“[Ira] Bowman, a former Providence and Penn player and the 1995-96 Ivy League Player of the Year, was hired as an Auburn [University] assistant [basketball coach] in July. He is the second Auburn assistant under head coach Bruce Pearl to have been linked to a federal bribery case. Pearl hired Bowman to replace former Tigers assistant Chuck Person, who was arrested in September 2017 in a federal bribery case involving college basketball corruption. Person is scheduled for trial in New York in June.”

Now … how can that happen? You take a real squeaky clean athletics program like Auburn and you hire TWO dirty coaches in succession! Bowman was spozed to be the good guy who replaced the bad guy, but he’s another bad guy! It’s just like when the University of Southern California appointed Varma to replace Puliafito! Well, I’m sure head coach Bruce Pearl don’t know anything about it.

Auburn University’s Flight Plan

How is one of this country’s major jockshops going to shake off its latest thing – the FBI bribery fraud and conspiracy thing? Decades of institutional misconduct have done nothing to blunt their teams’ championship ways; and if Auburn’s long history of corruption has destroyed any vestige of academic integrity, who gives a fuck? It’s a jockshop.

Still, when the DOJ and FBI come calling, it’s definitely a problem, and UD‘s gonna tell you Auburn’s short and long game in dealing with it.

They have a brand new president – hard-landing macho man Steven Leath, who did a bang-up job at major jockshop Iowa State – and Leath’s short game (very short – it’s kind of a placeholder until the other conspirators confess) is to deny that the bribery fraud and conspiracy is the work of anyone other than one singular bad person.

But UD sees a far more interesting long game here, involving Alabama’s next senator, Roy Moore.

UD thinks that if Auburn sits tight and doesn’t do much of anything, Moore will step in and solve its latest problem for it. As a United States senator, he will launch an all-out attack on the FBI and DOJ and their apostate assault on the twin pillars of faith down south: football and basketball. With Roy on their side, the University of Alabama and Auburn University are going to be just fine.

Auburn, Alabama, Athanasia

Commentary on the plot of an ongoing work of speculative fiction:

In 2026, … on Earth, people stopped dying or being born, meaning that the future world is populated by eight billion or so adults who have been left to confront the blessings and curses of immortality. To pass all that time, many Americans have turned to football, contorting it in a variety of strange ways to suit their new reality. People play thousands of simultaneous games, most of which take place over many years and cover extreme long distances — say, from Washington State to the Mexican border. In one of the story’s funniest sequences, two teams are stuck against the walls of a narrow canyon, both unable to move the ball but neither willing to stop playing. The great joke of the story, at once darkly comic and hopeful, is that men and women, faced with eternity and all its possibilities, have decided simply to fall back on the familiar comforts of the country’s favorite sport. Like the space probes processing the information sent out from the people back on Earth, they have nothing left to do but, as Pioneer 9 puts it, “perpetually hang out.” And so, everywhere and for all time, it’s football night in America.

… [For] the doomed people of this American future, “Boredom is their only enemy. And they get up in the morning and fight it every day of their eternal lives. Recreation and play sustains them. Football sustains them.” In what might be the most striking chapter so far, called “An answered prayer,” a video pans over the curvature of the Earth while playing audio of the announcer Verne Lundquist calling the famous final sequence of a game between the Universities of Alabama and Auburn in 2013. This glimmer of a moment has been transmitted out into the universe, to float on forever.

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Reminds UD of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, only there the sports obsession (car racing, not football) was about time rapidly running out — nuclear fallout has destroyed the entire world north of Australia and is rapidly reaching Australia itself. But there’s the same underlying motivation: boredom, anxiety, despair.

Auburn University Crash Lands a New President…

… and University Diaries can’t wait for what’s next.

UD‘s posts on Auburn, one of America’s most scummy sports factories, are here.

‘Michael Stern, the chairman of Auburn’s economics department and a former member of the faculty senate, said athletics is so powerful at Auburn that it operates like a “second university.”’

