To the Women Joining Sororities at Northwestern University: Save Time. Just Become a Moonie.

I can barely make time to attend drawn-out sorority meetings that usually consist of practicing chants, lining up at a door, or archaic traditions in a dimly-lit basement.

Prior to joining my chapter, I had no idea the time commitment that Greek life required. For events such as initiation, I’m trapped in the house all weekend, repeatedly chanting the same rituals on a loop every 20 minutes.


And as for further dispatches from the frats… Not sure how many of these you can take, but…

The Ball Turret Gunner, today.

From my mother’s sleep I fell into State U.
And I drank in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Miles from home, loosed from my parents’ love,
I woke to black vodka and the nightmare brothers.
When I died I was .495 booze.

“Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth suspended the players, but school officials noted they will save money since the mug shots of the players snapped by the Lafayette police photographer can double as head shots in the 2017 press guide.”

We’re only four months into this year’s Golden Handcuffs competition, but it’s never too soon for an update.


Tradition remains important. In time-honored style, one arrestee wears instantly legible clothing.

Just to make sure he could identified, [Adrian] Magee wore a pair of No. 73 LSU Nike shorts that matched his jersey number.

“Part of the reason they seemingly did not fire the coach last fall was because [of] the bad optics of paying out millions to buy out the coach’s contract while the state struggled financially.”

College men from LSU
Went in dumb
Come out dumb too


It’s a whole new day!

Dave Zirin on Lawrence Phillips and the University of Nebraska

[H]is early run-ins with the law, instead of provoking interventions by the football coaches who comprised the adult authority figures in his life, only brought cover-ups, aimed to protect their golden goose: a kid who coaches and who, scouts said in hushed tones, ran the ball like a future MVP. In listening to a series of interviews with old teammates, you hear stories of violence conjoined with mental illness: of someone who “didn’t have all the tools in his tool box,” who could turn from kindness to anger on a moment’s notice, lash out, and then be consumed with regret. This was someone who needed counseling. Instead, he had people just hoping he would win the big game before his next arrest.

That took place most notoriously at Nebraska, where Phillips dragged his ex-girlfriend, Kate McEwen, a basketball player, down a flight of stairs. After pleading “no contest” to charges of misdemeanor assault, he was suspended for just six games. As for McEwen, she had her athletic scholarship taken away. An abhorrent message had been sent to not only Phillips but to a team that collected gender-violence charges like they collected conference titles.

Phillips’s coach, the legendary Tom Osborne, said at the time that he took Phillips back onto the team without further punishment because the young man needed “structure” and stability that only Cornhuskers football could offer. That “structure” was a college football program that, like so many others, was built on rank exploitation, with little care for the person under the helmet.

It’s even more insidious than that, isn’t it? Is it that hard to imagine a coach perceiving the twisted violence in a player, perceiving it play out astonishingly against women, perceiving the very same quality playing out against men on the field, and saying: Wow. Great. Let’s tap the football part of that violence… We only need it for a few seasons… Responsible people at the University of Nebraska must have known that wildchild Richie Incognito had a pretty empty toolbox too. I’m sure there have been plenty of other similarly exploited student athletes on that campus. Why hasn’t anyone at that campus proposed a serious investigation, conducted by an outsider, of its coaching and academic ethics over, say, the last two decades, in regard to its football players? I know that plenty of other universities behave the same way, but given the current spotlight on Nebraska, I think that school would be a good place to start.


A similarly harsh attack on the University of Nebraska.

“That appalling apathy about scholarship means we must leverage the public’s affection for football to save academics.”

But why save academics? When you live in an appallingly apathetic state, a state actively hostile to the mind, why have public universities? America is a big rich country crawling with universities – I’m pretty sure almost everyone in Louisiana has the means to get in a car and drive to a neighboring state. Almost everyone in Nevada or Montana or New Mexico can do the same. Designate certain states university-free zones and have states near them extend in-state tuition arrangements to people from those states who want to attend a university.


No, no, UD isn’t proposing doing away with the football teams in the no-go states. Keep the teams, and keep “university” in their names. Since football is the only university thing state residents like, maintain state subsidies for it. No one will complain, especially since whatever state funds designated for universities still exist could now in their entirety be given over to the football team.


If you fail to adopt this approach, you risk the circularity exhibited in this amusing Times-Picayune opinion piece, which calls for Louisiana State University football players to threaten a strike in order to save the university as an academic institution.

If star players could be persuaded to demand greater funding for our school, the public would listen and respond. Better yet, if … the football team [would] threaten a strike until the governor and legislators fully fund the university, we could achieve transformational change.

After all:

Many fans don’t care about the quality of LSU’s academic programs. They don’t care if the school cannot attract and retain top professors. They don’t care that many young people are leaving Louisiana for schools in other states because of uncertainty about our higher education system.

What people do care about – and deeply – is college football. In fact, many people support LSU’s academic mission only because they know that hiring a few hundred professors and instructors is the price they must pay to field a football team. As you and I know, many fans regard our institution as a sports enterprise with History and English departments on the side.

