Michigan State was happily on its way to bankrupting the school, via massive payments (an almost hundred million dollar ten-year contract extension!) to a football coach who racked up some winning games, when (quoting James Bond) “something big came up.”
Given that as recently as 2018 another Michigan school was out 500 mill because a team doctor also had something come up, you kinda wonder
1.) how does one of America’s not at all rich states keep finding all this dough (and more) in its university sports programs? and
2.) will the state ever realize that hugely expensive degenerates tend to populate American university sports programs at the highest levels? (Tuberville not high-profile enough for you?) Because once you get RID of, say, Tucker, he’s gonna turn around and sue you for hundreds of millions more, the way all of them do when you fire them, for cause or not. Right? Has anyone besides UD been following this history?
As daunting as the remaining two months remaining on the schedule appear, there’s also the potential for a lengthy legal fight with Tucker hinting at his intent to sue the university over the roughly $80 million remaining on his contract. Michigan State doesn’t want to pay a dime and will have to decide if it’s worth absorbing hefty legal fees and headlines continuing to link the school with Tucker or reach a settlement to bring the saga to an end.
3.) can anyone at these institutions of higher learning think about cause and effect? As in, when you suddenly give a hundred million dollar contract to a… not too upstanding person, might that money and power go to his head? Make him think he can get away with anything cuz he’s such hot shit?
Yeah. You kinda wonder why so many American universities are ineducable on the most basic patterns, the most basic matters.
Don’t never get tired, ’round these blog-parts, of reading and writing about university football.
Take Texas A&M, jest about the filthiest jock shop in America. Up in that there headline its athletic director is ahuffin and apuffin cuz filthy U Bama coach Nick Saban said tother day Texas A&M was (lawdy!) corrupt. How dare he! We is going to the filthy SEC and making a formal complaint because I never!
Saban also badmouthed filthy Jackson State, and their coach (he’s the highest paid person on campus and doesn’t know that the past tense of pay is paid) is also on fire with righteous indignation…
But hold on. Let’s avert our eyes from this latest dust-up and look hard at the home of Jackson State University, cuz that’s where the big news story is, only no one gives a shit about some obscure state capital shooting itself to death.
Did you know that Jackson Miss has the highest gun homicide rate in the entire nation?
In gunny America, that ain’t no story. It’s gotten virtually no coverage. But ol’ UD thinks it a better use of your time to consider why Jackson is shooting itself to death than to follow the mutual insults of a couple of rich old hicks.
Not that it’s all that mysterious how Jackson got there. First, lose most of your cops and make it impossible for the ones left to mess with anyone holding a gun. Make sure your court system is backed up to the point of paralysis, and headed by judges who don’t put people away. Encourage absolutely everyone to open carry the most astoundingly powerful weaponry.
Your state has America’s weakest gun laws and – how bout that – its highest gun death rate!
Reduce your civic life to total gun culture, so that even thirteen year olds carry and kill. You start at thirteen, and even if you’re caught you don’t go to jail. Many years of carnage lie ahead of you. Even if you get blown away by, say, 23, that’s still ten years of killing in the streets of Jackson.
Why wouldn’t you send your kid to Jackson State?
After white nationalist Richard Spencer did his thing at Texas A&M awhile back, the university changed its policies so that now all approved speakers need sponsorship by a campus organization.
An official campus spokesperson explains:
As one of the stewards for protecting and enhancing the brand, this is particularly troubling to me as the influx of these outside groups may connote to your viewers [she’s talking to CNN] an environment of acceptance by our campus when none are actually our students or faculty.
This is an official spokesperson. This is a person who gets a salary to talk like this.
Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: Let’s scathe.
These words usher us into the depths of the deepest forest. To follow this sentence is to follow Hansel and Gretel as they stray farther and farther from any known world, into an enigmatic and malign witchery. It is to search hopelessly, desperately, for a referent, a subject, a predicate… to scratch your head and say steward for? Isn’t it steward of? When she uses the word “brand,” does she mean university? Does she mean reputation?
