Saturday, October 25, 2014

it happens everywhere

Oklahoma St.: Misconduct allegations 'unfounded' but 3 possible Level II violations found, Fox Sports

OSU-SI timeline: A look at how the Sports Illustrated investigation went from magazine cover to NCAA ruling, Tulsa World

Oklahoma State football: Sports Illustrated's dark cloud dissipates for Joe DeForest, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma State players arrested after falling asleep in drive-thru, Sports Illustrated

stillwater runs deep

I've become somewhat obsessed with Oklahoma State recently, not so much because they beat us, as they always seem to do, but more because they were cleared of all charges, by the NCAA, relating back to last year or the year before, when I first got here, that they'd done all kinds of inappropriate things with recruits like give them free call-girls etc.

Now this was the racket. T. Boone Pickens, an eccentric billionaire, had already given them hundreds of millions to spend on the football team, and it didn't matter; he'd given hundreds of millions more to the school itself so the library wouldn't go wanting for books. These hundreds of millions, of course, they spent recruiting Texan kids to come up to Stillwater and then turn around and beat those Texas teams where all their friends had gone to play football. There was a serious grudge any time an Okie team played a Texas team and they play big and rough and everyone knows this is serious business in both places. So, if you're good at this stuff, and you're able and willing, they'll court you big-time and you can come up, have a free education Oklahoma-style, whale on those Texas boys, and nobody'll be any the wiser. Somebody told the NCAA, obviously some sore loser, so now they have to spend a couple million more trying to get everyone to shut up and especially let people know this kind of stuff happens at every school, they've all got a few million when it comes to getting a better coach or making sure the NCAA boys are happy.

Meanwhile back in Texas, we're like, how come these boys keep beating us every time, we need to raise $800 million for football only, not to forget the library of course, but it's time we can compete ourselves for our own Texas boys and make sure that coming here is at least as attractive to them as going to Stillwater or some such place. Now it's true, as they say, everyone is giving these football players stuff, free cars to use, free hookers, night on the town, whatever. That might look a little different in Lubbock than Stillwater, or Austin or Fort Worth or wherever, but the key word is free and remember it's a four-year deal, by the time you're done you go pro and then you have a few million of your own, provided of course you still have a collarbone and interior fibula. That's your job. You work out, take care of yourself, take whatever you need to take to make sure the pain goes away and come the weekend, you can get out there and bash some head.

Remember they do this stuff at every school. They're all in competition for the best players. This means making class look easy and the education look valuable, the time available to practice and work out and live a little, whatever. So this Ok-State cornerback was passed out in the drive-through of the Whataburger, 4 am the other day, and they finally released him even though their other cornerbacks are injured, they have to look to the NCAA like, we're following the rules now, we promised, we're not going to tolerate any of this night-on-the-town wildness that somehow ends up in charges and lawyers in court eating up whatever's left of that four hundred million or whatever. You going to mess around, get caught, stay up all night during football season, you're out of here. This is serious business, this football, and we don't need any of this crap.

chto deliot (what to do?)

Lubbock is the most boring city in the world, agreed my Turkish student, who is from Istanbul, one of the busiest most historic cities in the world, full of ancient Turkish art and museums, and the loot from the Ottoman Empire, and all the previous empires back to when it was Constantinople. No, of course Lubbock is not Istanbul, it's only been around for a few years, and besides, it was a cowboy's town, never spent any time fixing up the facades and making it appear like some fancy European capital. In fact it's kind of the opposite of that, it prefers to have no pretense whatsoever, and it took them years to even allow for any public art, or pretty carvings on bridges or murals or anything. Just wouldn't pay for it. it has wide avenues, so that when the sun is shining, which is most of the time, you couldn't see most of that stuff anyway. It's only when the sun goes down that you can even see any of the rest of it.

It actually does ok with parks and such, lots of city parks and pools and open areas where people can enjoy real grass and walk around in the open with the nice cool breeze blowing, blue sky, freshness and lots of kids and dogs everywhere. Lately the police have been swooping down on these parks and giving people with unleashed dogs these enormous $200 tickets but I suppose if these people can really control their dogs as well as they say they can, they should just tell the dog to get lost, of course it can outrun the policeman, while they maintain firmly that the dog doesn't belong to them, it's just a stray dog that happens to follow their orders. It's easier to say that a dog that has run away is not yours, since they can't catch him and read his collar anyway, than to maintain that some dog which is in your arms but not on a leash, is actually fairly easily controlled in spite of the law, and the various prejudices the police carry around with respect to them, as if they poop everywhere, and bite kids' faces, and attack other dogs. This is a current dispute in Tech Terrace Park, where they swoop down regularly, and all kinds of people are bit with fairly stiff tickets. We runners and walkers occasionally step in warm, squishy piles left right by the sidewalk there, not picked up even though someone has gone to the trouble to provide them with free plastic sacks.

It's not boring if you know everyone, and have some idea how much fun people really have, mostly by going out to the mountains, or over to the sea, or out to California or Florida in their free time, with their cotton money or their oil money. They are actually aggressively, assertively fun-loving, and don't mind extremes of weather, or the oppressive traffic of the city, or the fact that a few hundred new houses are going up every month. This is a city expanding,

to the people who live here, it's beautiful, because they can drive around, and they know everyone, like they know somebody who has a pool, and someone who happens to have a boat or some kind of cool thing like a truck to go out and spin mod and have really good time. this kind of person objects when some survey done by a couple of yankees who never set foot in the place, really rubs them wrong, and they don't feel like they should have to explain why we don't have all this neon and clubs and the kind of dazzling stuff you see all over the big cities. Yeah, sure, it is what it is, with a lot of churches, and it has a lot of fast food restaurants, and it comes up first on these dudes' list, and in fact we who live here day in and day out do ok, it's really friendly and besides, who needs a whole city full of facades? This place doesn't have a pretentious bone in its body.