The Harder They Fall


The Harder They Fall was Bogart’s last movie. He played a recently laid off sports columnist turned publicist for an asshole promoter (Rod Steiger). The plot involves a boxer with a glass jaw who the promoter is setting up for a title fight by paying off fighters to take a fall. Bogie gets down in the mud with the promoter to make some money but (spoiler alert) redeems himself somewhat at the end.

The film is based on a true story, and it exposes the greed of the promoters, the weakness of the boxing commission, and the blood lust of the fans. Even though the morality of the flick is pretty black-and-white, it’s at least sophisticated enough to recognize that boxing wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the complicity of a bunch of people who want to see a couple of guys knock the shit out of each other.

If someone were to make a modern version of this movie, it would have to be a series rather than a one-off, and it sounds like Michigan State could provide enough material for a full season. It’s not just Nassar – there’s a pattern of covering up sexual assaults by athletes, too. And let’s not forget the NCAA’s role (or, rather, lack of a role), since they were aware as early as 2010 that there were serious issues at MSU.

I’ll bet that MSU and Penn State are just the tip of this shitberg. Larry Nassar is the Jeffrey Dahmer of sexual assault, and Jerry Sandusky was the John Wayne Gacy. If it takes years to bring pedophilia of the staggering level at which those guys practiced it to light, who knows how much garden variety rape and abuse has been quietly hushed up at other programs? Before this whole thing is over, I’m guessing that the NCAA will give the Catholic Church a run for the money.

In the movie, Bogie’s big ah-ha moment comes when he learns that the promoters who took in millions claim to owe the fighter $49.07. That’s $49.07 more than the vast majority of student athletes will ever be paid, while their promoters make far more than the writers of The Harder They Fall could ever have imagined.






85 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Every university with an athletic program. Every single one.

    When USF was planning on finally starting a football program, my Dad was still head of the faculty senate’s investigative committee. As the senior most criminologist on campus (and in the state for that matter), he pulled the crime and violence data from every university in the US that had a football program. He produced an in house study that demonstrated the strong correlations between increases of crime and violence on campus with the university having a football team. Football, and the money it brings in, won out.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    it’s at least sophisticated enough to recognize that boxing wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the complicity of a bunch of people who want to see a couple of guys knock the shit out of each other.

    And what, pray tell, is wring with good, clean wholesome fun?

  3. 3
    Roger Moore says:

    And let’s not forget the NCAA’s role

    While we’re at it, let’s not ignore USOC’s role, either. They were quick to call for the whole board of US Gymnastics to resign, but it’s pretty obvious that was to distract people from their own role in the scandal.

  4. 4
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Of course it did. But at least your dad tried.

  5. 5
    Capri says:

    Word. Any time a player speaks up, they are blamed for their selfishness.

    I follow women’s basketball and there are tons of examples that come to mind. More often than not, when a player leaves a program or complains they are painted as divas who were unhappy with their playing time. It’s such a catch-all excuse, it was actually used to explain why a player left Penn State even though she was a starter and the highest scorer on the team. The actual reason was that she was thrown off the team by a homophobic coach who believed she was a lesbian. The player’s accomplishments on the court are the reason that the school’s version of the story wasn’t accepted on its face.

  6. 6
    foucault swing voter mistermix says:

    @Roger Moore: Good point.

  7. 7
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I wonder when college athletics became so dirty… U of Miami in the 80’s was certainly not the first blatantly corrupt program, but they came to my mind right away.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): There’s, I think, two distinct issues here. The first is the corrupting nature of the financial aspects and the second is the violence that surrounds the players and programs – from just regular violence to sexual assault and rape. The former really comes into play with the televised game era for football and basketball. The latter has likely always been there. Though it got worse the more money there was at risk from broadcast revenue, licensing deals, booster donations, etc.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He produced an in house study that demonstrated the strong correlations between increases of crime and violence on campus with the university having a football team.

    I guess this is why there are cautions about coming to conclusions based on correlation.

    Thus is fascinating, though Just football? Any theories about why this should be related?