When you get to “this” (‘this is particularly troubling’), it is to ask What is this? To what does it refer?
And influx? I wasn’t worried about massive numbers of neonazis pouring into Texas A&M until I got to influx.
And why the constipated connote when she means express or signal?
By the time we’re into the completely nutty windup (‘an environment of acceptance by our campus when none are…’) we may be too addled to realize that the spokesperson’s final statement is overwhelmingly likely to be untrue. Surely some Texas A&M students – maybe even some faculty – have white nationalist sentiments. Did Spencer speak to an empty room? Were no members of his audience affiliated with the … brand?
Speak simply and directly, darlings.
UD thanks John.
Both Richie and Johnny were obvious wrecks during their college years, but at Incognito’s University of Nebraska and Manziel’s A&M, keeping them on the field was far more important than noticing that their mental health was shot. Not only was everything bad they did fine, just fine; John Sharp, one of many washed-out politicians who run universities in Texas and Oklahoma, babbled incessantly to the press about Manziel’s adorable perfectness. He was “innocent” of all the wrongdoing of which he was accused. “My mother wishes I was as nice a kid as Johnny when I was a sophomore in college,” Sharp told a newspaper.
Manziel’s the kind of alcoholic no one could miss, but Sharp missed it, or didn’t care.
Yet what’s most important in this is Sharp’s leadership skills. As head of the university, he established for the entire community the proper attitude, the proper emotion, the proper language, to bring to their quarterback. Sharp modeled a paternal gruff humor, an indulgent folksy tolerance that turned into outraged attacks on the press for reporting the things Manziel did.
So now Manziel has really imploded — not that this means he won’t be picked up by another football team, of course, but he has certainly imploded…
And after all much of the fun of watching NFL games is watching players get fucked up six ways to Sunday on and off the field: concussions, domestic violence, on-field fights, bar fights… Something in us loves fucked up athletes and loves to witness and contemplate the things they do that finally get them locked up. Right now there’s the insanely hyped OJ Simpson tv series.
It is a story that could tell us, on a smaller scale, why O.J. Simpson was the way he was, and what happens when a young man is venerated for his strength and power, and never has to learn how to do anything else.
It fails to tell us any of that.
But we can learn something by looking at the presidents and chancellors of our universities, people like Penn State’s Graham Spanier and Texas A&M’s John Sharp. They lead their university communities in venerating players – and of course sometimes coaches – whose darkness turns out to have been there for anyone to see.
… locking down the campus.
Scathing Online Schoolmarm takes a look at an opinion piece in the Texas A&M student newspaper.
Most Aggies pride themselves on the aesthetic appeal of campus. Both antiquated and modernly [Antiquated and modernly are weird choices. Antiquated sounds critical, and I don’t think the writer means to be critical. Modernly is a word, but a very awkward one. How about old and new?] designed [Drop designed.] buildings are surrounded by large open cobblestone walkways and courtyards dotted with old growth trees, at least for now. [The meaning of at least for now is obscure. Until the sun explodes and destroys the earth?] But this lovely campus has a dark side some will find hard to swallow. [The combination of abstract figurative language — light and dark — with the homely, physical hard to swallow is unlovely. Also, since the opinion piece is about to be about oral and other forms of sex, hard to swallow is not a good choice.] Often as most students go about their business, illicit and anonymous sex occurs publicly in the very buildings we call home.
A quick search through the personals section of Craigslist might [will would be better] reveal more of this world than readers [might] care to know. The use of study rooms in Evans for sex is better known, but these activities spillover into every corner of the University. To truly realize the extent of what goes on behind closed doors, visit the men’s bathroom on the second floor of the Academic Building.
A casual observer might never notice the walls separating the bathroom stalls across campus are made of incredibly hard material, largely stainless steel or some form of faux marble. But a few weeks ago, the walls of the aforementioned [Drop the evil aforementioned.] bathroom were replaced with thick plastic. In a shorter period of time a large 8″ hole along with several smaller peep-holes have been cut and melted into the walls. [New paragraph for next sentence.] As early as the eighties, anonymous public sex has been happening on campus, and a lot of it. Even older generations of Aggies know about the reports and rumors about various places on campus being used for public anonymous sex. [Anonymous public sex, public anonymous sex — we’re getting redundant. Need to find different ways to say this.]
