December 22nd, 2014
For Ole Miss, it all comes down to a numbers game now.

[Just-recruited quarterback Chad] Kelly faces charges including third-degree assault, second-degree harassment, second-degree menacing, resisting arrest, fourth-degree criminal mischief, third-degree criminal trespass and second-degree obstructing governmental administration…

Including might mean there are (or will be) more than seven, which, if I’m counting correctly, is the current number. UD‘s gonna guess that DUI will show up at some point… Maybe some other stuff. So make it ten charges.

Now of course you’re bringing this young scholar to your university to take classes and consort with other students, mainly. I mean, sure, football, but the main thing is, you know, scholar/athlete. Occasionally a few universities do decide – as Nebraska eventually did with the now-famous Richie Incognito – that some of their players aren’t really enriching student life as much as one might have hoped. Let’s put it like that. Ole Miss might decide that.

On the other hand, they really need a good quarterback. Hm. Hm.

December 22nd, 2014
Joe Cocker, 1944-2014.

Start at 2:00.

December 22nd, 2014
“I’m going to go to my car and get my AK-47 and spray this place.”

Incoming quarterback for Ole Miss shows his stuff! Gets drunk, beats people up, threatens to kill everyone with his AK-47.

Throw the bastard out, you say!

Well hold on, Miss Ole Miss.

This guy fits right in, on the field and off.

He’s aggressive. Goes after people. You want that in a quarterback.

He reportedly drinks like a goddamn fish. That’s the Ole Miss Way.

Fight song and cheer (sing it with me):

Forward, Rebels, shoot to fame,
Hit those folks and win this game
We know that you’ll fight it through,
For your colors red and blue.
Rah, rah, rah!
Rebels you are the Southland’s pride,
Take that gun and hit your stride,
Don’t stop till the killing’s done
For your Ole Miss.
Fight, fight for your Ole Miss!


GOT YOUR 47???
Hell yes, damn right!!!
Gonna shoot y’all to heaven
Who in the hell are we…AK!
Flim flam, BAM! BAM!


UD thanks Dave.

December 22nd, 2014
Scathing Online Schoolmarm Says:

You are going to love this account of life at a modern American university.

The piece is a review of a documentary about the amateur sportsmen at the University of Miami, and it touches on many significant aspects of contemporary American higher education. Some highlights:

…There are four main periods of time (with some overlap between sections) that the documentary deals with: (1) the Pell Grant Scandal and rebuild under Butch Davis through the beginning of the Coker Era, (2) the decline under Coker post Fiesta Bowl, (3) the Nevin Shapiro Scandal, (4) the continued malaise under Shannon and Golden…

[T]here was foreshadowing of tragedy a decade in the future, when … one of [football coach] Butch Davis’ disciplinary measures was to force players to give up their guns…

[The team’s downfall] started on the field with multiple brawls, and tragically spread off the field, with the murder of Bryan Pata.

One of the more chilling moments was Randy Phillips recounting the Pata murder, where he nonchalantly says that if he was there, things would have gone differently because he was always armed, and would have engaged in a gun battle with the attacker. It’s a stark reminder for sheltered fans that these players came from a different place. They moved to Coral Gables, they became Canes, but their past often followed them. This discussion is in stark contrast to Butch Davis’ disciplined approach where he tried to disarm, literally, the Miami players…

The severity of the Pell Grant scandal, with players being arrested, and an administrator being sent to jail for three years, with the loss of scholarships amounting to 31 is put up against a scandal that was all hat and no cattle, ultimately resulting in a loss of only nine scholarships…

December 22nd, 2014
“[F]ootball is losing its appeal. People realize it is a gladiator sport that pits young men in violent combat and leaves many of them gravely injured, just for our idle entertainment. Future generations will wonder how we were seduced into making this expensive spectacle a marketing tool for an educational institution. Football is both financially unsustainable and morally indefensible.”

A local letter writer in Fort Collins Colorado rails against Colorado State University’s decision to build a new football stadium. Yet UD wonders whether moral revulsion will really be what brings the college game down.

