For sheer tenacious takedown of a university…

… no one else comes close to the University of New Mexico.

Its president is a nepotistic nullity.

Its football coach likes to lose games and beat up people.

Everyone’s tried to get rid of the president every which way, but the governor and legislature can’t get enough of the guy.

UNM will also keep the coach on, rumor has it, because “UNM’s Board of Regents, the state of New Mexico and the athletic department’s private fundraising Lobo Club is unwilling to provide the $1.46 million to buy Locksley out of a contract that runs through 2014.”

They’re already paying through the teeth on contract buyouts for three other coaches.

Plus:

This year’s average attendance will likely be the lowest since 1992. The school’s ticket revenue projection is down over a million dollars over the last two years yet it will cost the University about $1.4 million to buyout the remainder of his contract.

All UD can say is Choose your state well. You’re free, in the United States, to move unaccosted from state to state, putting down roots, attending school, and working, where you prefer. Occasionally, you’re trapped; I understand that. But in most cases you do not have to go to a public university in Nevada, New Mexico, Alaska, or Hawaii — all states where there is simply no good option if you’re serious, or even semi-serious, about an education.

Don’t wait for UNM to change. Go away.

“President Schmidly, I gratefully accept this award, but I decided to make a symbolic statement by asking you to hold my plaque until you leave administrative work, and return to your role as a highly accomplished teacher of biology,” he said. “Then I’ll accept the plaque in gratitude, if you want to give it to me.”

This was the acceptance speech that this year’s winner of the University of New Mexico teaching award gave yesterday.

Non-acceptance speech, I guess. Must have been pretty embarrassing for the president, Dave Schmidly, to present the award, and then sit down and hear what the recipient had to say about him.

President Schmidly presented the “Presidential Teaching Fellow” award to Dr. Howard Waitzkin, a distinguished professor in family and community medicine, sociology, and internal medicine at UNM. Upon accepting the award, Waitzkin unexpectedly gave a speech about the UNM administration’s poor performance supporting faculty and students.

“The values that most of us on the faculty and most of the student body think need to be preserved are those that focus on the advancement of education and the advancement of knowledge,” he said. “The priorities here have been on buildings, athletics and other areas that are not core to the University’s mission.”

… In his speech, Waitzkin talked about the resignation of Faculty President Doug Fields on Monday due to the unwillingness of administration to listen to faculty’s ideas on governance and budget planning. He also cited the faculty’s no-confidence vote in President David Schmidly last spring.

“Because of the deterioration of UNM’s educational mission, last year the faculty gave President Schmidly a strong vote of no confidence,” Waitzkin said. “Rather than resigning, the president has continued much of the same practices, which have provoked several scandals and reduced morale for many faculty members and students.”

Waitzkin cited financial changes, cutbacks in key programs and utter lack of support for faculty as the reasons why he decided to speak out at the awards ceremony. He said lack of support for teachers from the administration has led many faculty to teach in a “sad, alienated way,” and others to leave the University…

Tenure is controversial, and I guess it should be. But you have to admit that this is a story not only about courage, but about tenure.

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And — Schmidly? He’s going the way of Ceausescu. It’s going to become increasingly difficult for him to be seen in public.

UD has wondered for awhile why it’s taking so long for mass murder to play its part in American fraternity hazing.

Guns of course are ubiquitous at frats, but they’re an adjunct to the frat’s extensive drug dealing operation (see pages and pages of guns and frats here), or they’re AK-47s that the lads like to photograph themselves holding, or they’re be-well-son-and-take-care-of-yourself goodbye gifts from Maw and Paw as the little guy heads off to school. And of course they’re notoriously handy when suicide is in the air. All routine American gun use.

Real powpowpow, however, has been thin on the ground. Stuff that draws pledge-blood has been… anemic.

Yes, this Oklahoma State guy (an inter-fraternity council secretary)

used a loaded gun to scare two new fraternity recruits. The victims say (Owen) Hossack pointed the gun at their heads and asked if they would take a bullet for their brothers. Then, police say, he fired the gun …

But I mean big deal nobody got hurt and loyalty is an important value…

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See, if you ask UD the omnipresence of guns, alcohol, drugs, teenagers, secret guys-only events, and loyalty tests should mean that America’s budding Stephen Paddocks begin routinely manifesting themselves at our fraternities. By national standards, shooting a gun at two guys’ heads but not killing them is, uh, kid stuff.