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    The blog University Diaries has been documenting the corrupt university culture for many years.

  11. 11
    Lee says:

    The second the NCAA didn’t death penalty Penn they became complicit. Now every single program knows if they just cover up and obfuscate long enough they will get a slap on the wrist.

    The money the university looses in the lawsuits will be quickly covered by their alumni.

    They all need to be burnt to the ground and the ground salted.

  12. 12
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I hear professional Quidditch is chock-a-block with corruption.

  13. 13

    I recently read Peggy Orenstein’s GIRLS AND SEX. Girls she interviewed said fraternities and football players were places to watch for sexual assault. Obviously, that’s not everywhere, so it’s probably possible to create a culture in which that’s not true, but it’s an uphill battle in many places.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I wonder when college athletics became so dirty

    When colleges started offering athletic scholarships. Pieties about offering opportunities to deserving but poor students notwithstanding, athletic scholarships are a tacit admission that the school is willing to water down its standards to win on the field. All the other dirt is just working out the consequences.

  15. 15
    Mike in DC says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    To defend boxing for a moment:
    1. Unlike football, the risks for participants have mostly been clear from the beginning. Pugilistic dementia was a known thing early in the last century. People could even die in the ring. Boxers knew all that.
    2. It is/was a means for supporting their families and for moving up economically.
    3. Combat sports have been part of human culture for a very long time. Wrestling, boxing, jousting, etc can be found across many cultures and across history, modern and ancient.
    I will concede that it has often been corrupt and exploitative. But I don’t think it’s inhetently monstrous or barbaric.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator:

    Any theories about why this should be related?

    Sheer numbers? There is the official playing squad, the backups to the team, coaches, staffs etc. That’s over 100 individuals right there, all mostly male. And treated as the kings of the campus. Even top tier basketball schools don’t have numbers like that.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):
    You bet your ass it is. Ludovic Bagman is in up to his eyeballs with gambling interests.

  18. 18
    James E. Powell says:

    Americans, both the corporate/collegiate owners and the fans/consumers, have indicated that they will tolerate a great deal of corruption, crime, and violence. When a horror comes to light, especially if there is video, they are quick to declare “one bad apple” and move on. It’s pro, collegiate, and high school. It’s more than the money. Sports are treated like religious rites, football most of all.

  19. 19
    scav says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’d imagine there’s also the second round of violence related to the game-watching and drinking culture that comes with the games. Sychronized daft parties with larger mobs.

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    Sheer numbers? There is the official playing squad, the backups to the team, coaches, staffs etc. That’s over 100 individuals right there, all mostly male.

    So, the theory would be that it is the football players and other staff and employees who are committing crimes?

  21. 21

    In most public universities the person making the highest salary is usually the football coach or the basket ball coach. Priorities, we has them.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: My Dad, despite being a football fan, for some reason didn’t want a team at USF. I’m still not sure why. Since he was trying to block USF starting one, the study, as I understand it, specifically focused on football.

    As for correlation versus causation, given how often my Dad taught stats – from intro to advance – over a 35 year career, I’m pretty sure he understood the difference.

    ETA: As someone who has, himself, taught stats, I am always careful to use correlation when discussing findings, not causation. Not because I’m particularly pedantic about it, but because everyone else is. The simple truth is the statement is functionally pointless.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in DC: I actually like boxing.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @scav: That was part of the study. He wasn’t only looking at crimes/violence involving players, but the effects on campus life and the communities near the campus in the run up to and during game days.

  25. 25
    Amir Khalid says:

    Inter-university sports in America seems to exist at a level just shy of top-flight professional (association) football in the countries that contend for a place in the World Cup. It has become a feeder system for the pro leagues which are even ,more awash with money. Because the coaches and sporting directors bring in all that money they have too much power in the university and sometimes get away with heinous crimes. And the athletes, nominally university students whose main focus is supposed to be their studies, are celebrities almost on par with a Cristiano Ronaldo — a great way to mess up an impressionable young person’s head.

