Alabama State University, with its tanking credit …

rating, its criminally inept bureaucracy, its comically criminally inept bureaucracy, its criminal business school professor, its “financial waste, conflicts of interest, and possible fraud,” has outdone itself this time. A gang rape seems to have taken place on campus.

ASU declined to confirm [a rape] investigation, denying repeated attempts by [a] news station to obtain a copy of the police report and at one point claiming no such record existed.

Wouldn’t want to tell the students either. The handful of people who continue to call the crony compensation center home might consider leaving.

[T]he victim has since left the university… [H]er family said their main concern was that the university did not notify students of the incident.

Professor Michelle Crawford, Alabama State University.

[Michelle] Crawford was hired [as a business professor] despite the fact she [had been] disbarred as a lawyer and faced criminal prosecution. [Crawford is the sister-in-law of an ASU trustee.]

Crawford was a licensed attorney in North Carolina before she was disbarred in about September 2008 “for misappropriation of entrusted funds and failure to reconcile her trust account,” according to [a] report. She was hired as a business professor at ASU in 2011 and was retained through August or September 2013 (different dates have been reported). She was indicted April 19, 2012, in U.S. District Court in North Carolina… Crawford, also known as Michelle Mallard, pleaded guilty July 10 to “mortgage fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and embezzlement in violation of the wire fraud statute.”

She faces a sentence of up to 70 years in prison.

In a story reminiscent of the University of South Alabama incident…

… in which a student, having taken LSD and been violent all night, showed up at campus police headquarters and apparently acted so threateningly that a policeman shot and killed him, San Bernardino city police have shot and killed a Cal State San Bernardino student who also apparently threatened them. Responding to a report of a disturbance, they confronted the student in a dorm hallway.

[T]here was an altercation in which the student became violent toward officers, who shot the student in the torso.

Obviously, there will be an investigation and a review of any security footage.

The parents of the South Alabama student – who was not only unarmed, but apparently naked – are suing.

Update on the University of South Alabama Student…

… shot to death by a campus policeman.

He had taken LSD at a concert that evening and had gone on a rampage, attacking three other people before he got to the police station.

Video taken by a surveillance camera showed Collar nude and covered in sweat as he pursued the retreating officer more than 50 feet outside the building, Cochran said. Collar got within 5 feet of Austin and the officer fired once, striking the student in the chest, Cochran said…. [The Mobile County Sheriff] said he had “serious concerns” about the killing of an unarmed student when he first heard what had happened, but he better understood the officer’s decision to open fire after watching the videotape of the shooting.

“It’s very powerful,” [he] said …

Investigators are trying to determine who provided Collar with LSD and could charge that person with murder…

A student editor at the University of South Alabama …

… wonders why he was lied to.

When the University was considering adding NCAA football in fall 2007, the administration promised this new program would not take any money from the general University budget. But the administration has brushed this pledge aside.

The original football budget, which was proposed to the Board of Trustees in its December 2007 meeting, required no money from the general budget (though it does use $150 per student per semester of student fees).

Further, USA President Gordon Moulton told the Press-Register that football would “break even” and not use University funds.

But football has taken more than half a million dollars from the general budget since its inception.

In fiscal year 2008 (Oct. 1, 2007 to Sept. 30, 2008), the football team received $215,034 under “direct institutional support” — which means money from the general University budget…

The next year, which ended Sept. 30, 2009, football used $320,959 from the University budget…

The University as Tinpot Dictatorship

There aren’t that many of these, and most of them are religious institutions. Yeshiva University has long been the standout, ruling over its students (especially its women) with an iron morality fist (would you expect any less from a school whose behavioral models have included Bernard Madoff, Ezra Merkin, Ira Rennert, and Zygi Wilf?). In 2011, when a woman student published a sex survey, she immediately lost her housing scholarship. Around the same time, another woman student published a short story with mild sexual content in a campus publication. The paper was shut down. AND sex filters were imposed on all male students’ computers. Not females’ of course! Because females don’t read… or, uh… write about sex.

And there’s the curiously named Liberty University, whose duce has generated lots of news copy lately. UD thinks The Onion captures the situation there best.

The other source of tinpottery is the southern jock school whose Dear Leader knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake! U Alabam’s Shahanshah Nick Saban has been in a snit because his subjects don’t go to the blowout football games (they’re always like 70 – 0) he puts on for their entertainment, or if they go they get bored and leave early… and then you know, out in tvland, viewers all over the country see them empty seats and Saban’s embarrassed etc. So the school now tracks its students’ movements:

Alabama is taking an extraordinary, Orwellian step: using location-tracking technology from students’ phones to see who skips out and who stays.

You better not be in the fucking library when you’ve been told to sit on a bleacher in 100 degree heat for hours of grinding nothingness!

But just as in other Orwellian regimes the population rebels, so in ‘Bama, the frat boys have been identified as the avant-garde of the resistance:

[It will] not be long before pledges are conscripted to hold caches of phones until the fourth quarter so their fraternity brothers [can] leave early.

Plenty of precedent for this, mes petites. Remember clickers?

