In a story that couldn’t be funnier if we made it up, Kansas seems to have employed a senior citizen watch brigade to improve its system of checking on athletes’ attendance to their daily classes. The force is in charge of signing in players when they come to class and making sure they stay for the whole period, although I’m sure most of the athletes would agree it’s pretty easy to sneak out during one of the handful of bathroom breaks the spies take during a given class. The school is using the old folks because the traditional class checkers, who were almost always students, were too easily struck by the celebrity of their assignments and could be ‘convinced’ to let players slide on their attendance. Senior citizens are apparently above being wooed by the high-profile athletes they track, although anonymous reports indicate that several of them are open to offers of ‘mashing up my peas’ and ‘turning the volume up on the TV,’ so it remains to be seen if the new system will really be any better.
There are drawbacks, however, like when the senior citizens end up in the wrong place on the wrong day or, you know, can’t actually see the players:
Some checkers say their vision isn’t quite what it used to be, either: Except for the offensive linemen, it can be tough to pick the athletes on their lists out of a crowd.
On a recent morning between classes, the checkers gathered at a campus dining area called the Underground to familiarize themselves with the images of the athletes in their blue binders that had to be checked in the next period. A debate ensued over the distinguishing characteristics of “a medium-sized white kid” on the football team, though the checkers did manage to agree that “he was a nice-looking boy.”
Being an elderly class checker does have some downsides. Senior moments can be inconvenient: Jerry Robinson, a 67-year-old retired child psychologist, says he has waited for hours outside eerily quiet classrooms only to realize later he was in the wrong building or had confused the days of the week.
The newer, older accountability measures even go so far as to monitor the athletes during their classes, making sure they don’t spend class time texting or doing whatever else the kids are doing by observing them through the classroom windows, which I’m sure isn’t weird at all. Evening classes seem to be the only hope for those trying to avoid the everpresent eyes of the watchdogs, although tuning a nearby TV to ‘Bonanza’ will usually distract them long enough to make an exit. There isn’t really a point in telling you all this, but these old people jokes pretty much write themselves and laughing at Kansas is always a good time. That’s it though. As you were.