Which begs a question. Why be compelled to order with your meal sides you don’t like? I’ll have a football team with… Do I have to order sides? Yes, you must order two sides. Let’s see… English… History… Do you have any non-academic sides? No. Okay… Give me English and History but just a little bit …

Time to change Louisiana’s menu to cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger.

On failing to see the historical inevitability of universities like Louisiana State.

LSU’s football program is rich as all get-out; whatever’s left of the university it’s sort of attached to is totally up shit’s delta.

So what to do with the shabby close to bankrupt nothing that used to be a university? The bunch of rags dangling off the quarterback’s Platinum Dazzle thigh? Team boosters at LSU are about to find seventeen million dollars to buy out a coach they don’t like, but money for a … school?

This guy’s panicking because after all “there is no football team without a functioning Louisiana State University… [T]here is no LSU Athletics without Louisiana State University.” You gotta keep the school at least on life support to keep the football team alive. Don’t you?

Not really. Think of the evolution of LSU in the following way. You know how in the first Alien film the alien baby needed John Hurt’s body in order to gestate? That’s LSU football. Needed a nice warm university to grow in, but now it’s all grown up and its host has no reason to live anymore.

There are plenty of ghost universities with thriving football teams, and UD has often named them on this blog. Auburn.* Clemson. Nebraska. Their spectral story is also LSU’s. Accept it, says UD.



Some [Auburn] purchases … were optional, like two new twin-engine jets: a six-seat 2008 Cessna Citation CJ2+ ($6.4 million) and a seven-seat 2009 Cessna Citation CJ3 ($7.8 million), each bearing a blue and orange “AU” insignia on its tail.

The jets are used primarily by coaches to criss-cross the country meeting with recruits, contributing to Auburn’s recruiting costs nearly doubling in a decade, from $1.6 million to $2.7 million.

[Its] new video board, the largest in college sports, was also optional. Auburn has a history of trend-setting electronics displays. In 2007, it installed the first high-definition video board in the SEC, a $2.9 million purchase Athletic Director Jacobs decided was obsolete eight years later.


UD thanks John.

“I think of Baylor as a pro football team with a Bible college attached.”

Well, yes. We all do.

The Bible thing allows you to differentiate between West Virginia University, where locals call Morgantown “a drinking town with a football problem,” and Baylor, which seems to have low rates of alcohol consumption, but shares UWV’s burning commitment to recruiting the best players regardless of, er, violent propensities.

At both schools there’s an unsettling conflation of football and the school’s spirit of choice (alcohol, God). And at both schools, whether they regard their players as Christian Soldiers or Frat Boys on Steroids, violence appears to be totally okay.

Goes without saying that guns and gangs (Baylor’s home, Waco, is in the headlines for biker/police shoot-outs) make up much of the rest of the social fabric at these locations.


And don’t forget sex. Nobody competes with the University of Montana and Grizzlyville (used to be Missoula, but the football team is the Grizzlies) for broad-shouldered sexual assault. But Baylor’s in there trying.


Anyone with the intestinal fortitude to examine the deep structure of Baylor – as in, how do you actually produce places like Baylor and Waco? – will tend to gravitate toward the school’s board of trustees, where a Bobby Lowder-like figure name of Buddy Jones seems to run the school and the town.

Buddy’s real enthusiastic about Baylor. Back in 2012, when they won a few games and all, his response was this:

“We like to use biblical analogies, and this is a year of biblical proportions,” Buddy Jones, a regent at the university, told the New York Times in 2012. “As we would say in Christendom, it’s like an early rapture.”

When his vision of the proper role of the booster was threatened by the alumni association, Jones (then chairman of the board of trustees) wrote to a fellow zealot that he couldn’t wait to

put on camp (sic) and load my weapons and go hunting for BAA game. Licking my chops.

Buddy’s official trustee statement has a rapturous boy/girl thing going to explain the nature of the school:

“Baylor’s uniqueness is her commitment to quality higher education by adapting to the 21st century, while never straying from her deep roots in God’s word and her role in his plan for mankind.”

Was Buddy the genius behind the groom’s cake at his daughter’s wedding?

[The cake was] an edible replica of Baylor’s … new stadium with a saluting bear in the middle. But perhaps the most impressive part of the cake is the video screen, which looks like it actually works. At the very least, it had a light in it that gave the illusion of working.


So much of this comes together this Saturday night, when a match-up between two of the nation’s scummiest football schools – LSU and Bama – will feature a political candidate’s prostitutes and patriots ad. Layers upon layers upon layers.

“Went in dumb come out dumb too”

While reading this, sing this.

Cosmic Convergence

Eight of the fifteen American university football teams that dominate the “most flagrant chaplaincies” list also dominate the “most team arrests” list.


