‘The decision not to wear a mask, the [Notre Dame] faculty members said, stemmed not from politics but from a desire to politely blend in, as a guest at a cocktail party might remove a tie upon realizing everyone else was dressed in business casual.’

We’ve followed the supremely dumb sports programs at Notre Dame on this blog forever (first post is about the cathedral; scroll down); but who knew the campus altogether – from its infected president on down – was so fucking stupid?

Several people in fact wore masks at the Rose Garden event (check out a photo). Notre Dame’s leadership seems keen to model a herd – lemming? – mentality for its students.

Notre Dame…

… up in flames.

Nearly a thousand years of history going up in flames.

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

… Like a prodigious skeleton of fire
Leaving an immense void — twisted iron, indented
 clock wheels, broken muted bells.

   Foolish imposter doors which did not open
Hang in high galleries. Perforated the great
 roses — intense blues, purples,

   Reds so warm and vigorous which burnished
The rays of the midday sun. The gargoyles drip
 heavy tears. I hear the bells falling.

   Wind is raging among the naves and corpses.

— Daisy Aldan, The Destruction of Cathedrals.

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

From the Notre Dame School of Polyphony (1160-1250).

Notre Dame des Peines

Dear Lord forgive us our buyout and our fraud
And all else we do unworthy of our God;
Show mercy, in thy holy name!
For nothing matters more than football games.

“Notre Dame will kick off its 128th season of football Sunday in a primetime match-up at Texas. This life-long Fighting Irish fan is finding it difficult to care very much.”

Like Catholic, football-obsessed Boston College, Notre Dame of all places is beginning to show signs of spiritual strain. More and more fans confess that the school’s squalid football program – which slimes along its merry way accompanied by a tireless chorus of We’re godly from the school – is so squalid, so hypocritical, that they just can’t do it anymore. Notre Dame is a choir boy gone rancid, and while most of the congregants have decided through an effort of will to grip their hymnals ever tighter and ignore the stinky lad, some have become overwhelmed by the smell. They may still buy tickets to the games, but they’re “finding it hard to care very much.” They’re finding it hard to forget six player arrests in one night, and blahblahblah you know the picture. You know it from forthrightly filthy programs like University of Miami, and you know it from equally but not at all forthrightly filthy Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is Blanche DuBois flouncing around a dump, twirping about her moral purity and her clean bright Southern manse. You just want to look away.

University of Notre Dame: Hemorrhaging Money and Reputation.

Forget the six ND football players arrested in a span of a few hours last weekend for various violent offenses; cast your mind back to Notre Dame having recently paid football coach Charlie Weis a $19 million buyout.

Weis, currently doing nothing in a gated community in Florida while his wife buys horses, chats with an interviewer about his son’s effort to attend ND:

Charlie Jr. was on track to enroll at Notre Dame. Weis says [ND’s president] himself had promised that he would be accepted, as long as his grades and test scores qualified, which they did. But after Weis was fired, Notre Dame sent a letter deferring Charlie Jr.’s acceptance. Not long after that, Weis says, he got a call from someone in Notre Dame’s development office making him an offer: If he’d donate some of the money Notre Dame owed him back to the school — “seven figures,” Weis says — Charlie Jr. could get in.

Weis said no. Charlie Jr. ended up enrolling at Florida when Weis was offensive coordinator there for a year. Then he followed his father to Kansas. [To make matters worse for Weis, he also collected many millions in buyout money from Kansas. Now he’s a huge multimillionaire with nothing to do!]

Later, Weis says, a fundraiser for the school told him that Notre Dame used the [buyout] contract in pitches to donors, saying they needed to give more because the school still owed Weis so much.

Notre Dame: Classy.

“Then, in an act of what can only now be viewed as magical thinking, Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White tore up [football coach Charlie] Weis’s original contract and gave him a new one for ten years, guaranteeing Weis millions of dollars if he was fired.”

