institutions. Just too busy to do their job, maintaining the academic integrity of their institutions.

    Maybe you’re on to something. A plague of too much work overwhelming tenured faculty. All those damn pesky undergrads, with their papers,tests,lectures, and what not. How could those poor folks with their tenured souls have known of the NYAG’s on going investigation, or the background of guys like Petrino and Pitino? Maybe the solution is to get some one else to look after the academy….

  14. charlie Says:

    Doctorstein, Again, I bring up the ongoing situation at LSU. Admins at that institution don’t want to solve the financial crisis by cutting football or basketball. They want to fire profs and close departments. LA isn’t singular, growing number of states and their unis will need to deal with insolvency. How many of those state legislatures and uni admins are going to do the same thing as LSU is proposing to do to keep their athletic departments functioning? FS need to come to terms with reality, going along isn’t going to allow them to get along anymore. Corruption, greed and self interest will end up extracting a few pounds of academic flesh…

  15. Mr Punch Says:

    Louisville bears some similarity to Penn State, in that the athletics program was seen as very successful and beneficial to the university. Beyond a couple of basketball championships, Louisville built winning programs almost across the board – which got them into the ACC (big win), and got staffers top jobs at other universities seeking to upgrade athletics (notably Rutgers).

  16. University Diaries » “[W]e are prepared to open the college basketball season in a few weeks as if nothing is disconcerting. The silence of outrage is not only deafening, but also tacit support of a despicable business practice.” Says:

    […] Thundering. It’s UD‘s Donald Trump point again (see this post). He’s doing brilliantly because lots of people in this country like despicable people and […]

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