    You need to take the fame and fortune out of college sports in America. Colleges mustn’t be beholden to their athletics directors and football coaches, students need to be students first so that they’ll get what they should be getting out of college..The NFL and NBA in particular should run their own feeder systems — they could start by establishing and/or promoting second-tier, third-tier, and semi-pro sports as is done elsewhere in the world.
    I think what’s best for universities and students is to concentrate on academics, not on what the sporting world used to call “shamateurism”.

    End of rant.

  26. 26
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): let us not forget SMU!

    Or Auburn, a program so dirty it makes Alabama look almost ok in comparison. Almost.

  27. 27
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He produced an in house study that demonstrated the strong correlations between increases of crime and violence on campus with the university having a football team. Football, and the money it brings in, won out.

    I can’t think that football produces significant revenue at an urban, Catholic school like USF,
    Hoops? Sure. Back to Bill Russell and KC Jones.

  28. 28
    Jamey says:

    Baylor may slide by after having its rape-culture-masquerading-as-an-athetics-department downgraded to “youthful indiscretions.” Notre Dame’s‘s admin and athletics department should be fisted by the hands of Touchdown Jesus.

  29. 29
    Mike J says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I wonder when college athletics became so dirty

    Remember the Marx Brothers movie Horse Feathers? They didn’t invent the concept of corruption in college sports, they merely used something that already existed for comedic effect, and that was 1932.

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I wonder when college athletics became so dirty…

    Harvard and other schools hired ringers (non-students or otherwise ineligible players) before WW1.

  31. 31
    Another Scott says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): The University of Chicago abolished campus football in 1939. Hutchins was right.

    If universities want to have big-time sports, then they should pay their players, allow union representation, and all the rest. Continuing to pretend that they’re somehow amateur athletes that are getting an education, yada, yada, while the coaches and athletic directors, and the university as a whole, make millions, is not fooling anyone.

    Plus, of course, every organization needs dramatically increased oversight of the way people in power (administrators, police, supervisors, even senior students) treat underlings. Every form of punching down needs to be weeded out. It’s not acceptable and it ruins the victims’s lives in far too many cases.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (“Plus, there’s the brain and joint damage, also too.”)

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Cute. University of South Florida.

  33. 33
    K488 says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The current coach at the University of Michigan started with a salary plus perks which would have paid for an adjunct teaching two courses a semester for 1,000 years. Priorities!

  34. 34
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    University of South Florida.

    Honest mistake, mostly due to age and frame of reference.

  35. 35

    @K488: Well, they make more than Nobel Prize winners and Presidents of Universities.

    ETA: They bring enormous revenues to the Universities, so I see why they are paid so well.

  36. 36
    raven says:

    Jesus, you motherfuckers just know everything about everything don’t you?

  37. 37

    In most states, an athletic coach is the highest paid state employee. There’s big money in big sports.

  38. 38
    Another Scott says:

    @raven: Of course. Don’t you?

    ;-p

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  39. 39
    Jager says:

    When i was a college boy 50 years ago, one of the star hockey players, beat the living shit out a girl he was dating. A beating that put her in the hospital. Nothing was done! The beating happened just before Christmas break, the only reason I knew about it was I was dating her roommate. The entire thing was hushed up, covered up, pushed under the rug. The girl went home for the holiday and came back to school in January. There were rumors, but nothing was done. The girl’s brother was an offensive tackle for the Eagles.They played for the championship that year. When the game was over, her brother showered, got in his car and drove straight to our school.. He caught up with the hockey player and gave him a beating that put him in the hospital and took him out of the lineup for three weeks. That beating was covered up as well. The school did nothing and the hockey player went on to a career in the NHL.I had a friend on the hockey team, I asked him about it, he said, “Wasn’t the first time.”

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    My Dad, despite being a football fan, for some reason didn’t want a team at USF. I’m still not sure why. Since he was trying to block USF starting one, the study, as I understand it, specifically focused on football.

    As for correlation versus causation, given how often my Dad taught stats – from intro to advance – over a 35 year career, I’m pretty sure he understood the difference.

    This is why I was curious about where his research led him and his how these football programs were related to increases in crime.

