Category Archives: College Fun

“ZOOperstars! Set to Appear at Saturday’s Men’s Basketball Contest”

I’ve got plans and I won’t be attending the EMU Men’s Basketball game on Saturday night against UNC-Greensboro, but I was sort of struck by the headline announcing “ZOOperstars! Set to Appear at Saturday’s Men’s Basketball Contest.” As it says here, the ZOOperstars are “described as lovable, outrageous, zany, unpredictable and hysterical inflatable animalistic superstars that are sure to entertain all fans in attendance.”

I have no idea how the game will be. I know UNC-Greensboro has had some decent teams in the past, so I suspect it will be competitive. But this ZOOperstar thing– yikes. I am guessing it will be entertaining for the kids, but when I did a search and found their web site (warning, a video will start up!), I guess I thought two things. First, this is pretty stupid, people jumping around in inflatable costumes with punny animal names– Monkey Mantle, Yao Flamingo, Roger Clamons, LeBronco James, and so forth. Second, I noticed their schedule of upcoming appearances at other colleges and minor league hockey arenas all over the country, and I thought “what a shitty lifestyle that would be.” Get in the van, drive to some God-forsaken place, inflate the costume and dance around for a while, get back in the van. Probably not what most of those people were planning when studying drama at Juilliard.

“Eastern Michigan 89, Oakland University 77: Experienced Eagles power offense in strong second half”

Enough with the football; let’s talk basketball. From mLive comes “Eastern Michigan 89, Oakland University 77: Experienced Eagles power offense in strong second half.” I almost went to this game last night, but the day job and family things held me back at home. But I get the impression that the Emus might be pretty decent at basketball this year, so I’m hoping to see a couple games this year. Check out the schedule for Men’s BBall here.

The women’s basketball team seems to be pretty decent too. They lost to Michigan State in what looks like a fairly close game (the score was 61-69), and they beat Kent State at Tuscarawas by the ludicrous score of 127-40. Apparently, Kent State has a bunch of regional campuses, and as far as I can tell, Tuscarawas is a notch above a community college.

“Students get crafty for college cooking competition”

The ambitious home cook in me liked this piece: from the Freep, “Students get crafty for college cooking competition.” Basically, it’s a dorm room cooking contest where the recipes had to have three (or at least three?) ingredients costing less than $10 that can be prepared with some combination of a microwave, a hot plate, or a blender.

And there was an EMU student in the competition, Betty Adams. She “won the crowd support award for a blue beet pear salad/wrap, which used every part of the beet — including the leaves —and included blue cheese dressing.” Which I have to say doesn’t sound that great to me, but hey, congrats anyway.

Football versus Star Wars: A Debate

I’m not really sure what I think of this, but news of this event was passed on to me by Geoff “filling your email inbox” Larcom so I thought I’d pass it along here: “EMU students want to know: Football or lightsabers? Check out the debate in the EMU Student Center on Monday, Nov. 10 at 3:30 p.m.” Here’s a quote:

On Monday, Nov. 10, Eastern Michigan University students will come together to defend one of two well-known pastimes, football versus Star Wars/Trek.

The discussion will be held in the Kiva Room, on the third floor in the Student Center, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public and is LBC approved.

This debate is a chance for students to persuade a panel of three judges and the general audience, to vote for football or Star Wars as the best pastime.

More power to the debaters and anyone else interested, but I see at least two problems here.  First, while there are of course allegiances between the worlds of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” no reasonable person would conflate them as is done here with the “Star Wars/Trek” thing. Second, obviously “Star Wars” is a more worthy pastime. Duh.

Band Day at EMU football game

The Emus take on the CMU Chippewas today at EMU at 1 pm. The team from Mount Pleasant (which, as I like to say to a colleague of mine from that town, is actually neither a mountain nor “pleasant”) is a 14 point favorite.

But never mind that; it’s band day! As this piece on com says, halftime will include 19 area high school bands playing along with EMU’s band. It’s a fun spectacle.

So if it stops being windy and if I have time, I might take a walk over to the stadium to take a look from outside the gates. If I do, I’ll post some video.

Fake football attendance numbers, again

I also received an email from Jeremy Rosenberg, one of the main contributors at the site Eagle Totem, raising questions again about the fake attendance numbers at EMU football games– specifically the game on Saturday. Here’s a quote from Rosenberg’s post about the game:

Listed attendance for this game was 19,654. Anyone who was at the game knows this number is a complete joke. I’m not sure what type of Enron-esque, shell game is being played here, but it is not helpful. (Perhaps it was a typo, but I’m not sure how. The number was much closer to 5,000). I closely watch attendance numbers to gauge fan support. Without accurate, useable data, how are we to keep track of the growth of the program under Creighton? I’m going to try to do a little investigating this week and see what happened with the attendance numbers. Stay tuned…

Of course, this is not even close to new or even that unique to EMU. It’s still pretty slimy though. As Jeremy said in his email to me, if EMU can’t average 15,000 fans a game, maybe they shouldn’t be playing FBS football.