On the other hand, there’s evidence that things are escalating to the serious mass shootings UD keeps expecting. New Mexico State University (feast your eyes) is exactly the sort of walking abortion of a school you’d expect to be a first-adopter here, and sure enough they did manage to draw blood at a recent hazing event.

Dozens of students, including Jonathan Sillas, attended the Kappa Sigma fraternity’s initiation event.

As Sillas was leaving, another student, Miguel Altamirano, pulled him to the side and told him to turn around, according to a criminal complaint.

Altamirano pulled out a .40 caliber handgun, held the firearm against Sillas’ leg and pulled the trigger, the complaint states. The bullet went through Sillas’ leg.

Gun-friendly states always use the passive voice. The bullet went through. The shooter did not put the bullet in Sillas’s leg; the bullet decided to go through Sillas’s leg. And note the other thing going on at hazing events: Sadistic tyranny. Pulled him to the side and told him to turn around. Right out of The Story of O. Frat hazing (and sorority hazing) reeks, my dears, of S&M.

Duh. We all know that. It’s about torturing people pathetic enough to be willing to be tortured in order to join your club.

I mean, datz why I keep wondering why no mass killing at Sigma Alpha Epsilon yet! You know they’ve got guns galore, but no one’s gonna confiscate them because that would initiate a massacre of free Americans by the federal government. Little by little, a pledge shooting here and a pledge shooting there, we’re inching toward mass murder at an American university fraternity. Just be patient.

‘Oregon devised a solution to slow its exodus: fast food. If the Ducks score 40 points, those who stay for the whole time earn a free “Jumbo Jack” hamburger from Jack in the Box.’

Students don’t go to football games; or they go and then leave after twenty minutes. Some universities burger and booze students to make them stay put; New Mexico State University pays them.

… ESPN host Keith Olbermann lambasted NMSU President Carruthers as the worst person in the sports world.

“In NCAA college football you can pay the coaches, you can pay the ADs, you can pay the announcers, yet you can’t pay the players, but now you can pay the fans too!” an outraged Olbermann told his ESPN audience. “New Mexico State University’s Garrey ‘We-will-bribe-you-to-sit-through-this-garbage’ Carruthers. Today’s worst person in the sports world.”

What glorious things our universities have turned into.

It sounds like something they’d rig up at Gitmo…

… but it’s just the latest effort on the part of New Mexico State University to get someone to sit through one of their football games.

[U]niversity President Garrey Carruthers and others have raised money to counter the often dismal student attendance at Aggies (0-4) games.

Among the prizes are $2,000, $250 and a VIP parking pass.

The winner of the $2,000 will be selected from all main campus NMSU students who are taking at least one credit at the school. If the student is there during the fourth quarter, he or she will collect the reward. If not, the prize money will be saved for the next game.

The Aggies have lost 15 straight games and have been beaten by a combined 201-62 this season.

Can you collect if you’re just, like, there? Do you have to be conscious?

‘Prior to his election as president, Carruthers openly questioned whether NMSU should drop to Football Championship Subdivision status or even consider dropping football. He’s since reconsidered. “One of the pleasant things about being president is that I have a board of regents to turn to for guidance,” Carruthers said with a chuckle. “One of the first suggestions the regents gave me was, ‘Don’t talk about anything but (Football Bowl Subdivision) for our football program.’ I got the message.”’

The degradation of being president of hopeless-loser New Mexico State University.

The chair of an academic institution’s board of trustees speaks to us!

Hail, Chairman Cheney!

Our football team has not achieved the success we would have liked to have seen over the years, but we have had pockets of success that inspire. How about our three Aggie players drafted into the NFL for three consecutive years! For those who watched, NMSU beat Minnesota two years ago — there was a state of elation that had people talking the whole season. Who can deny that a win against our major rivals — UTEP or UNM — creates electricity and enthusiasm for a unified Aggie Nation! My challenge to all of us is to get behind and support our teams that represent us with such pride. Anyone can criticize. It takes fortitude to be a supporter on our way to achieving the success we desire.

I am proud of New Mexico State University. If we aspire to be known as one of America’s great universities, we are going to need to act like we are one of those universities today! That is what is called vision! When we believe in our vision; when we support our faculty; when we support our staff; when we support our administration; when we support our coaches and athletic director; and yes, when we support our board of regents; success will be ours! It takes courage to stand tall in the face of criticism. It takes heart to support our student-athletes who are giving it their all, each time that enter a competition. It takes special people to take NMSU to a new place, and I believe we are in a place in our history, with people of passion, who can help us get there!

Stand tall! Anyone can criticize!!