Auburn University
University of Georgia
University of South Carolina
Mississippi State University
University of Alabama
University of Tennessee
Louisiana State University
University of Missouri
University of Washington
Georgia Tech
University of Illinois
Florida State University
University of Mississippi
University of Wisconsin
Clemson University



1) Washington State: 31
2) Florida: 24
T-3) Georgia: 22
T-3) Texas A&M: 22
5) Oklahoma: 21
T-6) Iowa State: 20
T-6) Missouri: 20
T-6) Ole Miss: 20
T-6) West Virginia: 20
T-10) Florida State: 19
T-10) Tennessee: 19
T-12) Alabama: 18
T-12) Iowa: 18
T-12) Kentucky: 18
T-15) LSU: 16
T-15) Marshall: 16
T-15) Oregon State: 16
T-15) Pittsburgh: 16
T-19) Arkansas: 14
T-19) Michigan: 14
T-19) Oklahoma State: 14
T-19) Purdue: 14
T-23) Auburn: 13
T-23) Colorado: 13
T-23) Kansas: 13

The University: A Dignity Watch.

Longtime readers know that University Diaries likes to follow the Italianization (background on this term here) of the American university, its step-by-step degradation to the point of no return… The big-time sports schools are the leading edge here, of course; and within that category alcohol-sodden big-time sports schools are the real winners. U President Vows Push for Stadium Liquor Sales is, when you think about it, a really remarkable headline… the university president as booze pusher… spending his time pushing booze for his students through the legislature… the university president as alcohol salesman… on the august occasion of his retirement, we scroll through the president’s achievements… got the state to allow our students to drink in the stands…

So here’s a recent Dignity Watch item: The chancellor of one university boasts that his university, unlike a neighboring university, doesn’t – yet – generate revenue by fucking up its students.

Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp hasn’t held back lately taking shots at the Longhorns, which for years ruled the state of Texas in college sports.

Sharp had a cutting response to the news two days ago that the Longhorns will begin selling alcohol at football games.

Through a tweet from Gabe Bock of TexAgs radio, Sharp said, “Our athletic program has not reached the point where we require the numbing effects of alcohol.”

And that’s A&M saying that! Texas A&M!


[Louisiana State University] defensive lineman Trey Lealaimatafao [was] arrested on Tuesday for allegedly pushing and punching a woman in the face outside Reggie’s bar near the LSU campus … He was allegedly taking money from the pants of another person who was on the ground unconscious at the parking lot outside Reggie’s, and that man’s girlfriend began yelling at Lealaimatafao to stop.

“When she approached him, he pushed her away,” the initial Baton Rouge Police report says. “She continued to scream at him to stop, and he hit her in the face with a closed fist, causing her to fall to the ground.”

… Lealaimatafao was issued a misdemeanor summons last July for stealing a bicycle from the LSU library. He later returned the bike and told police that because the bike was not locked, he thought it was part of a ride for free program, which is available in several cities. Lealaimatafao was redshirted last season at LSU after injuring an arm when he punched through a glass in the LSU weight room.

Fucked up the weight room. Stole a bike. Punched a woman while trying to take money from an unconscious person.

It’s real hard to get released from the LSU team.


UD thanks John.

“You can’t have the same rules for schools with 100,000-seat football stadiums and athletic budgets of $100 million as you do for institutions with 30,000-seat stadiums and $20 million budgets.”

Sometimes UD likes to imagine people from… well, almost any other country in the world reading things like this. About universities.

“[U]gly, kitsch, ridiculous, and rather childish.”

Scathing Online Schoolmarm might quibble with the order of adjectives here – isn’t childish a bit weaker than ugly, kitsch, ridiculous? Those are stronger words, and I think you should build up to your stronger words to avoid a letdown at the end of a sentence. SOS might have started the list with childish and then continued by means of ascending number of syllables:

kitsch (1)
ugly (2)
ridiculous (4)

“Childish, kitsch, ugly, and rather ridiculous.” Or drop the rather. “Childish, kitsch, ugly, and ridiculous.”

The ur-text for thinking about the style and content of lists is The Importance of Being Earnest:

ALGERNON. [Speaking very rapidly.] Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately, devotedly, hopelessly.

CECILY. I don’t think that you should tell me that you love me wildly, passionately, devotedly, hopelessly. Hopelessly doesn’t seem to make much sense, does it?

Doesn’t make much sense and is, again, a bit of a letdown.

In the case of practically bankrupt Louisiana State University finding money to buy “a ‘lazy river’ on the LSU campus in the shape of the letters L-S-U,” it doesn’t really matter how the LSU Faculty Senate president organized his list – the remarkable nature of the construction certainly comes across. Students whose campus is in the tank will soon be literally in the tank, paddling while Rome burns.

More dispatches from the university’s front porch.

[A]s an out-of-state transfer student [at Louisiana State University], I was not quite ready for the insanity that ensued during football season. I was shocked at the number of students I saw around me that were consistently vomiting, and I had never seen so many students be carried out on stretchers before.

Yet these are precisely the students who eventually turn into the university’s most generous alumni.

One way for universities to save money while retaining loyal alumni would be to forgo the costly football thing altogether and simply, at the Welcome New Students party, spike the punch with Ipecac.

Then, after students have puked their guts out, beat them up.

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