The Sucky, Sucky Saluki Way

Southern Illinois University’s massive Saluki Way project has mainly involved building or upgrading sports facilities, at a huge cost to students through increased fees. But the basketball team sucks, and no one goes to the shiny new stadium; the buy-out of the bad coach will cost the students even more; three of the players beat some guy up and are suspended; and, oh yeah, no one wants to go to school there.


In a 2006 article in the campus newspaper about the Saluki Way, the reporter makes a prescient spelling error:

[SIU’s president] said he hopes current students will understand why they must pay for facilities they will not use.

“We all have a responsibility to each seceding generation,” he said.

UD’s Been Following the Idiocy of the Saluki Way for Years.

This, from January 2006, is the first of many posts (type Saluki Way into the search feature) University Diaries has featured on only one of the many benighted aspects of that most-benighted of American university campuses, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale — its ridiculous sports expenditure.

Here’s an update — a letter to the editor of the student paper, from an English professor there.

According to SIU President Glenn Poshard, SIU may probably [may probably is awkward] close in March or lay off large amounts [should be numbers] of people … He is quoted as stating, “This isn’t a panic situation; nobody is panicking here.”

This may be true for SIU’s higher administrators who will certainly not be laid off. But for the majority of faculty and staff in an already depressed economic region, this is a very worrying time. Should the worst happen, Carbondale would probably become a “ghost town” [no need for quotation marks] after losing its chief source of revenue.

In the light of the recent high-salaried appointment of a new chancellor (who may not even have a job to go to in June) despite a supposed hiring freeze, another solution is possible.

What about temporarily transferring the $35 million dollars allocated to the Saluki Way sports project to alleviate this urgent budget crisis?

This project is opposed by the majority of faculty and students on this campus, and in a time of economic recession, sports should be the lowest item on the agenda.

It would be one of a number of necessary efficiencies Trustee Bill Bonan II has urged. Should the economy recover, this project could then go ahead. The issue remains whether sports or education is the main priority on this campus at this particular time.

… Surely the economic well being of people is far more important in a time of economic depression …than an irrelevant sports stadium that has nothing to do with educational quality.

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: Shabbiest excuse for a university…

… this side of … eh. I’m thinking nothing compares. For sheer vulgarity, sheer classlessness, sheer idiocy, SIUC can’t be beat. UD has watched in disbelief over many years as this campus, with its plagiarizing, political hack leadership, its tanking student body (who would want to go there?), its mindless, grandiose “Saluki Way” sports expenditures, and its empty stadium, just keeps scratching its balls. (Scroll down on this page for earlier posts.)

Yes, the machinery grinds on – coaches still get overpaid, games take place, student and state money is sent down the drain… and President-for-Life Glenn Poshard smiles on, a Brezhnev unaware the USSR has been dismantled…


The athletic director senses that student anger has now morphed into apathy, and it makes him nervous:

“I can live with anger even though it’s not pleasant. I think what is happening now is we’re slipping into a little bit of apathy, and that’s a little more dangerous. Our fan base has kind of turned, my gut tells me, from anger to a little apathy and that’s what concerns me.”

Right now, the school is giving the molto sucky basketball coach

$762,500 per year, and SIUC would have to pay Lowery twice that amount to buy him out of the final two years of his contract.

But no worries: They’re in great shape to make a payout.

[W]hen the losses started coming, attendance straggled. SIUC averaged 3,299 fans in an arena that underwent a $29.9 million renovation two years ago, down from a high of 7,743 in 2006-07. Additionally, [the AD] said season-ticket revenue is down considerably and the scholarship fund has taken a hit.

Update, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

An emeritus professor of geography brings us up to the present in a letter to the editor of the Daily Egyptian:

Things at SIUC have come to a sorry pass, with multiple changes in top leadership over just a few years, plagiarism charges being bandied about and now, with SIUC proceeding full speed ahead with the “Saluki Way” super athletic facility on the south end of campus while the Carbondale City Council pledges $1 million each year for 20 years without a referendum to gauge public opinion. And almost half of Saluki Way will be paid for by SIUC students, whether they are “fans” or not…

Sure, the quotation marks around fans are weird. Otherwise, this summary of things at America’s most benighted university is terrific, with appropriate emphasis on the crowning idiocy of Saluki Way (which also doesn’t need quotation marks).

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