In anticipation of a sold-out debate at NYU…

… this Tuesday – topic: BAN COLLEGE FOOTBALL – Buzz Bissinger, arguing in favor, begins to make his case. He mentions all the obvious stuff everyone mentions, and drops in a few current yummy examples. Like:

New Mexico State University’s athletic department needed a 70% subsidy in 2009-2010, largely because Aggie football hasn’t gotten to a bowl game in 51 years. Outside of Las Cruces, where New Mexico State is located, how many people even know that the school has a football program? None, except maybe for some savvy contestants on “Jeopardy.” What purpose does it serve on a university campus? None.

All true: It serves no purpose. Yet the question to ask about New Mexico State and other bad schools with expensive football teams is: What purpose does anything serve on that university campus? Wouldn’t eliminating football do away with the only game, as it were, in town? If you banned football, and Auburn and Clemson couldn’t play it anymore, what would be left? People forget that the very scandals schools like these generate are part of their lore, part of the excitement of being a student there. It’s hard to imagine anyone applying to a football school that’s become a shell of its former self. Banning football would ultimately mean closing down dozens of American universities.

“Classes are either getting huge or they’re being closed, so students are unable to take classes they need,” [a professor] said. “Or, they’re being canceled because there’s no one to teach them.”

And why? Because the idiots at New Mexico State University who insisted on joining the expensive Western Athletic Conference six years ago have put the program into a persistent, almost ten million dollar, debt.

NMSU will deal with this by “shift[ing] about $4.1 million annually from education” to athletics.

The NMSU Faculty Senate in March OK’d a resolution asking for administrators to stop subsidizing the athletics budget with Instruction and Administration funds and to incorporate the program’s budgeting process into that of the rest of the university’s. Plus, it asked that student fees only be used to boost athletics, if it’s approved by the student body.

About $2.9 million in student fees – a different pool from Instruction and Administration – is expected to go to athletics in the current year, up from $1.4 million in 2006-07.

Yeah well dream on. Note the bit about only if it’s approved… You wouldn’t want to ask the students if they’d like you to rip them off for more and more sports money every year ’cause they’re going to say no…

Criminal schools attract criminals.

Very simple principle, simply stated. You can add that criminal schools in deeply corrupt states attract lots of, er, bad actors, and indeed accumulate long non-glorious histories of the corrupt and criminal.

You’re thinking of the U of Smell — Louisville — I know, cuz we spend a lot of time on that swamp on this blog; but don’t forget its smelliforous competitor, the University of New Mexico. Read through these posts for the narrative of that school’s greedy-dolt presidents, sticky-finger ADs, lazy-dolt trustees, and desperately enraged students and faculty. Short version – jest ’bout anybody who attains a position of responsibility at UNM (i.e. access to funds) steals.

What’s truly distinctive about New Mexico is the stupidity of their academic removalists. Former vastly paid AD Paul Krebs not only robbed the school blind; he wrote about it in university-account emails to his fellow-traveler and current UNM professor wife. He took what some chump thought was a donation to the athletic department and instructed his wife — again, in an email – to put the check where the sun don’t shine.

[The] $25,000 check … “should not be traceable …” Authorities say his wife received these instructions on her university email: “delete everything I sent when done so nothing discoverable in IPRA (public records) request. Including your delete file. Thanks.”

Thanks? Not love? Not even a heart emoji?

‘Get some dirt on this whore.’

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that the University of New Mexico is among the lowest of the low, not merely in terms of sports, but in terms of academic standards. (Feast your eyes. Skip over the New Mexico State posts, which also come up when you put UNIVERSITY NEW MEXICO in the search engine.). People pretend to be shocked when The Next Thing happens, but if you know UNM, the fact that they’ve just suspended their $800,000 a year football coach for – it’s alleged – racism, abuse of players, and, in the case of this post’s headline, not really dealing very well with rape allegations against his players – you ain’t shocked.

UNM has placed Davie on unpaid leave for 30 days and says he will have to take mandatory trainings, including on cultural sensitivity.

You bet.

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Update: Sports journalism’s best commenters are just getting started over at Deadspin, but there are already a few gems. Like this one:

The judges will need a moment to consider whether Dave Bliss’s post-UNM career should be taken into consideration when deciding the title of “biggest asshole to coach for the Lobos.”

It’s frustrating to deal with delusional people, and even more frustrating to deal with delusional sports programs.