People seem to like watching hulks hurt each other. The younger the better.

I think it’s more likely that a simple, irreversible shift in techno-preferences will do the trick. The whole “being there” thing just isn’t working for people anymore. Showing up isn’t in the cards; watching at home while fiddling with social media is the new deal. With social media you create your own big viewing party, down your own liquor, avoid driving in heavy traffic and negotiating foul drunks and sitting on hard bleachers (while gazing up at the assholes in the luxury boxes) and enduring long vast shrieking ads on Adzillatrons, etc., etc. Nothing can compete with the capacity to control your own environment.

December 21st, 2014
“Either the chancellor doesn’t understand plagiarism, or it was intentional.”

The local paper and some faculty and students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas are trying to attract some general attention to the state’s latest education-related embarrassment:

[T]he agency that oversees higher education in the state lifted large parts of an early draft of a think tank’s report word-for-word…

Their complaint features the Nevada System of Higher Education chancellor because he’s the one who should have humbly acknowledged when the story broke that his organization acted hastily in using another person’s writing (the writing seems to have been circulated in a routine, not-for-quotation, preliminary way), especially in the context of competitive bidding for state funds.

Plus, news-cycle-wise, it’s less than optimal that only a few weeks ago the system’s highest-profile university – UNLV – barely managed to fire a highly esteemed and compensated professor who has been plagiarizing pretty much everything he writes for about thirty years. The plagiarism was pretty well known… pretty well documented… but until the Chronicle of Higher Education began using a yellow highlighter on this guy, UNLV dragged its ass.. And even then, a member of the reviewing committee argued that he shouldn’t be fired!

Throw into the Nevada higher education mix that the only thing you consistently hear about universities there is that some jerks want to build a billion dollar football stadium (‘Kim Sinatra, senior vice president and general counsel for Wynn Resorts, said, “A billion dollars is a lot of money. If we want to spend a billion dollars on UNLV, is it a stadium?”’), and, well, nuff said.

December 20th, 2014
Longtime readers know that every Christmas Les UDs go to Cambridge, Massachusetts…

…to be with family. This year, rather than stay with family or at a hotel (Les UDs have a house in Cambridge, but they rent it out), we’ll stay at a friend’s house on Professors’ Row, a line of beautiful places steps from Harvard.

The term Professors’ Row, Boston Curbed writes, “is used now only with the bitterest of irony, given the costs of housing near Harvard and the pay of most Harvard faculty.” Which is to say that even, for instance, a $400,000 a year salary probably isn’t enough. You have to be edging up toward hedge fund territory.

No wonder Sheriff Ben Edelman sets his consulting fee so high.

UD will of course blog from these privileged precincts. She has been stomping around Harvard for decades (ever since she and Mr UD, a Harvard professor’s son, became an item) and she has blogged, a bit, about her impressions of Cambridge and its university people. She will now do so again.

December 19th, 2014
‘“I don’t give a (expletive) where his name is,” Powers said.’

It has always been this blog’s privilege to highlight notable events at our nation’s front porch, university football. The Cal Poly scoreboard conundrum is quintessentially one such event, combining the glories of game day with ponzi schemes, claw back, money-hemorrhaging litigation, and institutional embarrassment.

A big ol’ Cal Poly booster, Al Moriarty, spent $650,000 of a bunch of suckers’ money (investors included professors at the school) to get his name plastered all over the school’s scoreboard. Now that big Al’s in jail for the kind of massive fraud you can only perpetrate if you were a hall of famer and everybody thinks you’re Jesus Christ reincarnate, Cal Poly desperately wants MORIARTY ENTERPRISES off the effing scoreboard pronto.

Well but hold on. The trustee in charge of getting some money back for the suckers says Cal Poly should pay him to take it off. And a judge agrees!

Cal Poly cannot cover or remove convicted felon Al Moriarty’s name from the scoreboard at its football stadium, a bankruptcy judge ruled Friday.

… The trustee has argued that since Moriarty used investor money to pay for the scoreboard, those investors are entitled to get that money back.