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

UD thanks Dave.

‘Alabama assistant strength coach arrested for second DUI in last 2 ½ years’

Two in two years? Hell, that’s nothin’! It’s Bama, America’s most celebrated university football team. What do you figure the dude makes a year to holler at the boys? 3, 4 hundred thousand? Main strength coach at Bama makes around $600,000…

‘[The University of Louisville basketball team] was a kind of Potemkin Village, not so much elevating the university as hiding it. Louisville was a commuter school with a reputation so lackluster that a professor once told the Courier-Journal, “When I have a really first-class undergraduate, I tell them to transfer.”’

A Potemkin Village is “a pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition.” The three Bloomberg writers who make this comparison – it appears in a long piece summarizing the ongoing national basketball scandal, which they call “the worst since college basketball players were caught shaving points for gamblers in the 1950s” – mean to suggest, I guess, that the glitzy University of Louisville basketball team masked whatever there was of the shabby non-basketball University of Louisville.

It’s quite a statement. Can we have gotten to the point where we’re not a tad astonished by it?

I mean, yes, one remembers the witty president of the University of Oklahoma back in the ‘fifties telling a senator he wanted to “build a university our football team can be proud of.” More recently, the president of Ohio State, “asked whether the school had considered firing embattled coach Jim Tressel, … said: ‘No. Are you kidding? Let me just be very clear. I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.'” One has no trouble imagining how the puling little president of the University of Alabama feels about his stature vis-à-vis Nick Saban. And of course we know how the leadership of Penn State felt about that… curious couple, Sandusky and Paterno. Going to jail for them was a small price to pay.

Still…

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

And does the analogy really work? For after all, as is the way with many big-time athletic programs, there was never a clear separation between the shabby embarrassing academic UL and the rich degenerate basketball UL. The squalor of college sports spreads itself all over the campus – literally, as in the way the University of Georgia campus for a long time looked the morning after big games; and figuratively, as in the establishment of a house of prostitution in a UL dorm for players, recruits, and the fathers of recruits.

It’s not really that you’ve got on the one hand the glitzy sports program and on the other the hidden humiliating university. The whole thing tends toward looking like the Calais Jungle.







Auburn University’s Flight Plan

How is one of this country’s major jockshops going to shake off its latest thing – the FBI bribery fraud and conspiracy thing? Decades of institutional misconduct have done nothing to blunt their teams’ championship ways; and if Auburn’s long history of corruption has destroyed any vestige of academic integrity, who gives a fuck? It’s a jockshop.

Still, when the DOJ and FBI come calling, it’s definitely a problem, and UD‘s gonna tell you Auburn’s short and long game in dealing with it.

They have a brand new president – hard-landing macho man Steven Leath, who did a bang-up job at major jockshop Iowa State – and Leath’s short game (very short – it’s kind of a placeholder until the other conspirators confess) is to deny that the bribery fraud and conspiracy is the work of anyone other than one singular bad person.

But UD sees a far more interesting long game here, involving Alabama’s next senator, Roy Moore.

UD thinks that if Auburn sits tight and doesn’t do much of anything, Moore will step in and solve its latest problem for it. As a United States senator, he will launch an all-out attack on the FBI and DOJ and their apostate assault on the twin pillars of faith down south: football and basketball. With Roy on their side, the University of Alabama and Auburn University are going to be just fine.







Put two of America’s most impressive university football programs in a brand new two billion dollar venue named after a prestigious line of cars…

… and the result shows you American higher education and sports culture at its very best.







Attention, University Development Offices!

Keep your eye on DEA/FBI raids of pill mills. One clinic operator currently on trial for everything from “violations of the RICO organized crime statute to illegal drug distribution to kickbacks to wire and mail fraud to money laundering” decided it was too dangerous to pocket the money he got for talking up his corporate drug supplier’s big drug – because a doc now in jail in Michigan for the same shit this guy’s on trial for pocketed his pharma money and look what happened to him.

So here’s what this guy decided to do, in order not to attract attention from the government.

[One] batch of emails [discussed in the trial] concerned [Xiulu] Ruan’s handling of the fees he collected for speaking for Insys. … Ruan … changed his procedure for handling the money after the Michigan case flared up… Rather than receiving the money, he’d begun routing the fees to various educational institutions, directly or through a charitable foundation, with recipients including the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of South Alabama.

Good man! Good man! And there’s every reason why your university can also be the beneficiary of alleged drug dealers trying to hide their money from government investigators. Just set up a lunch with the most prominent pusher in your town and suggest your campus as a routing location.







Reflections after events at the University of Missouri…

… go to the amazing centrality of football in American public universities. As one professor puts it, “intercollegiate football, or basketball, is perceived as the face of the modern public university, large or small.”

The. Face.

So, a couple of comments post-Missouri:

So much of the political and social economy of state universities is tied to football, especially in big-money conferences like Southeastern Conference, where Mizzou plays… [University] administrators created this world where our universities revolve socially, politically and economically around the exploited labor of big time football. Now let them reap what they sow.

***********

[W]hen did sports become more important than academics in American universities…?

