Friday, March 05, 2004

Buzz Buzz Buzz
This morning I find that the folks at Disinformation have done my job for me by assembling links to all the best campaign buzz from many of my favorite publications. So click away. One of the articles is from Brendan Koerner in Slate, talking about rumors that Kerry might choose John McCain as his running mate. Of all the things in the world that will never happen, this is high on the list. McCain, despite his maverick's reputation, has a voting record in Congress approximately equal to Jesse Helms. In addition, McCain's supposed feuding with Bush is vastly overrated. As an attempt to peel more moderate, Goldwater-type conservatives away from Bush at election time, it would be a smart move, but it makes almost no sense in terms of running an administration after Kerry is safely elected. In LA Weekly, the always worthwhile Harold Meyerson assesses Kerry's rise: "the Kerry who emerged from the primary season is not just a stronger candidate than the Kerry who started out, but also more electable and more liberal." Let's hope so.

But the real buzz this morning is from the University of Georgia, which approved a course called "Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball," taught in 2001 by the esteemed academic Jim Harrick Jr., an assistant basketball coach at the school. Harrick is now gone from the school, swept out in a blizzard of NCAA rule violations that also claimed the school's head basketball coach, Jim Harrick Sr. Papers released this week in the probe of the violations revealed that every student who took the course got an A, and no wonder. Students had to take only one exam in the course, and it included such questions as "how many points does a three-point field goal account for in a basketball game?" and "how many halves are in a college basketball game?"

The scandal involving the Harricks at Georgia was one of the more distasteful in college hoops (and "distasteful college hoops scandals" takes in a lot of territory). Players were paid, they were given A's in classes they never attended, basketball staffers took tests and wrote papers for them--and when confronted with the evidence, the Harricks denied it all, and put on a nauseating act of aggrieved righteousness before they were kicked to the curb. The junior Harrick's course revealed this week represents a spectacular fuck-you to the very idea of college as an institution of learning. As ESPN commentators Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon remarked yesterday, if you've got a degree from Georgia hanging on your wall, you'd better be embarrassed by this. And if you're not--why not?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?