And, see, if you let Cal Poly cover up the name, it won’t have any incentive to cough up the cash.  Plus seven percent interest.

EXTORTION! screams Cal Poly.

Oh shush, says the trustee.  Pay up and shut up.


Details of the original agreement are fun to read. In exchange for handing his dupes’ money over to Cal Poly, Moriarty got not merely the scoreboard thing, but a guaranteed “feature on Moriarty in Cal Poly’s alumni magazine.” Talk about editorial independence! But UD is sure you don’t see that sort of money whoring at other schools.

December 19th, 2014
The University of Hawaii Goes Off the Rails.

“Hawaii athletics is important to the university but it is essentially important to the Hawaii community itself,” Bley-Vroman said. “The university doesn’t itself have a solution. I think that’s important to make that clear. Athletics really is a state-level problem. Not problem, opportunity. It’s a cool thing. We like it.”

Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman babbles in front of a legislative committee, whatever capacity for rational speech he once had totally broken down by the bedlam of his university sports program. Essentially reduced to a few crazed administrators staging pretend Stevie Wonder concerts in a desperate bid to get someone to sit in their stadium, University of Hawaii athletics has lost all dignity. It has lost all capacity to do that thing most other fucked up athletic programs do: lie.

Most other programs can still keep going the lies about ticket sales, sources of revenue, players’ academic progress, etc., etc. But Hawaii can’t even do that. Hawaii’s a madman muttering to the world about its cool games, so important to Hawaii that no one attends them…

I mean, okay, right, sure, no one attends them! That’s why we’re always millions and millions in deficit and why it’s not a cool thing but a problem!

But not OUR problem. Oh no. You did it. The state did it. You have to solve it because we can’t because we don’t have any money and you have money and you have to give us the money. And we promise if you do that you’ll see an immediate turnaround and all the people who don’t give a damn about our stupid corrupt program will pour onto the field!

Sweating in his flower shirt, the university chancellor breaks down in front of the Higher Education Committee. It has come to this.

December 18th, 2014
“U. of Michigan Said To Offer Harbaugh Nearly 10 Times Its President’s Salary To Coach Football Team”

Says it all.

December 18th, 2014
“I don’t understand why the board doesn’t hold [Joel] accountable and fire him.”

So, let’s go there. Let’s pose the question that anyone with even a smidgeon of information about Yeshiva University over the last few years has posed: Why does that university’s grossly incompetent, buck-passing president retain his job?

UD suggests that the answer to the question lies within the question as posed up there in her headline. The board. Why doesn’t the board of trustees at Yeshiva University fire its president?

Well, let’s consider a few present and past board members of that institution. Zygi Wilf, a very powerful board member (an entire campus of YU bears his last name), was a few months ago convicted of “fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.” Ezra Merkin, Bernie Madoff’s right hand man, has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud suits, and there are tons more fraud suits pending against him. Bernie Madoff himself of course was treasurer of Yeshiva’s board of trustees, plus he chaired the board of Yeshiva’s Sy Syms School of Business. Until recently, conflict of interest was rife on Yeshiva’s BOT.

UD wonders. Maybe Joel doesn’t go because he knows too much. About the board of trustees. Maybe there’s more where that other stuff came from.


One more thing: UD suspects the I could puke factor is also increasingly at play at Yeshiva. Whether in terms of alumni gifts or enrollment, I have to assume that part of Yeshiva’s financial catastrophe involves larger and larger numbers of people just saying Look – the sex scandals (hard to keep track of these, but for those counting, here’s the latest), the money scandals, the conflicts of interest, the lying, the criminals on the BOT… All in the context of Yeshiva’s piously self-righteous self-representation… Yick. It’s just too much. Forget it.

December 18th, 2014
Youngstown is Cuntstown!

Bo Pelini is headed our way! We got ‘im!




All hail to thee O Cuntstown,
Our Alma Mater fair;
In sunlight and starshine
We see thee in all thy glory…

December 18th, 2014
“Plagiarism within a university and a higher education system reflect[s] poorly on Nevada, which is desperately trying to improve its reputation on many fronts, including education.”