So pause a moment to think what University of New Mexico instructor Daniel Barto’s daily life at that benighted school (in a benighted state) is like. He opens the paper and reads the following opening paragraphs:

University of New Mexico athletics has projected ticket revenue for the current 2017-18 fiscal year that it didn’t come close to reaching this past season.

And this comes after the recent retirement of its athletic director, the launch of two state investigations related to … possible fiscal mismanagement and the reality of failing to balance eight of the department’s past 10 budgets.

In fact, UNM has budgeted to spend about $1 million more from ticket sales this year than it actually brought in last year from its three revenue generating sports of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

Read the whole thing. It gets more delusional with every paragraph. Barto reads things like this every day.

This blog has spent years documenting wild wacko wastrel UNM. (The link includes non UNM posts – jump around.). If you want to know what its like to actually belong to the UNM community, read Barto’s letter in the student newspaper. After reviewing the serious financial difficulties of many people on campus, he notes:

This [financial difficulty] pertains to us all — except one certain delusional department that seems to think that the hard math of budgeting does not apply to them.

I am talking about the Athletics Department, the department that has the most paid administrators of any other on main campus.

This department was headed by director Paul Krebs (salary $319,262) until he “resigned” after committing fraud. Paul used UNM money to fund a personal golfing trip to Scotland. This trip ended up costing New Mexico taxpayers even more, because Paul failed to get enough people to lock in for the discount group travel rate.

Pathetic Paul, so much money to embezzle but too few friends to even embezzle with.

Of course the Athletics Department claims, “We bring in the most money!”

But this is a lie of omission. The department wastes more money than it brings in. According to the ABQ Journal, since 2007 the Athletics Department’s expenses have exceed[ed] their revenue every year except two. As of 2016, the department has a $1,525,257 deficit that the University must cover.

Barto is angry. Of course he concedes that the state of New Mexico itself is one of the most dissolute in the nation; he understands that public universities in our most corrupt states are royally screwed. But he still can’t help hoping for things to change.

His letter hasn’t yet attracted any comments. If it does, UD feels pretty certain they’ll be abusive, semi-literate, and deeply deluded.

“To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.”

Anyone who blogs about universities – ‘specially university athletics – has the very same task Samuel Beckett describes. How do you make room for – make sense of – the mess? For the theater of the absurd production that schools like New Mexico State (and let NMSU stand for myriad others like it) stage every single day? Go here for background on this clown school with its budget-killing big sports program and its vast empty stadium. Then go here for an update, as the state of New Mexico pulls funding from the school and lets the big thinkers on campus figure out how to keep their players rolling around in a huge vacant shell.

But that’s just one state school, from a notoriously anti-intellectual state. Consider the sporty devolution of the University of Minnesota, of all places, where they pay coaches millions of dollars to preside over endless sickening drug and sex scandals. People are now officially worried that the state legislature might be too grossed out to approve UMN’s funding requests. You’ve even got some restive citizens wondering about – wait for it – whether athletics might compromise a university’s mission. They seem particularly upset about coaches’ salaries.

But UMN to the rescue! They’re about to appoint this guy as one of their regents. Good optics.

*************

The Washington state senate shows you what can happen to a university’s autonomy when it keeps fucking up its athletic budget.

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At least we’ve got the very top of university football, with packed stadiums and plentiful revenues, to admire. Dave Zirin describes these lucky schools.

[Clemson’s] head coach in 1981, Danny Ford made $50,000 that year (adjusted for inflation, that would be $140,000 today). Dabo Swinney takes home a base salary of $4.55 million. He also made $1.4 million in bonuses for a total salary of just under $6 million. As for players, their lot in life is the same as in 1981, except now they receive a $388-a-month stipend.

[Clemson coach Dabo] Swinney was asked about the idea of actually paying players, given the dramatically transformed economic landscape of the game, and he said that if players are ever paid, “I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as there is.” To call the desire to end this rank exploitation “entitlement” is Orwellian in the extreme. He might as well write “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” on the locker-room walls.

If anyone has expressed an obscene amount of entitlement, it’s Swinney. Here is someone working on a refurbished plantation who makes millions of dollars off the sweat and head injuries of overwhelmingly black, unpaid labor, and yet when asked about the Black Lives Matter movement in September, he said, ”Some of these people need to move to another country.”

… College football is a septic tank of entitlement. It’s a fungal culture created by the head coaches of Big Football. Dabo Swinney is the very embodiment of that culture: adrift, clueless, and filthy rich.

Yuck. Another fine mess.