Of course, this is what big-time football brings to the university, house of reason. It brings the adorable primitivism of humanity’s infancy. Like fraternities, to which it is symbiotically attached, it brings “shirtless kids covered in paint, shivering in the November weather as they cheer their team on,” as one pundit excitedly puts it. The same writer goes on to say:

If you want your students to become loyal, giving alumni, you must turn them into members of a tribe. You must make them fall in love with their school, and believe that they and all the other alums are united in a family. Your temple of reason cannot rise to the heavens unless it is grounded in irrational love.

Tribalism: The core of any great university. I think that’s what we’re all after, isn’t it? Students come to us already members of high school cliques and neighborhood gangs; our purpose is to strengthen those cultic tendencies.

But it’s not just tribal, magical thinking we’re after. Let’s say it straight out – it’s ultimately stupidity we want to convey:

[T]wo schools [Kansas and Notre Dame] [are] now paying Weis nearly $23 million not to coach.

‘In 2012, Notre Dame radio announcer Allen Pinkett [said] the Irish could benefit from “a few bad characters” on the team. “You can’t have a football team full of choir boys.”‘

Don’t worry.

Notre Dame: Just One More Gutter Football Program.

And if UD were a Catholic (she’s Jewish) she’d be less than thrilled that Our Lady’s been dragged through the mud again and again by the drunks and academic frauds that play under her name.

Of course big-time university football besmirches all schools (one exception might be Brigham Young), but while the lowest of the low, like the University of Miami and Auburn, tend to be refreshingly honest about their total mindless commitment to sports, other schools, like the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Notre Dame, are constantly flouncing around telling everyone about their integrity. Both amply deserve what’s happening, and they certainly won’t learn from it. Both have invested far too much money in one of the dirtiest rackets going.

Gin-Soaked Notre Dame …

… just keeps it coming! Good on you! Especially for a religious school.

Reaching for the stars, with new technology, at the University of Notre Dame.

Courtesy of Professor Angst.

“I honestly don’t think it was any worse than any of my other classes. I’m sure they were browsing Facebook during class, but they did that before with laptops and smartphones. There are a lot of professors who would disagree with me on this,” [Angst] added, “but I believe we’re in a multi-tasking world and we need to figure out how to listen and do these things at the same time.”

Can’t argue with that sort of success.

How Long will America’s Most Catholic University Leave its Hero Page Up for a Person Charged with Child Abuse, Neglect, and Murder?

Probably forever. And get a load of all the headlines, many of them featuring his Notre Dame connection. Which you can instantly confirm by clicking on his... Hero Page. UD remains baffled as to why football factories don’t employ someone (respectable universities do) to take down the pages of the disgraced.

‘In applying this excise tax to nonprofit executives, the Ways and Means Committee Majority Tax Staff also raised the idea in its summary that highly paid nonprofit executives actually divert resources from exempt purposes. It states that exemption from federal income tax is a significant benefit for tax-exempt organizations, making the case for discouraging excess compensation paid out to such organizations’ executives perhaps even stronger than it is for publicly traded companies.’

Zzzz… wha’?

How bout this.

In fact, an analysis of Forms 990 for approximately 100,000 organizations filing the annual report to the IRS in 2014 published recently by the Wall Street Journal found 2,700 nonprofit officials were paid more than $1 million. Although most were administrators at hospitals and universities, there were also many football coaches and executives at endowments like the Harvard Management Company. Nonprofit organizations respond that they are trying to attract the best candidates and are merely adopting compensation practices similar to those in the private sector.

Get it? See what happened? TAKE TO THE STREETS. FLOOD YOUR REPRESENTATIVE’S OFFICE WITH EMAILS. THIS IS A SERIOUS MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE.

 

Do I need to spell it out for you? Do you see what’s happening here?