During an interview with a professor who wished to remain anonymous, the seriousness of these sexual exploits became obvious. The professor told a harrowing tales [Tales should be singular.] about one night in the late 80s, when he and his three young children were in the Academic building and went to use the restroom. Upon entering in [Drop in.] the restroom he encountered several males openly performing various sex acts. Needless to say he was mortified. In fact, the older classroom doors that [Drop that.] had grates in them making it very easy for one to bend wide enough to reach through and unlock the door for larger “engagements.” [Why quotation marks around engagements? Is he afraid we’ll think he’s talking about people thinking of marrying?] Decades later, the glory hole carved into the second floor of the bathroom of the same building tells the same story.
Efforts to curb public cuckolding [You can sort of see why he used cuckolding, which means the act of cheating on your spouse. Cuckolding sounds a lot like cockholding.] on campus seem to have been, at best, modestly successful. Online posts and personals provide countless chances for a homosexual encounter, and the details of even browsing these messages are too graphic to repeat or even believe. But since these sexual opportunities seem to attract largely the gay community, the situation begs the question: why Texas A&M? Our school is ranked the 8th most conservative school in America by the Princeton Review, and seems like an improbable location. To answer this question, I interviewed a poster of a similar craigslist.org advertisement. [The writer, with his hard to believe and improbable, reveals a rather loose grip on the situation.]
The poster spoke only on the condition of anonymity, and so will be referred to as Mike. Mike is 26 years old and a life long resident of Bryan and he does not, nor ever did, attend any higher education. Mike responded to the question of why Texas A&M campus with several explanations. The main point was that College Station is the perfect distance between Dallas, Austin and Houston. As for the location, it would not seem odd to anyone to see people of all ages walking around campus all hours of the night.
Also, perhaps due to the aforementioned conservative tendency of the towns, there seems to be a larger number of homosexuals in the area than the general population realizes. Most have not come out yet and many have no intention of doing so. [Wonder why not.] Mike added there is no fear that they will be caught, and because of that he is able to “meet up with” up to 15 new partners a semester. I concluded by asking Mike why this anonymous sex had to be on campus. Certainly there were more safe and sanitary places for men to enjoy each other’s company than a bathroom. Mike told me that there was more thrill in using public facilities and that he has a “good thing going” with no intention of ever stopping.
There will always be people like Mike who take advantage of an open door policy, [Comma should be a semi-colon.] a larger question is where are the University Police who patrol campus 24 hours a day? [Check the stalls.] Public sex has occurred long enough at A&M, and instead of simply fixing vandalized facilities, our fees and tuition should go towards stopping it. The University needs to put back those fancy non-permeable walls, and actually make their security employees do their job to protect the students, faculty, and staff from having to be subjected to these seedy and illegal sex acts.
By the way, the op/ed’s headline:
A HOLE DIFFERENT WORLD.
If you read this blog, you’ve known for years and years that down them parts thems all be morons. If you’ve been reading the Star Tribune, you think this is actually news.
It’s an academic bloodbath down there. If you’re looking for the heavy-hitters, look no further than Texas Tech, where a wee freshman of nineteen years just blew a campus cop away – shot the guy to death in cold blood, holding the gun inches from his face.
This is one of the few guns-on-Texas-campuses stories that rose to national attention. The threats, the gun play, the fraternity weaponry — these are so routine as to pass unnoticed.
If you really want to get noticed – a student with a gun on a campus in Texas – you have to have a very big gun, you have to be on the football or basketball team, you have to threaten to kill multiple people, you have to have drugs on you, you have to be part of a conspiracy, you have to flee the police, you have to ditch the gun… You have to do a lot of shit to be worth paying attention to if you’re a college student with your gun out at a Texas university.
