1.6.10

EXPANDING THE BIG TEN? University Diaries comments on athletic scandals at Kansas University.

Most of the universities who’ve given over just about all of their mission to really big, really dirty athletic programs come from the south — Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky…

Your eye doesn’t naturally wander to the nation’s midsection, because from UD’s ‘thesdan vantage point, it’s all about homespun integrity out there. But the KU ticket scam is just the thing the news media’s talking about at the moment. KU, as a commenter on an opinion piece summing up this whoroscopic campus says, has become so corrupt that it is simply failing to educate Kansans.

Indeed, KU’s faculty seems a shabby, shadowy lot, starved for state money, praying for a few pennies from the athletic director’s Habitat for the Humanities fund. This Sunday we’re going to go to some of the most impoverished neighborhoods on campus – Philosophy, Chemistry – with hammers and plywood and see what we can do…

Successive KU chancellors have also been shadowy. Not shabby, since they are paid well to do nothing about athletic corruption, but certainly in the shadows.

But. You know. It’s what Kansans want. They want it as much as southerners want it. Let China and India produce educated, hardworking populations. The United States is so rich we can spend our time getting drunk in hundred thousand dollar seats in amazing basketball stadiums downwind from derelict universities.

The shame, as one commenter notes, is that Kansas historically had an academic profile more like a Big Ten land-grant.

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