Three pieces, all of them bad news from colleges. For the first two, follow the links embedded in the headlines….

Notre Dame students wants racial quotas on, yes, reading assignments. Really. (Dec. 1) Send these racialist scolds to bed without supper.

Get FIREd up to save collegiate free speech (Dec. 5) Campus speech is getting more free, but that means it has gone from horrendous to merely awful.


Note: A shorter version of this next one will fun in the Washington Examiner print edition. This is a longer version.

Whither sportsmanship?

Does anyone teach sportsmanship anymore?

Watching college and professional sports these days, one would assume sportsmanship has gone the way of 8-track tapes. Game after game, replay after replay, we are bombarded with not just bad sportsmanship, but what can only be described as flagrant idiocy, in the nation’s athletic arenas.

The most jaw-dropping recent example came when an Ole Miss football player (not named here because his bid for attention should not be rewarded) cost his team a loss versus rival Mississippi State in this year’s so-called Egg Bowl. After a stirring comeback drive ending in the player’s touchdown with four seconds left to bring the Rebels within a single point of the rival Bulldogs, the player literally mimicked a dog (bulldog, get it?) urinating in the end zone as a sign of mockery.

Naturally, this drew a penalty, forcing his team’s extra point attempt 15 yards further back – from where the kicker missed, resulting in a one-point loss.

Set aside how downright stupid it was to invite a penalty by rubbing a touchdown in an opponent’s face when one’s own team is still losing. In what sports universe, indeed in what moral universe, is it ever acceptable to do something so crass and to so disrespect an opponent (and all the fans)? Amazingly, this was the second time an Ole Miss player had pulled this stunt. Just two years ago, another Rebel player did the same thing to Mississippi State, drawing a penalty then too. It is beyond belief that any Ole Miss coach could have failed, after that display, to emphasize to his team that any similar antics would be cause for immediate dismissal from the program.

Therein lies the main lesson. Once upon a time, coaches at all levels preached discipline and restraint – some to uphold ideals, others just to make winning easier. Today, though, sadly, the “dog pee” incident is only slightly out of character for big-time sports overall. NFL teams seem constitutionally incapable of securing a turnover without the entire defensive squad running to the opposing endzone and posing like superheroes. Baseball players prance down the baseline, mocking the opposing pitcher with their bats, after hitting home runs. And, back to football, post-play cheap shots and punches are commonplace no matter how badly the misbehavior’s inevitable punishment harms the team’s chances of winning.

Whatever happened to coaches (and parents) at every level “reading the riot act” to players who acted out – especially in ways that hurt the team? Why aren’t coaches, especially in amateur sports, kicking players off teams when they act like hooligans? When did it become a sign of supposed manhood to “woof” at opponents or to dance around in pre-choreographed routines after the slightest on-field accomplishments?

Bart Starr won five NFL titles in seven years without mocking his opponents. Bill Russell won 11 NBA crowns without acting like a ruffian. These were real men, and they were champions. And they didn’t advertise their base-impulse incontinence for all the world to see.



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