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UD thanks John and Carl.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm likes a good scathe…

… and there’s nothing more scatheable than the surrealistic boxing with shadows that occurs when a local team booster, distraught that no one attends his university’s football games, troubles deaf heaven with his cries. SOS is particularly fond of this form of the persuasive essay and is always delighted to find a new one. So let’s go!

HEADLINE: UNM Football Has Earned the Right to Expect More Filled Seats

The University of New Mexico sports program is your typical farce/horror, with years of scumminess and scandals to its name. Because of this history, and for all of the other reasons students and others are staying home or leaving the stands early, few people attend Lobos games. Even when they’ve got a winning record.

The New Mexico football program has pulled a 180 since hiring a new head coach five seasons ago. But despite putting a winning product on the field, attendance has inexplicably continued a downward trend.

See, that’s why he says in his headline that the team “has earned” butts in the seats; they’re winning games. They got them an incredibly expensive coach who’s doing what he was hired for!

But the little shits complain about the expense.

Several readers have expressed dissatisfaction this semester with the perceived high price tag of the football coach, questioning how someone in his position could justify such a high salary.

And you know what else? The writer doesn’t mention it, but given that most of them don’t attend games, they’re also pissed that their student activity fee is insanely high, meaning they’re paying the dude’s ridiculous salary.

Even though no school in the Mountain West had a better conference record, no team had worse attendance …

Inexplicable. How can this be? Don’t all our students live for a winning football team? Where the fuck are they?

Some might argue the reduced attendance is due to a struggling economy that leaves no additional money for entertainment, but that doesn’t appear true as other schools have no problem filling [their] stands.

Additionally, package deals were available at the beginning of the season — some offering tickets for less than $6 per person.

Less than six bucks! That seems a pretty compelling piece of evidence that you couldn’t pay most UNM students to go to the football games. What might be behind this?

New Mexico has tried to lure in fans this season by revamping its concessions, offering free fan giveaways and introducing alcohol sales. It even opened up the field to the public after the game in an effort to give fans a better game day experience, to no avail.

With no professional sports teams, it seems odd that Albuquerque and the metro area don’t turn out in better numbers, especially for a local product that many have a direct connection to.

Yeah. Well. The beauty of the booze solution is that it makes an already pretty gruesome social scene a good deal more gruesome. You might not know this, but a lot of people dislike being around loud belligerent drunks. People with children, in particular, seem to object. Universities try to deal with this problem by stationing tons of police everywhere (thus adding to the expense of the enterprise); but again, inexplicably, the more an event looks like an encounter with a police state, the less people want to attend it.

The fans that do show up deserve a lot of credit as they likely supported the team even when it was down, but it still seems like the team has earned the right to expect more. Is it too much to ask the community to show student-athletes who proudly represent the name on the front of their jerseys that it cares?

If so, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise when coaches start to jump ship to pursue vacancies in places where it is not.

Now it’s getting desperate. And, as I say, surreal. For what can be the point of this writing? Are we trying to guilt-trip people into having fun? (Or scare them: You might lose your million-dollar coach!) UD has read versions of this essay in which the writer instructs the local gentry that it’s their responsibility to attend football games. A civic duty, like voting. But voting is over in an instant; here’s the deal with football games.

Attending football games is boring. Plays take a matter of seconds, there’s an endless amount of time between plays when nothing happens, and the replays are limited. You can’t change the channel if the game’s lousy. The weather conditions are usually crappy, and the seating sucks unless you’re in a suite. You’re often clueless about injuries. I sit in a press box with replays and constant players updates and I get bored, so I can’t really blame students for staying home and watching on TV under greater/cheaper conditions.

To be sure, the boredom is occasionally broken by watching someone get severely concussed; but the drama is over in a second. Plus a lot of people don’t like watching young men get severely concussed.

*************

Now SOS will let you in on the real reason a lot of students ignore your football team.

They are ashamed of the school. They don’t want to be seen publicly associating with it, and they’re certainly not going to cheer for it.

Why?

Well, you just type university new mexico in this blog’s search and engine and start reading.

*************

And I just know you’re not interested in the one way you might actually be able to turn this around.

Try giving some money to the (get ready for it) academic side of your university.

Holey Thesis

A Catholic university said the president of Mexico met the requirements for graduation with a law degree, while acknowledging parts of his 1991 thesis were plagiarised.

Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City issued a statement late on Sunday, saying the thesis submitted by then-student Enrique Pena Nieto – elected president in 2012 – conformed with the standards of the time.

“The thesis introduced original ideas” and used outside ideas with and without citations, the statement said. “The (current) general regulations of our institution are not applicable to former students.”

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