Of course this local columnist is right that the state of Nevada has a jaw-droppingly bad ed rep; but she errs in assuming even a non-desperate effort to change this.

UD has for years followed the states of New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada (UD‘s Big Four) as they run their primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools into the ground.

Not one of these states seems to know how to run schools, much less care about running them.

Nevada in particular – entertainment capital of the world – is all about building The World’s Largest 800 Million Dollar University Football Stadium and stuff like that. It’s clear the state doesn’t even know what universities are. Or – again – care. The center of its world is Las Vegas.

Las Vegas. Nevada’s tax base relies on drawing stupid people to the state, and it’s done a bang-up job. State leaders understand there’s, uh, negative utility in drawing smart people.

So who can be surprised that no one there knows what plagiarism is, much less knows that you shouldn’t do it? The same local columnist expresses amazement that the University of Nevada Las Vegas for years housed a high-profile professor who has been loudly called out as a plagiarist since “his 1990 doctoral dissertation at [the] University of Toronto.” She seems surprised that UNLV seemed disinclined to do anything about this guy until the Chronicle of Higher Ed did a big story about him. A commenter at Retraction Watch notes:

UNLV management were probably too busy hushing up scandals with the basketball team to worry about something as trivial as plagiarism on a massive scale…

The columnist seems just as surprised that the Nevada System of Higher Education “copied large sections of [a Brookings Institution] draft report and submitted it to legislators as NSHE’s own proposal.” Why not?

December 17th, 2014
If you let them steal from the state long enough…

… they’ll end up ordering groceries.

The much-lauded founder and head of Henderson State University’s ESL program has been helping herself to state grant money for so long that she’s gotten sloppy. Along with buying stuff that one might argue had some connection to language instruction (a vast array of cameras…?), she began using the money for the odd olive oil or steam cleaner shortage in her household. Here’s a list, courtesy of state auditors, of some of what she bought. Let’s try to make sense of it.

Microphones and stands
Camera Lenses
Digital Mixers
Three piece luggage set

Nikon Camera
Vizeo Video monitor
Hitachi projector
Beats by Dre headphones
Two containers of olive oil
Shark portable steamer

The audit pointed out that these items were stored at the Center Director’s house. The audit also points out the Director’s husband happens to run a multimedia company.

Okay… I’m seeing the olive oil used to, you know, oil the camera equipment… And who hasn’t needed to steam clean her luggage set? … But then there’s the question of the luggage set itself…

To lug all the equipment from the language lab to the director’s house?

But wait. There’s more. Found in the language lab itself were:

635 boxes of paper/binder clips
470 batteries
308 shirts
105 umbrellas
48 pedometers
14 electric pencil sharpeners

Okay, not a problem. Batteries were obviously for the pedometers, and the pedometers… Well, this was probably a result of a linguistic misunderstanding on the part of the director herself. Ped-agogy… ped-ometer… It is possible she was under the apprehension that this machine measured teaching output…

Shirts and umbrellas no problem: For a rainy day (UD is providing these line item justifications free of charge to the director’s legal team, by the way), of which there are tons in Arkansas.


$990 in stamps, although Center mail is processed through the HSU campus post office
$3,071 for a new oven and dishwasher
$39,475 for ink and toner
$30,100 for snacks
$2,692 for batteries
$42,278 for other office supplies

Okay start with the easy stuff. What modern housewife doesn’t need an oven and dishwasher at her place of work? It’s not like cleaning clothes and cooking stops at the ESL door! Are you going to pillory this woman for being as keen on domesticity as she is on having a career?

So let’s finish it out: Stamp collection; universal human need for sustenance; more batteries for the pedometer; you can never have enough ink and toner; and you’ll need to itemize those “other office supplies” before I can respond to them.

December 17th, 2014
University of Georgia: OUR cheating coach deserves every bit as much support as…

… all of our school’s other cheating coaches!

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