So props to Zaycoven Henderson, one of our Sacred Aggies, for accomplishing all of that, and getting all the press attention he and his gun-mad school so richly deserve.
Just a few hours earlier, Henderson was honored at the A&M team football banquet.
You don’t want the recent history of A&M. Trust me. You don’t want the background on A&M.
You know, when a few Texas professors, disgusted by the state-wide gun-love, resign or take jobs in safer states, they’re called pussies or whatever. But in Texas, the shits really are trying to kill us. And they’ve got amazing, amazing, guns. And they’re our students.
Here’s Zaycoven’s hagiographic page at Texas A&M. In the first photograph, he’s doing the classic WHERE’S MY RIFLE? TOSS IT DOWN TO ME. play.
Take the page down?
It’s Texas A&M.
Have to go to the local paper for local responses. From a comment thread. Parenthetical remarks from UD:
rippy Dec 11, 2017 5:33am
Welcome to Aggieland Jimbo!
[That’s the new greedy coach they just hired for a zillion dollars.]
pragmatist Dec 11, 2017 5:51am
It is a big challenge to operate a successful program when you depend on young folks who have grown up with little or no guidance in terms of right vs wrong. Don’t know this guy’s history, but it is a safe bet his only male leadership came from football coaches. Coaches, at their best, can do very little to point an 8th grader in the right direction and once the kid gets off course, it is hard to self-correct. It takes a real Dad and a real Mom.
Tragic and far too common but there is no room for this guy at A&M.
[Sad little “pragmatist” hasn’t bothered to check that Zaycoven comes equipped with a father and a mother. And pragmatically speaking, I wonder why Aggie coaches recruit people like Zaycoven. The commenter fails to speculate about why many … questionable people end up on his football team. Do they show up and push themselves forward? Or are they feverishly sought?
“No room for this guy at A&M.” UD always finds this a touchingly delusional sentiment. Our pure school – where Johnny Manziel was so recently God – shudders and passes on morally impure people like Zaycoven.]
Dec 11, 2017 7:00am
Would you look at that. I’ll be willing to bet this kid was recruited solely for his athletic ability and not his character. Another legacy of Sumlin …that goes with the washed up Heisman winner [Manziel] and a new field. Neither of which spells National Champion.
[Implicitly, this commenter expresses the pathetic faith-in-the-new-coach thing. Bad old coach (Sumlin) did this; he was responsible for the now-embarrassing Manziel too. But new god Jimbo will make everything beautiful again.]
From the mouths of babes. She’s quite right. As I said in an earlier post, about places like Penn State and Florida State, when sports and fraternities and drinking rule and have long ruled, it’s hard to know how any of that would change.
Fraternities in places like these tend to be the quintessence, the culmination, of all the alcohol and athletics in the larger campus culture. At UVa, “the fraternity system is king and heavy drinking is part of the culture.”
More frighteningly, fraternities are young, tightly-knit, all-male subcultures. In many settings, young, tightly-knit, and all-male is bad news. Young, tightly-knit, and all-male adds group aggression – extreme hazing, fighting, assaulting – to the mix. “Fraternities have become more like lab experiments for the distillation of male sexual aggression” than anything else.
Some have called for UVa to close its frats permanently.
Phi Kappa Psi, like all fraternities, exists to teach bad values to developing young men. Sent off to campus to educate themselves as individuals, fraternity members instead learn to subordinate their values and plans to a collective. After a torturous and dehumanizing selection process, fraternity members are able to write a check and purchase 30 new friends; it’s not surprising that they would see sex — pour a drink, girl is yours — as similarly transactional.
… By deciding to suspend its fraternities temporarily, the University of Virginia has acknowledged that those frats cannot be implicated in any new offenses while the eyes of America are watching. It is a tacit admission that the school cannot risk, not now, another sexual assault being committed. It has decided that the easiest and most palatable way for this to happen — for UVA’s fraternity brothers not to rape — is for its fraternities to cease to exist.