… [T]he USA is the only country where college sport venues … consume as much, or more, capital budget than the entire balance of the university.

… [It is] worth great value to a college to recruit a “student” who possibly [can] barely read and write.

… It is doubtful anyone is willing to separate athletics out of America’s universities. But not recognizing the corruption this has done to the original academic purpose of these institutions is turning a blind eye to the obvious. For far too many universities job #1 is about running a sports franchise.

When most of the meaning, and much of the budget, of your state school rests on football, when you are essentially a setting for farm teams, the figures on campus impersonating university presidents and provosts will be toppled again and again with each athletics crisis. Those crises – cheating scandals, rape epidemics, whormitory exposes, the abuse of players by coaching staff, teams that double as criminal gangs, professors who offer hundreds of bogus independent studies per semester, cripplingly cost-overrun stadiums, outrageous student fee hikes, etc., etc. – are built in to the football school system. Only when you drop all university-pretense, in the way Auburn and Clemson and Nebraska have done, will you stop clownishly crashing into one catastrophe after another. Humiliating betrayals of your academic mission only happen if you continue to pretend you have one. If you are smart, you will make the University of Alabama your model, where the long and happy reign of the state monarch – the football coach – guarantees social tranquillity.

***********
UD thanks Rick.







Alabama A&M’s a Real Head-Scratcher.

UD‘s been attempting to follow that university since 2009, and has gradually discovered that it’s so bad it’s virtually impossible to understand.

She means that in any given newspaper article about this school, you cannot really make sense of what is being reported. (Here are some earlier attempts.)

So now there’s

Alabama A&M Chief
Operating Officer Arrested,
Charged with Theft

And with “possession of a forged instrument.”

Kevin Rolle, also the school’s executive vice president, last year sued a bunch of other people at the school who said something bad about him. The case was thrown out of court. Now he’s been arrested (okay, read the following slowly…):

The allegation against Rolle appears to center around a dispute over more than $6,000 he received as a reimbursement for moving expenses after he moved to Huntsville in 2009 to work for the university.

State auditors claimed earlier this year Rolle had been paid $6,534 to cover moving expenses, but they could find no moving company records to related to the move.

Alabama A&M initially said Rolle should not have been reimbursed. [This is where things start to get woozy. No records because no moving costs ….?] The university told auditors Rolle had repaid the money in January. [Okay.] But the university later changed its position. [Position is maybe an odd way to put it. Changed its story?] In a response to the state audit the university included an invoice from a moving company for the amount in question. [Ah! Here it is after all!]

Alabama A&M also included statements from two people claiming they were present when the moving truck arrived from Spartanburg, S.C. [Wow. Witnesses. Looks as though after decades of malfeasance Alabama A&M is anticipating that the state might not believe them.]

The statements were from the assistant to Alabama A&M President Andrew Hugine and and an executive with Aramark, a company that has a number of service contracts with the university. [They both happened to be standing around when… ? ]

I’m not the only one confused. The governor’s confused.

Gov. Robert Bentley questioned the university about moving expenses among other issues in a June letter. The Governor asked the university to provide the “front and back” of the check to pay the movers or the reimbursement check to Rolle. The Governor also asked for a copy of the check Rolle gave the university for his repayment. [So the succession of events is this: Rolle understands the university will reimburse him. He sends in his payment check, and gets reimbursed. Years pass. An audit happens. It turns out he should not have been reimbursed for the move. He repays the university. At first there is no paperwork to back up anything claimed here other than the payment of six thousand plus by the university to Rolle. In response to the audit, however, the university now hands over an invoice from the moving company.]

Bentley also questioned why an Aramark representative was at Rolle’s house on the day of the mover’s arrival. [Something smells fishy to the governor.]

Remember: This arrest is about forgery – or possession of forged docs – as well as theft.

And of course more details will emerge as the trial proceeds. This story is exactly one hour old.

But let’s speculate. Don’t you think it likely that the school has been trying to get rid of this guy ever since he initiated the lawsuit? Isn’t it likely that the theme of retaliation will play an important role in his courtroom defense? And isn’t it also possible that the governor has for whatever reason decided to do something about the larger corruption of Alabama A&M?

If so, this trial will mark the beginning of a lot of revelations.

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

So as the story builds, I’ll provide updates. Here’s one:

Rolle produced an invoice to examiners that the moving company could not verify, the report said. Examiners also said the moving company did not have Rolle’s name in their database.







Meanwhile, back in Alabama…

You would think the financial mess the state is in would be enough to fill the time of any lawmaker but that’s apparently not the case. Amid today’s budget wrangling, Sen. Tom Whatley of Auburn proposed a resolution urging Auburn University to claim nine football national championships…

Hyuk. Yeah, y’all guessed it. This was written by a girl. Hyuk.







“Jones is the fifth Alabama football player to be arrested in 2015.”

And it’s only May.

This sort of team record doesn’t come cheap. Nick Saban’s currently at seven million a year.

A football coach whose salary is the talk of the town.

A team whose arrest record is also the talk of the town.

Bama!! Life of the mind, Bama!!!







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