Readers may recall a column UD wrote about bigtime university sports for Inside Higher Ed last year, in which she mentioned Western Kentucky University's classy behavior as it switched into Division I football:
"Western Kentucky's board ran roughshod over faculty regent Robert Dietel last week, as it rushed to embrace Division 1-A football... WKU's board told Dietel [who expressed academic misgivings about the decision] to shut up. Contempt dripped from [one board member]: 'People on this board dedicate their time for free. They have better things to do than let some university professor just keep talking."
Now, having successfully made the transition, the school has permanently shut up its professors. It lets ESPN do the talking.
You wanna find out what's up at WKU, you go to the sports pages.
And that's where Scathing Online Schoolmarm, with help from a University Diaries reader who sent her the link, found this update on the institution. She'll excerpt and comment on a lengthy article describing the team's experience at its first game, against the Florida Gators:
'Kickoff is coming, and the adrenaline coursing through Dusty Bear makes his legs tremble.
"Your piss should be hotter than it's ever been right now, boys," says Bear, a wild child with 14 tattoos and a Western Kentucky football jersey stretched across his 250-pound linebacker frame. [Piss, and its relative temperature, is now the defining leitmotif for Western Kentucky University. The coach and players will return obsessively to it as they prepare themselves for the game.]
"Now, we got 15 minutes yet," cautions coach David Elson in an even voice. "It should be warm. Very, very warm. We're not to [the piss boiling] point yet."
...A program is being born, right here and now. And the piss is running pretty hot.
..."We send a message. [Florida] ain't nothin' compared to the heat in Bowling Green, Ky. ... It's a damn country club!" [The coach is shouting this at his players.]
The players are getting riled now. The urinary temperature is rising again.
After going over a few more pregame instructions, the fifth-year head coach calls everyone into the center of the room to hear from team chaplain Gregg Farrell and recite the Lord's Prayer. Piety concluded, it's time to bring the piss to a boil. [Piss and piety. You wouldn't think they'd go together all that well.]
...Elson now walks to the center of the room and grabs a red-handled sledgehammer sitting on the floor. It's a controversial totem from the 2002 I-AA national championship Western Kentucky team - a symbol of hard work and hard play and yes, on-the-edge attitude. The Hilltoppers got it and all potential weaponry banned from the sidelines that season, after one of their players used it on an opponent in a postgame playoff brawl.
"For the first time, we're bringing it back," Elson says of the hammer. "We're bringing the nastiness back." [The Lord loves nasty pissers.]
...[The coach is] swinging [the hammer] at an orange Florida helmet on the floor. As Elson brings the hammer down like Thor, it smashes a clean round hole through the top.... Bloodlust permeates the room....'
[The game ensues.]
[WKU should have filled up on shit rather than piss. Shit is what they ended up getting kicked out of them.]