"Elsewhere, when you violate the law or the rules, you go to jail or pay a fine," says an amazed Andrew Zimbalist, a man who's been following university sports closely for decades and ought to be way past amazement.
But universities, as institutions, are different. Better. Universities with multi-billion dollar endowments get tax breaks. University professors who've plagiarized from their own students keep their jobs. University coaches like Indiana's Kelvin Sampson, who deliver winning teams by playing filthy, get spectacular buyouts.
Indiana, an article about Sampson notes, has paid over four million dollars in the last few years to people, like Sampson, who don't work for the university. Sampson's reward would cover tuition for almost a hundred of the university's students.
Places like Indiana get a lot of attention when scandals like Sampson break. But spare a thought for under the radar schools like San Diego State, ruled lo these many years by jock-mad Stephen Weber, who has destroyed the university because of his insistence on spending tons of money on sports teams no one cares about. The campus has "sunk to the level of a mediocre community college," a commenter notes in response to an article about that university's latest sports-generated fiscal disaster. "The best profs are leaving or left. Students cannot get in to required classes and sit in filthy rooms, crowded to the gills. Now SDSU bosses demand that students pay more than double fees to keep the library open, while the football program, as well as the other sports programs, drain what dollars are left."
Having impoverished itself through sports fuckupery, SDSU will admit, its administration now announces, "greatly reduced" numbers of students in the next few years.
Under a delusional president, SDSU has betrayed its fundamental mission -- to educate Californians.
UD's way past amazement about Indiana. SDSU, however, retains its capacity to dazzle.