The question at Auburn is whether there’s a first university. I guess certain parties at Auburn would like to think so; but when one quarter of your trustees played football for the school, and when until very recently the school was run by the legendary Bobby Lowder… And so many academic scandals UD has lost count… I mean… really?

So now there’s this breaking story about the jock major du jour at Auburn – public administration. How legit poli sci professors at the school tried to shut it down, and how the athletics department kept that from happening, in part by offering to pay for the major. The Wall Street Journal seems the main source for the story – they quote from various emails in which athletics personnel worry themselves sick about the intellectual well-being of their players if the major is punted – but it’s all over the place now…

What UD finds moving about Auburn is its tragic endless search for a home – a warm permanent curricular roof over the team’s head. Not long ago, under their legendary chair of sociology, Thomas Petee, a man who, like North Carolina’s legendary Julius Nyang’oro, was able to chair a program, teach regular classes, and teach AT THE SAME TIME hundreds of independent study classes per semester, Auburn athletes en masse took soc. That scam got blown and they reeled over to public administration, which is now also well on its way to oblivion.

What next?

Athletes at Auburn are like passengers on the listing Titanic, grasping desperately at one side of the ship for survival and, water rising, racing desperately to the other side.

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See, what people don’t realize is that when the athletics department chooses a major for the lads it’s not just a matter of looking for gut courses. You need an entire organization – you need please-mister-quarterback-let-me-touch-you professors, downtrodden and manipulable tutors, mercenary administrators (remember: athletics has huge money to spend on selected departments and majors), etc., etc. You have to set up a whole world for this to work, and you have to watch out for people who (cough) might be inclined to leak incriminating emails about what you’re doing. I’m sure that, even as I write, everyone at Auburn – trustees, deans, students, boosters – is working overtime to create this new world.

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UD thanks Derek and Andrew.

Stupid, Corrupt Auburn University…

… doesn’t even make any money out of being stupid and corrupt. In fact, it’s losing money.

This article quotes representative campus dullards who don’t understand why Auburn’s massive athletics program is currently bleeding over thirteen million dollars.

As with everything Auburn (scroll down), it’s good for a laugh.

“We thought we were different from Auburn, but now we know that we’re not,” says [Holden] Thorp. “That’s a hard thing for some people to absorb.”

Auburn University. As always, the standard-bearer.

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Ranked Best University for Adzillatrons.

Bloody Auburn

Their football players keep getting killed.

In the same apartment complex.

Auburn freshman football player Jakell Mitchell was shot and killed early Sunday morning at an apartment complex near the Auburn University campus.

… The shooting … occurred at the same apartment complex Desmonte Leonard killed three men, including former Auburn players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips, at a party in the summer of 2012. He was convicted of capital murder, attempted murder and assault in October and will be sentenced Jan. 7.

Auburn Athletics is Running a BIG Ol’ Deficit…

… and I am just sitting here asking myself WHY. Auburn! Football City!

The largest expense remains compensation for coaches, support staff and administrators, which reached $34.7 million in 2013. When adjusting for inflation, Auburn’s costs for athletics department employees have increased 62 percent since 2006.

Plus, like pretty much everywhere else, fewer and fewer people are coming to the games… Salaries go way up… Ticket sales go down… Quite the business model…

And there’s all those millions in severance for people who aren’t there anymore…

“Unfortunately for Auburn, an accusation in our society is often enough to gain a conviction in the court of public opinion. Such is life inside the Twitter bubble. Being an ex-con — seven times charged with serious NCAA infractions — Auburn also has the increased burden of proving its innocence to a ‘jury’ whose opinions have been shaped by incidents dating back 20 years or more as well as by unproven accusations dating back to the Cam Newton affair.”

It’s like this — Imagine that someone comes along today and accuses Silvio Berlusconi of bribery, fraud, abuse of office, and solicitation of minors for sex. Although he may be totally innocent of these particular charges, Silvio has a decades-long record of allegations, trials, and convictions on just these categories of charges.