  41. 41
    Psycholinguist says:

    @schrodingers_cat: actually highest paid public employee in most states is a football coach

  42. 42
    Cermet says:

    On a news program, they sited that only 6 out of every 1000 Pedophilia perpetrators ever goes to jail. Is it bad? Freud himself realized that most his female patients had suffered as children via sexual abuse back in the 1920’s. He once tried to bring this to light, was attacked by others, and withdrew that fact. Instead, created the insane mumbo-jumbo that physiologists treated as the bible. Talk about both sick and how society treated young woman, girls and woman.

  43. 43

    @Psycholinguist: I am not surprised. I don’t watch football or basketball. I am not into sports, much. I will occasionally watch baseball or cricket.

  44. 44
    Cermet says:

    @Mike in DC: Let’s not forget La crosse – a civilized (down graded) form of warfare called a game by the Iroquois to settle disputes between the seven tribes. Today’s game is, a bit safer.

  45. 45
    Capri says:

    Sports is the most visible, but no way the rest of academia is pure as snow. Researchers that bring in big grants are protected in the same way if they misbehave.

  46. 46
    Ruviana says:

    @Cermet: Oooh, the Mesoamerican ball game. Played throughout central and southern Mexico and Guatemala prior to the invasion by the Spanish.

  47. 47
    Starfish says:

    @Capri: Can you go back and slowly explain the part where someone was shocked that there are lesbians in women’s basketball?

  48. 48
    Starfish says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Some places really design frats to be places of sexual assault by allowing the frats to serve alcohol and not the sororities. The cops should bust every frat party for serving alcohol to minors, or the universities should let the sororities serve alcohol too.

  49. 49
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    And we haven’t even gotten to the money corruption: bribes, payoffs, under the table money to alter grades, tests, admission info. Complete with an unearned diploma in the end. Fixed games? Matchup between Hopeless State and Inevitable Winner U to pad states and a bowl matchup? Do we ever get to read the fine print of those TV contracts and what they promise to schools?

    Give me an honest minor league anyday over all of this. Football/basketball revenue can be substituted by revenue from concerts, donations and openly commercial activities where there’s less hypocrisy over who gets paid, who doesn’t.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @Capri:

    Researchers that bring in big grants are protected in the same way if they misbehave.

    Researchers? Hell, the disgraced former Dean of the USC School of Medicine was doing meth and cavorting with hookers. But he got away with it for a long time because he was a hell of a fundraiser.

  51. 51
    Starfish says:

    @Cermet: The theory of penis envy was to cover up the fact that the fathers of girls, rich enough to get therapy, were pedophiles.

  52. 52
    Mike in DC says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Me too! Sparring can be fun. Ironically, most of the longterm damage boxers face comes not from official fights, but from the countless rounds of sparring they do during training. And that’s with head gear and padding on.

  53. 53
    eemom says:

    The founding principle of the Ivy League was the prohibition of athletic scholarships. Those schools, like every other, continue to recruit the hell out of star athletes….but I think that rule is what keeps them from getting the best ones, and generally not in the Division 1’s, whatever that is.

    Why am I even talking about this? I know less than nothing about sports.

  54. 54
    John Revolta says:

    @Mike J: Horse Feathers also gave us the anthem of today’s GOP!

    I don’t care what they have to say
    It makes no difference anyway
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!
    No matter what it is or who commenced it
    I’m against it!
    Your proposition may be good
    But let’s have one thing understood
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!
    And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it
    I’m against it!

  55. 55
    Gretchen says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Maybe you can offer me some advice. My daughter recently became engaged to a young man whose parents came here from India. We are to travel to NY in a few weeks to meet the family. They came from Kerala. This has made me realize that what I know about India you could put in a thimble. Is there a good book or website I could look at for a crash course so I don’t appear to be the ignorant American that I am?

  56. 56
    lynn says:

    I can not believe he did not have a nurse or assistant that did not see what the doctor was doing to young girls.

  57. 57
    James E. Powell says:

    @Psycholinguist: @schrodingers_cat:

    Here is an espn article from last March showing the highest paid public employee in each state.

    tl;dr – 27 football, 12 basketball, 10 academics, mostly medical, Alaska – something to do with pipelines.