So why bring them back? Shut them down and move on.
Dahlia Lithwick doesn’t weigh in on shutting or maintaining them, but she does get to the nub of things:
Fraternities are nuts.
UD doubts closing them down is really a solution. Sick and sometimes criminal initiation rituals will persist somewhere on campus at any booze and sports soaked university that ignores them. The Florida A&M marching band didn’t need a fraternity to beat a fellow student to death in a long-tolerated form of hazing.
Perhaps what makes more sense is really serious policing and surveillance of fraternities – policing and surveillance for which the fraternities would pay.
Just as many schools spend a fortune on squads of extra police for their football and basketball games (students are prone to mischief and violence both in and outside sports arenas), so fraternities should be willing to bill their current and past members for the heightened security procedures they need. Hugely wealthy Michael Bloomberg happens to be a proud and loyal member of Phi Kappa Psi; with his passionate involvement in violence reduction, he should be willing to subsidize the hiring of guards and cameras for his brothers. A million dollars a year, say, would set Bloomberg back not at all.
Would university campuses begin to look like armed camps? Yes, but university football and basketball games (plus tailgates and party/riots) already tend to look like that. And as to cameras everywhere – well, most universities already have cameras everywhere.
In the longer term, UD proposes that frat-run universities like UVa choose as their yearly campus-wide book (UD is talking about the popular One Campus One Book, or Common Read, program) Lynn Chancer’s Sadomasochism in Everyday Life, so that fraternity members can begin to think seriously about their problem, and other members of the campus community can learn enough to at least see the brothers coming.
There are enough overt racists among the students at Texas A&M to make the appearance of white nationalists there not that scandalous, not that surprising.
“When I heard about the Aggie European Alliance, I was disgusted; however, I was not surprised,” said graduate student Lia Epps.
Wonder why not.
The school has responded strongly (counter-demonstrations) to this guy’s appearance, but there’s no denying that, if you’re an American fascist trolling for recruits, making Texas A&M – rather than, say, Hampshire College – the first stop on your speaking tour is a good career move. Texas A&M specializes in worshipping naughty naughty naughty white boys.
… because, according to the investigative report in the aftermath of the Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito bullying scandal, he
lied to investigators, attempted to convince [the player Incognito bullied] to exonerate Incognito, and [himself] participated in the taunting of players
you might want to be careful. You might want in particular to keep an eye on the coach.
I mean, Manziel was all about bullying plus really disgusting and out of control behavior, all of which the team and the school, from the chancellor on down, not only tolerated but seemed to celebrate… And maybe, you know, it wasn’t such a great idea, reputation-wise, in the immediate aftermath of Manziel, to hire Jim Turner, fresh off being fired from the Dolphins for his apparently very bad behavior with his buddy Incognito.
Another reason you might want to keep an eye on this coach is that he seems rather bitter he’s been forced to lower himself from the big boys to college level ball – he’s filed a big-ass defamation suit against the guy who wrote the report that said bad things about him and Incognito… Seems to be trying to get his own reputation back and maybe ditch his school gig for another professional team. I mean, any school might want to avoid this character…
But Texas A&M, one of this blog’s perennial clown schools, is not any school. Texas A&M is a broad shouldered good ol’ boy football uber alles (though truth be told th’aint much alles there for football to be uber) kinda school and don’t matter to them one bit that they’ve got players like Manziel and coaches like Turner cuz that’s how you win games. Not that the school’s win/loss record looks very good, but, you know, it’s Texas (Rick Perry was an A&M cheerleader) and a boy can dream.
So before I tell you the latest from Texas A&M, it might help to provide a specific example of the kind of guy Jim Turner, recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary from this school, is.
For Christmas 2012, Turner gave all the Dolphins offensive linemen gift bags. Inside the bags were inflatable female dolls. But Turner, knowing that offensive lineman Andrew McDonald was frequently harassed by other linemen with homosexual slurs, gave the tackle a male blow-up doll to join in on the “joke.”