Similarly, Auburn University, one of America’s scummiest sports factories, has been in the grade-changing, fake-independent-study, cash-for-athletes game for decades. As the writer for MrSEC.com notes (I quote him in my headline), that school can do all the internal investigations it wants. You and I know that Auburn smells, and always will. So we figure – probably rightly – that it’s guilty of this most recent batch of charges.

UD’s gotta hand it to Auburn.

Most scandal-befouled sports factories – North Carolina, Penn State – are embarrassed by how far they’ve let themselves go. They seem to retain a sense of what they once were, or could have been, before they dissolved.

But UD will give this to Auburn University: It is what it is — the sports and leisure sewer of the American collegiate landscape — and it’s proud of it. No hiding its head in shame for Auburn after its countless athletic scandals; it has a belligerent insistence on total squalor, total contempt for the concept “university,” that one can’t help but admire.

Now it’s building an amusement park for everyone there, featuring

a 50-foot rock climbing wall with an auto-belaying system, four bordering caves for lateral climbing, a a 20-foot wet rock climbing wall in the 20,000 gallon leisure activity pool, a 45-person hot tub in the shape of a tiger paw and a third of a mile indoor track with a corkscrew formation and 10 feet of altitude.

Tiger paw because that’s the mascot, dummy. Here’s a photograph of forty-five people or so (doing something they’d never be caught dead doing at Auburn), in case you want to start picturing the hot tub.

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UD thanks a reader from Auburn.

“In contrast to Saban’s measured response, consider how quickly and decisively Gene Chizik acted when four of his Auburn football players were charged with armed robbery… This is no time to compare the arrest records of Alabama and Auburn players, but it seems fair to compare the reaction to two similar situations…”

When the name of the game in big-time American university football is thug-management, it’s all about comparisons. Who recruits the most criminals? How bad – man to man offense speaking – are they? Do they steal laptops, or do they, like national champ Alabama’s crew, beat people senseless and pack heat?

Then there’s all the chatter about consequences. Ignore it? Suspend them for awhile? Suspend them indefinitely? Dismiss them?

These guys – these Alabama guys – are second stringers, so we’re being spared long articles ignoring what they’ve done and agonizing instead about how their being in jail is going to hurt the defensive line…

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UD thanks several readers for linking her to this story.

You gotta hand it to Auburn University.

The place has an astounding consistency. Jockshop di tutti jockshops, it now has its trustees busy looking into two new degree offerings:

How to Make Beer.

How to Keep Turfgrass Looking Good.

“Blanchard said he raised his concerns after a scandal at Auburn University that was reported by The New York Times in July 2006. In that case, a sociology professor had offered 272 independent studies to students in one year. Many Auburn athletes used the courses to boost their grade point averages. Committee minutes for the November 2006 meeting make reference to the Auburn case.”

Now see, that’s good. That’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to read the newspaper, note disastrous academic scandals that have exactly the same M.O. as stuff going on at your campus, and alert academic authorities.

John Blanchard
was a senior associate athletic director at the now-notorious University of Carolina Chapel Hill, and he has said, in an interview with some of the many people reviewing that sorry school’s decades of academic fraud (a fraud only uncovered by a very determined local newspaper), that he did just this. He said look at POS Auburn – do we really want to be like them?

But although Auburn was discussed, nothing came of it. The head of UNC’s Department of African and Afro-American Studies continued proliferating bogus courses for athletes, exactly the way Auburn’s chair of sociology, Thomas Petee, did.

Actually, UNC went further than Auburn. It hired a sports agent, with ties to current players, to teach a course.

“Derek Dooley, who was fired from the University of Tennessee after just three years at the helm, will get $5 million for leaving, money that might have been given to the university for academic and scholarship funding. Auburn’s Gene Chizik, who led the Tigers to a national championship just two years ago, will receive $7.5 million in a contract buyout. Neither coach had been in the job for more than four years, so it’s hard to know how they might have fared had they been given more time.”

True, and a new study suggests that changing coaches constantly does no good in terms of your win/loss record.

But that’s the thing about university sports. Decisions aren’t made with deliberation. They’re made according to the Baying Hounds Principle. When the hounds start baying so loudly it scares you, get another coach.

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