  58. 58
    Citizen Alan says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Actually, in most states, the highest paid public official is a football coach at the state college with the most prominent football team.

  59. 59
    HeleninEire says:

    @raven: uh, yeah! ;)

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Football/basketball revenue can be substituted by revenue from concerts, donations and openly commercial activities where there’s less hypocrisy over who gets paid, who doesn’t.

    It wouldn’t necessarily need to be. Football and basketball bring in a lot of money, but they spend a ton of money, too. Those multi-million dollar coaching jobs, hordes of assistant coaches, trainers, facilities, travel, etc. use up a lot of the money the big TV contracts bring in. Big sports may be a net positive for the top tier schools, but they’re probably a net loser for the patsies they beat up on.

  62. 62
    gene108 says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I wonder when college athletics became so dirty…

    A 100+ years ago, when college football became the second most popular team sport behind baseball.

    I remember a Three Stooges bit about how they are mistaken for star football players just enrollng at a college, and the staff goes out of their way to give them perks.

  63. 63
    bystander says:

    I went to Wash U in St. Louis 68-72, and the school was in a league that of schools that prohibited athletic scholarships. Who gets excited about a game with MacMurray College?

    Today, under the Schlafly Magic Spell, WU is probably trying to play Mizzou.

  64. 64
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Jesus H. Christ.

  65. 65
    Raoul says:

    Let’s not forget disgraced (and convicted on related bank fraud charges) former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

    Wrestling gave Mr. Hastert stature in his hometown, Yorkville, Ill., and propelled a political career that culminated in one of the most powerful jobs in Washington. But the sport he loved also gave him proximity and opportunity for what prosecutors say was a pattern of sexual abuse of boys while serving as their high school coach.

  66. 66
    Anotherlurker says:

    I might be wrong, but I’m under the I’mpression that sports revenues benefit only sports programs. The $ is used for more scholarships and for staff (trainers, PTs, etc.)for the programs. Very little revenue, if any, benefits the general population of the schools.

  67. 67
    Balconesfault says:

    @Jamey: Baylor gets extra points for the abuses taking place under the watch of moral scold Ken Starr.

  68. 68
    dmsilev says:

    I’m so glad my academic career has been spent at schools that didn’t give a rat’s ass about competitive athletics. Varsity teams playing against other schools an hour’s drive away? That’s fine, but don’t expect to get any extensions on your coursework. Athletic scholarships, massive programs, and fake diplomas, nope.

  69. 69

    I was at the University of Kentucky when Rick Patino kicked a student out of the basketball program for saying he took the scholarship to get an education.

    In general, these sports players are local champions, in an ancient sense. They represent the pride of the community battling other communities. In areas that are even a little clannish, the social pressure to protect those champions from all attack is huge.

  70. 70
    eemom says:

    @lynn:

    I can not believe he did not have a nurse or assistant that did not see what the doctor was doing to young girls.

    I thought about that too. Male gynecologists, for instance, can’t examine a woman without a female health professional in the room.

    But there’s an op ed by one of the testifying victims in yesterday’s NYT which says many times it happened when the girls’ own MOTHERS were in the room. Apparently the scumbag had a way of concealing what he was doing under loose clothes, etc.

    The flesh crawls.

  71. 71

    @eemom: My doctor is a woman and she won’t examine me without a nurse in the room. Maybe a nurse would have noticed something odd if a parent didn’t.

  72. 72
    gene108 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): There’s, I think, two distinct issues here. The first is the corrupting nature of the financial aspects

    I think it is more that most people do not handle a crisis well, which is why those who do become exalted.

    The more I read about institutional failures like USAG, MSU with regards to Nassar and PSU with regards to Sandusky, people just do not like having their routines disrupted.

    My job as university President/chancellor/AD involves fundraising, managing large budgets, and maybe dealing with state legislatures. Handling instances of sexual harassment, or assault are out of the job description.