Meanwhile, at least we don’t have UNC’s problems (I hope)

So, today’s game day! No, I don’t mean Michigan versus Michigan State, though as a tangent, two thoughts on that:

  • This game seems like it is being promoted as a bigger “rivalry” game than it was in the past; maybe that’s just my impressions. And as far as I can tell, every Big Ten team really wants to beat Michigan (that was certainly the case when I was a student at Iowa).
  • Given the lopsidedness of the teams this year, I’m not exactly expecting a very good game.

No, of course I’m referring to the EMU versus Northern Illinois game! Sorta. Our friends at Eagle Totem have several posts about it all, and they point out that the halftime band show is some kind of tribute to Batman. That and the beautiful weather today could make the game worthwhile, though the Emus are 21 point underdogs.

Anyway, while you’re half-watching either of these games, take a moment to read through this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about the cheating scandal coming to light at the University of North Carolina, “Widespread Nature of Chapel Hill’s Academic Fraud Is Laid Bare.” It’s pretty startling. Basically, about 3100 students at UNC (about half of them were athletes) took these sham classes in the African and Afro-American Studies department that never actually met where students would get As or Bs for turning in one paper. And the whole thing was run by the department’s long-time secretary and the department’s chair. Here’s a long quote from the beginning of the article:

An academic-fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took root under a departmental secretary and die-hard Tar Heel fan, who was egged on by athletics advisers to create no-show classes that would keep under­prepared and unmotivated players eligible. Over nearly two decades, professors, coaches, and administrators either participated in the scheme or overlooked it, undercutting the core values of one of the nation’s premier public universities.

Such are the sobering findings of an eight-month investigation led by Kenneth L. Wainstein, a longtime official of the U.S. Justice Department who was hired by the university to get to the bottom of a scandal that came to light four years ago.

Mr. Wainstein’s 136-page report, made public on Wednesday, lays much of the blame at the feet of Deborah Crowder, a secretary and then manager in the department of African and Afro-American studies, which is often called AFAM. Ms. Crowder worked with Julius E. Nyang’oro, who was then chairman of the department, to develop what the report calls a “shadow curriculum” that awarded students, many of them athletes, with high grades for classes that required no attendance and minimal work.

Ms. Crowder and Mr. Nyang’oro’s role in academic fraud has long been acknowledged, but the new report is the first to reveal the broad involvement of a variety of actors, including a faculty leader and other professors in the AFAM department. The investigation delves deeply into the motives of central players and provides a complex picture of Ms. Crowder, a relatively low-level operator who investigators say acted as a professor in all but name, routinely grading students’ papers and forging faculty signatures.

This went on for 18 years and it appears that it only became visible and impossible for administrators and others to ignore when Crowder retired. Yikes.

Though I have to say that I can see how this could happen and I can see how it might not really be noticed by administrators and the like. The department secretary is a powerful figure, actually. At EMU, she (and it is usually a “she”) can create special sections of courses for students, and it wouldn’t take a lot of fraud to sign off on grades and the like too. And unless someone was paying really close attention, this could go on pretty much unnoticed.

I guess what I’m saying is it wouldn’t surprise me if there were other universities besides UNC where some slightly crooked faculty and administrators weren’t doing some student athletes a favor or two.

UMass vs. Emus– and what’s the deal with Slippery Rock?

This weekend in football news: the Emus are away at the University of Massachusetts, and while our friends at Eagle Totem say this is a game that matters to both teams (because whoever wins will have put together a “streak” of two wins in a row for the first time in a long time), it kind of strikes me  as a “who is going to lose less” game. But hey, go Emus all the same.  UMass is a 14 point favorite right now.

What I don’t understand though is why is Slippery Rock playing football in Ann Arbor today? There’s an article on mLive about today’s game here, and this article from a couple days ago kind of/sort of explains the connection having to do with former PA announcers at the different schools. I mean, I don’t really care that much one way or the other, but it seems kind of odd that two small Pennsylvania colleges would come all the way to Ann Arbor to play a football game.

What’s the deal with “Ypsi the Klown?”

I’ve seen a couple of articles– this one in The Echo, and this one from the Ypsilanti Courier (which is where the picture comes from)– about “Ypsi the Klown.” I saw a couple of fliers in Pray-Harrold advertising Ypsi the Klown for the Homecoming court (I assume he lost).

So, what’s the deal with this guy? And is he on campus much? I haven’t seen him yet, though I’m working a lot more from home this term, so maybe it’s just me.

“USA Today ranks gray field at Eastern Michigan’s Rynearson Stadium top 10 in the country”

From mLive “USA Today ranks gray field at Eastern Michigan’s Rynearson Stadium top 10 in the country.” Needless to say, this story made me throw up in my mouth a little. BTW, the USA Today ranked Boise State’s blue field as number one, which is to say that their main criteria appears to be most colorful field.

Oh, and one more important point: USA Today was ranking the fields in this article and not the stadium. No sane person would say the perpetually empty and amenity-free Rynearson is one of the “top 10″ stadiums in the country.