Saturday November 26, 2005

What's up with the dean of UM?

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Personally I don’t give a rat’s ass about college football, and in fact my observation is that in general, schools that take their sports programs seriously take their academics lightly, and attract both a student body and faculty of decidedly less ambition and achievement. Say, like, University of Miami.

The recent campus incident involving sophomore Kyle Munzenreider, who published a link on his blog (Miamity) to the football players’ 2-year old thugaphonic stab at art, is a perfect example of everything wrong with a school that prizes football over all else. It needs to be thoroughly researched and written up as a textbook case of what a serious Academy should not do. Ever.

The kid is on his way out the door—ultimately this may turn out in his favor, as he’s obviously too bright, too motivated, and too advanced in his development for the Coral Gables Temple of Basketweaving—for the High Crime and Cardinal Sin of embarrassing the football program. Disregarding the obvious point that the players themselves, the ones who actually recorded the dick-waving song, are the genuine culprits in the embarrassment category, exactly what did the blogger do that was wrong, let alone illegal? How do you defenestrate a student for “embarrassing” the football program? Isn’t that action in itself rather embarrassing to the whole university?

If the cover story of Thursday’s Miami Hurled is accurate, the real embarrassment here is the conduct of the Dean. (College deans are almost universally reviled by faculties and students alike. For the most part, they are failed academics—glorified bureaucrats whose lack of people-skills made them ineffective teachers, and whose intellectual shortcomings ensured their career status as mediocre academicians. They end up—where else?—in management). This poor deluded dunce calls the cops (“Arrest that kid! He embarrassed the football program!”) and has the kid delivered to his office on the pretense his “suicide note” posted on Miamity was genuine. This keen Dean still wonders why Curly doesn’t bleed when Moe smacks him with a hammer.

And apparently during the interrogation the Dean had a staff shrink stowed away in the next room (what, spying? It’s not clear, which is why before it goes into the textbooks, further research is needed) who pops in and advises the kid to go home (based on what? Eavesdropping?), and he gets bounced from the dorm. How does this work? If the suicide note is genuine, he’s tossed into the street unsupervised, out of care and custody. Very responsible. If it isn’t genuine, why evict him?

These are not first-raters we’re dealing with here, but as noted above, this is the dismal mediocrity generated by a university that prizes its football program above all else. If I’m on the Board of Trustees, I’m outraged and want an accounting directly from the Dean, who BTW anounced his retirement last September and ain’t talkin’ now. Perhaps he’s arrived at the conclusion that it’s better to clam up and be thought a fool than to open his pie hole and remove all doubt.

Update: Deadspin agrees, and provides an e-mail address for those who want to share their disgust with his decision.

Update (Nov. 28): The school responds.

Update (Nov. 28): Kyle responds to the school’s response.

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  1. Rick    Sat Nov 26, 07:50 PM #  

    There’s a pretty good letter to the editor in today’s Miami Herald about this.

  2. Biscayne Bystander    Sat Nov 26, 08:11 PM #  

    I think it’s insane how UM’s administration is launching an attack on this student. As a former resident of the 7th floor at Person Residential College, I can tell you from personal experience that the even when the situation calls for the police, University of Miami police officers (whom all are retired Coral Gables PD) are the first to respond.

    A lot was said in knowing that non-university police officers went to this kid’s room. They publicly embarrased and criminalized him by frisking him in the downstairs lobby.

    I think people’s anger at our teams lack luster performance against FSU and Georgia Tech this year is being misdirected at this student. He didn’t make the tape. It wasn’t good rap song and anyone who heard it should immediatly be able to pick up the bullshit those guys are talking.

    ESPN should be thanked for putting a national spotlight on this kid and destroying his education in the process.

    It’s great to be a Miami Hurricane.

  3. Miami Harold    Mon Nov 28, 11:14 AM #  

    I’d like to hear from our hero about this.

    What “explicit images and what “university equipment”

    and why did he omit this from his account?

    In any case, are these activities that warrant

    summoning the Miami-Dade police on campus?

    And tossing a student out on the streets?

    Why not call for air strikes, too?

    If the school’s response is accurate, the dean isn’t a dunce:

    He’s two dunces.

  4. Miami Harold    Tue Nov 29, 11:37 AM #  

    Okay, Kyle. We’re with you.

    Keep us informed.

    BTW, for the record,

    I’m NOT the one who put

    the flaming bag of shit on the dean’s doorstep.

    Must have been another of his admirers.

  5. Kent Standit    Fri Dec 16, 04:28 PM #  

    To: ummmm (did I spell it right?).

    Not much has happened. Last I heard, the dean is still a dunce.