    And people when faced with bad news want to make it go away and maybe not address it. Doesn’t matter what the problem is. You find out you have diabetes, you would rather it go away or pretend it is not there than make major life style changes. Your car makes a funny noise, you try to see, if you really need to see the mechanic.

    I think this instinct gets reinforced to not address problems, in large institutions, especially when the problem touches enough people lower down on the authority scale that you can assign blame elsewhere or say something, something was done, but never really addressing the problem.

    Plus there is a human instinct to protect what you have.

    Job duties for higher ups need to explicitly state handling cases of sexual harassment and assault is part of your basic job function, and failure to do so will hurt you financially. The mindset of not-my-job needs to change, with regards to this.

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    I don’t follow sports of any kind and I have absolutely no impulse to defend sports, but I feel like the focus on “sports” as an important factor is maybe a mistake.

    In its 65 years, the American Boychoir School has created one of the nation’s best-known choirs, with its sweet-voiced students, all fifth graders through eighth graders, invited to sing for presidents and at least one pope.
    But in a series of interviews in the last two months, a dozen alumni from the 1960’s to the 1980’s described a pattern of sex abuse at the nonsectarian boarding school by two longtime choirmasters and by nine other staff members, from a headmaster to teachers’ aides to a cook, that they say has resonated through their lives.

    2002. The story of how this happened at this school is about unchecked authority by the headmaster because he was successful at raising money and everyone involved had an interest in that, because they wanted the school to stay open, but it wasn’t a sports obsession, it was an obsession with excellence in music and raising money as a means to that end. So maybe it’s unchecked authority or maybe it’s an obsession with something that creates a situation where things get wildly off-balance and predators either create or are drawn to and exploit that imbalance but I don’t think it’s “sports”.

  74. 74
    gene108 says:

    @Gretchen:

    The Kerala wiki. It is a starting point. Onam is the biggest festival in Kerala, and is unique to Kerala.

  75. 75
    gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    You make a good point. It is not exclusive to sports. I think some of it is some sort of learned societal behavior, which is so deep, it seems instinctive.

    It is something very deep that needs a conscious effort to unlearn, and even then will fail reaching everybody.

    But we did this with some extent on racism, at least on open displays of racism. And to some extent on what society expects women can do for themselves without a man involved, as well as attitudes on gay marriage.

    This maybe harder, because it requires forcing change by powerful people on other powerful people. I mean people gained success through a system and we now expect them to self examine and reform a system that benefited them.

    This is where something like Presdiential leadership becomes important, as well as Congress.

    Unfortunately we are lacking in these areas of leadership right now.

  76. 76
    SgrAstar says:

    @schrodingers_cat: the revenues brought in by athletics are entirely absorbed by athletics, at least in the system I’m familiar with: UC. Despite the supposed importance of these revenues, Berkeley’s academic side actually subsidizes the athletic side, to the tune of millions per year, money they can ill afford. Athletics is a fucking sham and ripoff. If alums love it, they can pay for it. All of it.

  77. 77
    Dan B says:

    Gretchen

    I don’t see a reply from SC yet so here’s my 2cents. I was in Kerala ten years ago with good friends from India. We saw much of western India, including Kerala. It’s tropical, in the far south, known for trade, and being a communist state. It’s also known for its Backwaters and Ghats / tea growing hills.

    You can pick up a great deal of culture, history, and geography from the internet. Let yourself enjoy the discoveries. It’s an ancient culture so learning it all is impossible but the journey is fascinating. There is much more than the Raj / colonial era. Much astronomy,mathematics, and world religions have strong roots here. If you show an interest in India to your future in laws they will most likely be quite pleased and surprised. My friends’ families doted on me.

    Mist Indians are hospitable to the extreme. It may be necessary to say ‘no thank you, that’s most generous’ five times to avoid being overfed. Took me a couple times to learn this lesson, ha!

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    It is not exclusive to sports.

