Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Betsy Hoffman still doesn't get it.

Betsy Hoffman, former president of the University of Colorado doesn't get why she was fired. According to a piece in the Denver Post, Hoffman thinks the blogosphere got her fired.

Not the fact that CU was using sex and free beer and drugs as a recruiting tool. Not the fact that basketball coaches Ricardo Patton and Ceal Berry were forced to make budget cuts like scaling back charter flights (which would lead to increased class absences) while the football team was getting free PDAs and Gary Barnett was maintaining a slush fund. Not the fact that CU allowed Ward Churchill to call 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns" while attempting to silence, Nazi-style, victims of sexual assaults by CU players and coaches.

No, in Hoffmans mind, only the blogosphere is responsible for her demise. From the Denver Post:
"The real problem was I had a lot of really tough decisions to make in this perfect storm," Hoffman went on to explain in her speech to the Denver Forum.

No, the real problem is that the former head of a major university finds the concentrated flow of information annoying.

This "perfect storm" - meaning unruly talk radio hosts, pajama-clad bloggers and scalawag commentators - was simply throwing facts at Hoffman.

And I thought it was all about freedom of expression? Or is that reserved for creative CU professors?

Hoffman singled out a blog called little green footballs (lgf).
Now, frankly I'm a little peeved that Cheap Seats and other sports blogs that have brought up the athletic side of CU's problems didn't factor into Hoffman's little blame game. Don't get me wrong, I love LGF, and we've blogrolled them. However, while Ward Churchill's issues have gotten people fired up, it's the sexual assaults and other problems in the athletic department that greased the skids, and it's the sports blogosphere that brought those issues up.

And we'd be more that happy to take the credit for getting an administrator who can't control her football program fired.

But we didn't fire her. The sexual assaults, Barnett's slush fund, and other events did that for her.

What happens when white males try to determine what's offensive

A largely white NCAA committee has decided to ban 18 D-1 mascots from postseason play, deeming them "hostile and abusive" to Native Americans.

Never mind that a recent University of Pennsylvania survey showed that only 9% of Native Americans actually found the word "Redskins" offensive in the context of an athletic team. Never mind that another survey conducted on behalf of people who were suing the Washington Redskins showed that whites were more offended than Natives when it comes to Native American mascots.

One of the schools facing the postseason ban, Florida State, has the backing of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. You know, the people FSU's nickname is allegedly being "hostile and abusive" to?

Another, Utah, is named after the tribe who gives the state it's name. The modern day Ute tribe has good relations with the white people of Utah, largely because of the LDS Church. (If you remember the opening ceremonies for the Salt Lake Olympics, Native Americans were a huge part of the festivities.) And frankly, I don't see how a white circle with a red "U", the school's logo, is offensive to anyone except the fashion police.

And then there's the case of UNC-Pembroke, a school seeking to move up to D-1. The school was founded specifically for the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, and it's a school with a majority Native population. It's mascot: "Braves". A lot of other tribal high schools have "Braves" or "Indians" in their name, so you'd think an institution that's majority Native and wants to keep the name for heritage purposes would be exempt from the post-season ban, right? Nope, it's on the list as well.

Oh, by the way, San Diego State can keep using the name "Aztecs" in postseason, even though at best a small percentage of Native Mexicans and U.S. Latinos find the name offensive.

This is what happens when a white, mostly male committee decides to hand down rulings on racism.

Actually, if you want to completely eliminate Native American names in college sports, then you are also going to have to ban the names of states like Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Utah, Illinois, and others. Those names are all derived from Native languages.

Plus, you'd have to get rid of names celebrating those who were actually "hostile and abusive" to Natives. Anyone named "Cowboys" would have to go, since they represent the ranchers who helped "push" the Native Americans to the reservations. "Aggies" have to go too, since they represent the homesteaders that also "helped". Oklahoma couldn't call themselves the "Sooners" since they settled on land that was originally Native. And Army would never be allowed to play postseason again because of the "hostilities and abuses" of Plains Wars.

Then, if you want the "hostile and abusive" Native American nicknames to go, then you have to get rid of every other potentially "hostile and abusive" name. You would have to ban Notre Dame from using, "Fighting Irish" for instance, even though the mascot was a symbol of Catholic pride in the early 20th century when Catholics were as despised as any minority, because a small percentage of Irish-Americans think that it represents a "drunken Irish" stereotype. Louisiana-Lafayette would have to give up it's "Ragin' Cajun" mascot to avoid offending the small minority of Cajuns who feel they are being stereotyped. Michigan State and San Jose State would both have to give up "Spartans" because of the one or two Greek-Americans who just might be offended. Southern Cal and Idaho would each have to find other mascots, because I'm suuuuuuuure one or two Trojans or Vandals would be offended that their people groups are being sterotyped as violent, if there were still any Trojans or Vandals around to ask. (After all, don't people assume that the Illini would be offended if their tribe was still around?)

You can't have Rebels, Mississippi and UNLV, that's "hostile and abusive" to Civil War vets on
the Union side. You can't have Pirates, East Carolina, because it's "hostile and abusive" to the recording industry. Can't have names like Cavaliers, Scarlet Knights, Midshipmen, or Golden Knights either because those war mascots are all "hostile and abusive" to peaceniks and left-wingers. Oh, and all animal mascots are "hostile and abusive" to PETA, so those have to go also.

Oh, and Stanford, that bastion of political correctness, can't use the color "Cardinal" because it's "hostile and offensive" to other shades of red.

Finally the NCAA, in it's decision, praised Wisconsin (mascot also "hostile and abusive" to PETA) for not scheduling teams with offensive nicknames.

Really? Let's take a look at Wisconsin's football schedule

Bowling Green Falcons ("hostile and abusive" to PETA and the Audubon Society)
Temple Owls (see above)
North Carolina Tar Heels ("hostile and abusive" to people who don't move fast)
Michigan Wolverines ("hostile and abusive" to PETA)
Indiana Hoosiers (the name of the state is "hostile and abusive" to 9% of Native Americans)
Northwestern Wildcats ("hostile and abusive" to PETA)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (see above)
Illinois Fighting Illini ("hostile and abusive" to 9% of Native Americans)
Penn State Nittany Lions ("hostile and abusive" to PETA)
Iowa Hawkeyes ("hostile and abusive" to PETA and the Audubon Society)
Hawaii Warriors ("hostile and abusive" to a percentage of Native Hawaiians)

Looks like Wisconsin's going to have to forfeit all it's games. But hey, at least we're all politically correct, right?

Tomorrow: TBA
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