You want to spend your kid’s tuition money on sky-rocketing multimillion dollar salaries for coaches and on twenty million dollar a year compensation for university money managers, and here comes the IRS to tell you that these aren’t appropriate non-profit expenditures! They even have the gall to say that giving all that money to coaches and money managers diverts tax-exempt money from students and shit! Whatever that means.

So they’re putting a crushing new tax on excess non-profit compensation, which means universities are likely to pull back on these amounts and you will have to pay the managers and coaches less.

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

I know. So far this is all numbers and abstractions. Here is an actual story, from the University of Kentucky, of how it will be.

“The excise tax that was levied in the new tax bill is big,” [UK athletic director Mitch] Barnhart said. “That will have an impact on every athletic department.”

A change in the tax code requires non-profit entities to pay a 21 percent excise tax on payments to its five highest-paid employees that are making more than $1 million a year.

For every dollar over the $1 million mark, UK must pay the 21 percent tax, which for UK Athletics includes the salaries of men’s basketball coach John Calipari, football coach Mark Stoops and women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell.

According to figures reported to the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2017, Calipari was the highest-paid person on campus that year at $7.24 million, followed by Stoops at $3.9 million and Mitchell at $1.28 million.

The university also will be paying the excise tax on the salaries of Phillip Tibbs ($1,195,600), a physician, and Michael Karpf ($1,123,179), who ran the medical center until recently, UK spokesman Jay Blanton told the Herald-Leader.

With the new salary bump and potential bonuses outlined in the new amendment to Barnhart’s contract, the UK athletics director might top the $1 million mark in the near future. His base salary will be $1,025,000 starting in 2020, per the amendment.

This year’s figures were a part of the $147.7 million dollar 2019 budget approved by the university’s Board of Trustees recently, simply noted as “escalating operating expenses.”

How will these escalating expenses be paid? The same way other expenses are.

“How we make up for it on the other side is really difficult,” Barnhart said. “We have to work at that.”

I know you can do it, guys! A grassroots campaign of outraged professors, students, and parents will take to the streets and have that punitive 21% rolled back before you can say Nick Saban.

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

Again, here’s the challenge, stated simply:

Every organization that pays a salary of more than $1 million per year to any of its top five earning employees will face a stiff new 21 percent excise tax. That means any nonprofit-designated charity, college, and hospital that routinely asks us for donations, or charges expensive tuition or medical bills will have to justify paying those high salaries against a hefty new tax.

Get out there and do what has to be done: justify.

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

Know your enemies.

In [a recent] email to me, [tax law professor John] Colombo wrote, “Big time college sports is already a cesspool of money, and the federal government doesn’t need to be subsidizing 50-yard-line seats or skyboxes at the University of Alabama or Notre Dame, or Michigan or anywhere else.”

Amazingly, both the House and the Senate now appear to agree with Colombo. A spokesman for Kevin Brady, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — and a Texan — told the Austin American-Statesman that the deduction is “the epitome of a special-interest loophole” and that it was forcing taxpayers to “subsidize front-row seats and luxury boxes for wealthy boosters.”

“Yes. They hate us. It must be said.”

Now that Tariq Ramadan is in police custody over alleged multiple, strikingly violent, rapes, let’s cut right to the chase, and recall Mona Eltahawy’s brilliant Foreign Policy essay on the widespread hatred of women by men in the Middle East.

Name me an Arab country, and I’ll recite a litany of abuses fueled by a toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend. When more than 90 percent of ever-married women in Egypt — including my mother and all but one of her six sisters — have had their genitals cut in the name of modesty, then surely we must all blaspheme. When Egyptian women are subjected to humiliating “virginity tests” merely for speaking out, it’s no time for silence. When an article in the Egyptian criminal code says that if a woman has been beaten by her husband “with good intentions” no punitive damages can be obtained, then to hell with political correctness. And what, pray tell, are “good intentions”? They are legally deemed to include any beating that is “not severe” or “directed at the face.” What all this means is that when it comes to the status of women in the Middle East, it’s not better than you think. It’s much, much worse. Even after these “revolutions,” all is more or less considered well with the world as long as women are covered up, anchored to the home, denied the simple mobility of getting into their own cars, forced to get permission from men to travel, and unable to marry without a male guardian’s blessing — or divorce either.