    Right, but this isn’t a “both sides” defense- “sports and the arts- equally bad for…people!” :)

    I’m thinking we;ll miss it if we look at “sports” as the problem. Somebody here mentioned that they noticed that Fox News spends an inordinate amount of time reporting on public school teachers who molest children. Partly I think it’s a fucked up kind of voyerism because often it’s women who are the abusers and in bizzaro-world that’s EXTRA bad, but mostly I think Fox focuses there because they have a pre-existing bias against public school teachers. They may yet win the war against public school teachers but that’s a different fight than a fight against child abuse.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Posted this upstairs in a comment on AL’s WaPo vs. FTFNYT, but — assuming this thread isn’t as dead as Scarpia and Cavaradossi combined — it’s much more appropriate here:

    I just got out of the opera and saw a news alert on my phone that Steve Wynn resigned today as the RNC’s finance chair.

    So much Wynning.

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    Barry says:

    @Mike in DC: ” It is/was a means for supporting their families and for moving up economically.”

    Please note that that has the excuse for many things, for a long time.

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    Roger Moore says:

    @lynn:
    One of the things I saw recently pointed out that Nassar was an OD rather than an MD. While osteopaths now mostly follow a fairly standard medical curriculum with a few extras, some schools- including Michigan, where Nassar was trained- still include body manipulations similar to chiropractic procedures. Amazingly enough, some of those body manipulations involve the kind of things Nassar was doing. It’s entirely possible his assistants were also trained at Michigan and believed his violating those women was a valid medical procedure.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @gene108:

    I think it is more that most people do not handle a crisis well, which is why those who do become exalted.

    I don’t necessarily think you can separate that from the financial and prestige aspects of the thing. It’s always easiest to deal with a crisis when the response is something you want to do anyway and hardest when the response is something you want to avoid. Athletic programs have long been overemphasized and are deeply tied into universities’ prestige and public perceptions. Something that disrupts that is going to be incredibly painful, and people are going to avoid it as much as possible.

    Even worse in the case of Dr. Nassar is that he didn’t just work with the athletic program at MSU; he was a graduate and faculty member of MSU’s medical school. That means he had the potential to blow up the reputation of both the athletic program and the medical school. The temptation to cover things up rather than accept there was a problem must have been overwhelming. I don’t want to excuse what MSU did- they failed horribly and deserve far worse than they’re likely to get- but I understand where the temptation to bury the issue came from.

  83. 83

    @Gretchen: What would you like to know? My husband’s father came to Mumbai from Kerala. They are Tamil speakers from Kerala. You can contact me at my bloggy email if you like.

    ETA: Each Indian state has its own language and there is quite a bit of variation in the culture and customs. Think of it like what Europe would be if it were one country.

  84. 84
    cwmoss says:

    @Cermet: You can let go of your dream to teach History of Psychiatry.

  85. 85
    Gvg says:

    @Anotherlurker: you would be wrong. Schools fundraise mostly starts with alumni. Former students “love” for their schools has a lot to do with how much fun they had in school and I would say how unique to that time the school experience was. A school with no athletics is mostly boring and generates no nostalgia. So academic giving is related to athletics most of the time, even if the athletics are kind of lousy. It’s entertainment for the non athletic. Otherwise you are just going to class just like you did for 12 years before. Most schools find a sport to be popular viewing even if it’s not football or basketball. A few schools may come up with an entertaining alternative like film or robotics competition but mostly it’s sports and administrators have templates and know how to add sports programs when they give in, they can borrow institutional knowledge.
    Evaluating which programs are profitable should take that into account but can’t because their isn’t enough data, few schools are let that don’t have programs and the accounting of profitable isn’t standardized. The blend the money too much and the academic side takes athletic money when ever they need it. Uf has an unusual set up in that they separated the athletic association from the University decades ago. Even have different health insurance and I think they aren’t part of state retirement. Anyway UF is one of the few national programs that is considered to turn s profit but I wonder if that isn’t partly because the money gets counted more accurately. Periodically the athletic association transfers money into UF academics. They seem to like giving to the libraries and funding summer classes. Also the bat houses. UF gets accede mic side donations because of nostalgia based on being part of the gator nation. Other schools work similarly except the money records aren’t separated so it’s harder to tell what goes on.

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