When Turner was asked about the incident that plenty of others recalled without a problem, he said he couldn’t remember.
You see UD‘s point. You’re going to hire a coach with that bad a memory? UD‘s getting on in years, but she’s confident she could remember giving blow up dolls to offensive linemen for Christmas. Notice that “plenty of others” were able to reach back in time and recall that holiday season…
So anyway Texas A&M’s coach hires this guy, this Jim Turner, and gives him a big fat salary, and I don’t find any record of anyone minding… Like, say, maybe, a woman student or two, or a woman professor or two, might find something a little off about the whole thing… But no. The place is almost entirely a football school, and why bother? Turner in fact worked at the school in years past, before he got raised to the big leagues, and his good buddies there took him back and that’s that.
Anyway, not only did this school’s football coach not keep an eye on Jim Turner; he turned his back and let Jim Turner loose on the football team’s vast Texas fan base. He looked the other way while, at a big public event intended to appeal in particular to women, Turner and another assistant coach presented funny material – the sort of material you’d write if for a special seasonal gift to your friends you share the sexual technology that means so much to you – they’d written about women and football. (More images here.)
There’s an old New Yorker short story titled Man Here Keeps Getting Arrested All the Time. UD thinks of this title when she thinks of the adorably incorrigible men of Texas A&M – men like Manziel and Turner and lots of others (the school has one of the highest arrest rates among university sports teams) who keep getting suspended and arrested all the time. Turner has just pivoted from being fired by a professional football team for being morally disgusting to being suspended by a university team for being sexually disgusting.
And when his two-week suspension is over?
You know the answer.
His $200,000 raise will be announced.
Okay. And ladies? A&M ladies who were in the audience for Turner’s performance and complained about it?
You were offended? You tweeted the images and got ol’ Jimboy in trouble again?
Don’t come looking for sympathy to UD. One of the first safety rules you’re supposed to learn is Be aware of your surroundings. Your (chosen!) surrounding is Texas A&M!
Look for a school that isn’t run by people who slobber over Johnny Manziel and hump latex.
As always, things only get really good when the local booster press has time to reflect on things and share its thoughts.
[L]et’s … not blow this out of proportion. [Jeff] Banks and Turner showed bad taste, but they meant well. It was a charity event that raised more than $20,000. It happened Wednesday night, with more than 700 women there, and it didn’t go viral until Friday. So 200 women didn’t email Woodward first thing Thursday looking for blood… [The head football coach, Kevin Sumlin,] should be commended on how A&M has remained off the police blotter recently, for the most part. A&M had seven football players arrested from the end of the 2013 seasons until early June, one of them (Darian Claiborne) arrested three times and another (Isaiah Golden) arrested twice.
A&M has had one arrest since the end of last season, wide receiver Speedy Noil, was driving without a license.
So kudos to Sumlin…
Texas A&M’s chancellor, Johnny Football’s biggest booster, must be thrilled at Johnny’s latest play! Sharp can sleep well, knowing it was his relentless defense of Johnny throughout his violent, troubled years at Texas A&M that made it possible for the lad to come so far. Well done, Chancellor Sharp!
Some universities – like some doomed airline flights – generate one little disaster after another until the whole place crashes.
True, most universities don’t actually crash; football games and fraternities endure, and classrooms have people in them. But we all know the universities that have sort of had it, like the University of Louisville, whose embedded brainless good ol’ boyism dooms it to scandal after scandal for all eternity. (Put “Louisville” in my search engine if you can stomach it.) The U of Smell, as it’s now known, has become a smutty joke.
The latest news out of Texas A&M, aka Rancho Manziel y Perry, is maybe a smallish story, maybe even a routine story about routine racism at a school known for it. The latest thing is a bunch of Texas A&M students harassing some non-white high school kids who were visiting campus to see whether they might want to attend a school that seems to boast a significant number of people who really really dislike people who look like those high school kids.
Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi … It’s real out there down there. They don’t, like, hide it, or talk in code or anything. Sing, sing a song, sing out loud, sing out strong, seems to be the approach.