How can anyone be surprised that, according to several women who have now spoken out, a man who refuses to condemn stoning female adulterers, a man who wrote the preface to “a book that cites the Qur’anic passage enjoining husbands to beat their wives under certain circumstances,” allegedly carried out particularly thorough and vicious assaults against women? And these were women who approached him to tell him how much his work meant to them.

French journalist Caroline Fourest (catch her film, Red Snake, about women soldiers fighting ISIS, when it comes out) began hearing from victims years and years ago (she wrote a high-profile book attacking Ramadan for other reasons). Rumors have abounded for years and years. And yet this country tried in 2004 to recruit him to a professorship at – of all places – the University of Notre Dame, and only evil Homeland Security’s refusal to let him come here kept Notre Dame from offering the same hearty defenses of him that Oxford University ultimately offered.

“[T]he proper action for this incident is as clear as they come. Baylor should kick Zamora off the football team and revoke his scholarship. Anyone who abuses an innocent and defenseless animal doesn’t deserve to play football for Baylor University.”

At this late date in the history of scandalous Baylor University, we shouldn’t be surprised that this very assertively Christian University lacks the basic moral clarity a local newspaper columnist displays. “[W]hat Zamora did was illegal. But to me it’s not about the legality and more about what Zamora’s actions say about him as a person. A good, kindhearted, person doesn’t abuse innocent animals.”

[Baylor] fans just endured a disgusting sexual assault scandal and many are having a hard time supporting the team after that. But we were told all the guilty parties were removed from the team, so we’re not rooting for sexual predators. Baylor shouldn’t turn around and ask those who stood by them to root for an animal abuser.

Actually, Baylor just stonewalled – rather than endured – its way through a sexual assault scandal. It was dragged kicking and screaming to doing the right thing.

Baylor University is that most curious thing: a Christian institution seemingly designed to encourage cruelty and viciousness.

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

What I’m talking about at Baylor goes beyond the moral dissonance demanded of all serious football fans – you must adore a sport so freakishly violent that its beau idéal is Richie Incognito, even as you tell yourself you’re adoring clean-cut all-American fun.

But that’s nothing. That’s step one. Now place yourself at Baylor. Or at Notre Dame. Pile university and Christianity on top of all that dissonance. Reconcile vast mass worship of a hyper-concussive sport, quite a few of whose standout players feature, on the field and in their private lives, exactly the sort of lunatic aggression you’d expect, with some stubborn vestigial notion in your mind, some vague remembrance, that the bloody ritual you’re adoring takes place on hallowed intellectual and spiritual ground.

It should be difficult to enjoy yourself unadulteratedly under these conditions, as the bullies, brawlers, domestic abusers, rapists, and animal floggers (fuck academic cheaters; forget cheaters; c’est entendu) bloody each other down there…

But hey. Turns out not only isn’t it difficult; it’s easy. It’s a pleasure.

Because – to state the bleeding obvious – violence is the primary object of worship in the world of Baylor University. You’re sitting in Waco – home of last year’s enormous bikers-with-guns melee/massacre. You’re sitting in the heart of Trump territory. Your choice for national leader is the man who has turned a presidential election into The Rime of the Ancient Tackler.

Strangely, you don’t even like nobly violent people; you cheer on chickenshits like Trump – a man who crapped all over a war hero because he was captured and “I like people who weren’t captured.” You cheer on players who beat up women, children, and animals.

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

Some like it hot.

Hot and bloody.

It’s the Baylor way.

“He picked the police officer off of the curb, tackled and repeatedly punched him continuing to threaten the …

officers.”

Or, as the Notre Dame University football program would put it, GAME ON!

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