Hello, friends. You’re looking well. That’s a very fashionable tank top. Who is that, Bart Simpson smoking some marijuana? I’m not sure that’s an officially licensed piece of merchandise. Also, why are you wearing that? It’s like twelve degrees outside this week. What is wrong with you?
Friends, in this wild, crazy world of NCAA justice it’s sometimes just better to come clean and self-impose your own penalties for your shortcomings, as we saw Missouri do earlier this week when they vacated their wins from the 2013-14 season and exacted a postseason ban on themselves this season after investigations revealed a series of infractions. This practice, of course, is not new; however, never has the admission of guilt been more egregious than the press statement released by Western Louisiana State University in January 2014. It’s been largely overlooked but, as it seems pertinent today, I’d like to reprint it here. I hope you might find it interesting and, as always, I’ll see you next week.
January 13, 2014
Howard Gardner, President
Western Louisiana State University
3221 University Way
Bossier City, LA 71172
Ladies and Gentlemen of the NCAA:
Over the recent months of co-operative investigation with your team, a number of infractions in the WLSU athletic department fabric have regrettably come to light. To combat these admittedly distressing transgressions, we would like to officially disclose the findings both externally by the NCAA and internally from our own inquiries to you, today, to avoid any further negligence on the part of the university. These infractions insofar we know definitively include:
– Two WLSU football players receiving impermissible benefits during a black-tie function for the school’s donors held on campus in the spring of 2013, including cash payment and gifts totaling $1,500 each.
-Five women’s volleyball players permitted to take a boating excursion with a party of WLSU alumni including two donor/benefactors in which the players were not charged for admission, food or drink.
-Three men’s basketball players given complimentary food at a restaurant near campus over a time spanning several months and totaling an estimated $3,000.
-An elaborate email campaign wherein two members of the baseball team portended to be an African prince stranded in his homeland in desperate need of escape, which netted the players in excess of $550,000 over a period of six months.
-An “edible arrangement” sent to a prospective field hockey recruit containing, according to the business’ records, “about $20 worth of pineapple but upwards of $75 in canteloupe, which was not in season at the time.”
-On September 9, 2013, a women’s golf assistant who had previously watched the television program Lost ruined the ending of the series for a student athlete by telling her “they were in a church the whole time or something, I don’t know, it was dumb,” rendering the time the student athlete spent watching six seasons of the popular drama wasted.
-During a fundraising event in November 2012 a booster allegedly told a member of the men’s diving team that he was “just going to set this delicious footlong Subway Turkey Italiano Meltâ„¢ on parmesan oregano bread on the chair” and that he “sure hoped nobody ate it while he was out of the room,” at which time the booster is believed to have gestured with an exaggerated wink at the diver, resulting in the eventual consumption of the sandwich ,which totaled $6.79.
-Sometime between the months of October 2012 and February 2013 a coach for the men’s tennis team had what can only be described as a recurring series of “sexy” dreams about former The View host and American journalism fixture Barbara Walters, which he quietly kept to himself but secretly treasured.
-At an off-campus get-together in June 2013 a booster allegedly told three members of the men’s basketball team “Oh no! It’s getting very windy in here!” and “I hope all my money doesn’t blow away because then it’s not mine anymore!” as he turned on a box fan and threw stacks of money in front of it, which consequently blew into the players’ faces and pockets and totaled $4,500.
-A booster made a poster supporting a member of the women’s swim team who had recently made the All-American team and hung it on her door. This poster was, rather anachronistically, in the form of a giant oversized cardboard check with the swimmer’s name and the denomination “Five-thousand Dollars” with a memo line reading “Secret.”
-During a Cinco De Mayo celebration on campus in May of 2012 several football players broke upon a mysterious piÃ±ata filled with rare Victorian brooches totaling $43,000, a windfall they only later discovered when they appeared on the Antiques Roadshow.
-In 2012 a member of the women’s softball team was recruited by a wealthy booster to be the munitions expert on a team of elite burglars he was amassing to rob an Atlantic City Casino on New Year’s Eve, a heist pulled off to the tune of $7.9 million dollars before the softball player disappeared into the Taconic Mountains during a blizzard, never to be found.
-In December of 2013 the men’s basketball team received new uniforms; regrettably, these uniforms were simply twenty dollar bills stapled together and the shoddy craftsmanship became rather obvious during gameplay, alerting the NCAA to the possibility of the infractions listed above — which, again, we deeply, deeply regret. We’ll sit out the tournament this year if that’s okay.