Monday, August 2, 2010

Crud In Iowa City

Whenever Andrew’s father observes people say or do something idiotic, he invariably shakes his head and says, “We live in a nation of morons.”

I think of Andrew’s father’s aphorism whenever I view twitter accounts of college basketball players.

I, like many others that follow college sports, have relentlessly poked fun of late at twitter accounts of college basketball players. As a general rule, I believe it may safely be stated that only the dumbest of college basketball players tweet, which is why it has recently become fashionable for sports fans to read these grimy tweets and widely poke fun at them as well as at the persons composing them.

College basketball players that tweet seem especially prone to stupidity—which they display publicly and incessantly, on a continuously-updated basis—as well as baseness. I have yet to see a twitter account of a college basketball player that was not produced by an utter moron—and a total piece of crud.

It is basketball players at unsuccessful, down-market programs that seem to produce the most offensive—and certainly the dumbest—tweets.

It is pretty hard for a major university to lose money on a men's basketball program, but there are seven unprofitable men's basketball programs at major universities, the most conspicuous of which is the University Of Iowa, which lost $1.5 million on its men’s basketball program last year.

I can see why the University Of Iowa men’s basketball program is one of only a handful of B.C.S. basketball programs drowning in red ink: the program has gone totally down-market, populated by down-market players and down-market coaches. The program has lost its appeal—and, deservedly, loss of the fan base has followed.

Attendance figures for last season were gruesome: an average of 5,150 persons showed up for last season’s home games in an arena accommodating 15,500 persons. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, there were home games in Iowa City last season in which fewer than 2,000 persons were in attendance, a figure on par with high school games at mid-size high schools throughout the country.

This is as it should be. The Iowa program is entirely smelly at present. It deserves support from no quarter.

Sports fans, consciously or unconsciously, do not support bad programs. They withhold their loyalty, their dedication—and their dollars. And the Iowa program in its current state is certainly entitled to nothing but scorn.

In addition to losing fans, the Iowa program is also losing out on the state’s finest native athletes. The cream of Iowa’s instate players now looks elsewhere, to out-of-state rivals, to play for successful—and clean—programs like Wisconsin’s rather than be associated with the Iowa program, which now evinces a distinct disreputable rub. It makes no sense for smart high school players from Iowa to remain instate and play for down-market Fran McCaffery when they can go across the border and play for Bo Ryan in Madison.

Sadly, the Iowa program has not yet hit bottom.

Things will go from bad to worse in Iowa City over the next few years because the current Iowa basketball coach goes after players that other schools, for reasons academic and otherwise, would never touch with a ten-foot pole.

A prime example is Melsahn Basabe, an incoming Iowa player that received scholarship offers from only three other schools, none in a B.C.S. conference. Many schools looked at Basabe, apparently a genuine rough talent, but only three schools offered scholarships. All other schools took a pass, since Basabe is precisely the type of student athlete that reputable universities do not want.

Basabe’s twitter account—a total hoot, one of the funniest (and most embarrassing if not outright disturbing) things available on the worldwide web—demonstrates precisely what kind of person he is.

Basabe is conspicuously dumb. His stupidity is probably his defining characteristic. He is so profoundly brain-challenged, he appears to be utterly incapable of embarrassment.

Like others, I have immensely enjoyed reading college sports fans as they have mercilessly poked fun at Basabe’s extraordinarily-low SAT scores. I have immensely enjoyed watching video interviews with Basabe, as the interviews have demonstrated, without question, that Basabe, does not have the brains God gave a rubber duck.

It is Basabe’s twitter account, however, that takes the cake.

Basabe's twitter account provides a rich source of amusement, a constant reminder that there are unaccountably stupid people in this world, people with which the rest of us are forced to share this planet.

Simply put, Basabe’s tweets demonstrate that he is a moron beyond compare.

Basabe’s tweets also provide evidence that Basabe is a crud and a jerk, destined to lead a very non-productive life (and one unlikely to be free from incarceration at some point).

Below are a few excerpts, taken from Basabe’s most recent 100 tweets.

“Since when has it become cool to get shoot, and not shoot back.”

Yes, indeed—and does not everyone ask oneself that question, and often? I certainly do, especially when encountering misusage of verb forms.

“Just downloaded a mixtape of all sex tracks . . .i know yalll proud.”

Yes, indeed—“proud” was certainly the first word that came to my mind. And it is always essential for athletes to alert the public about any pronounced fondness for pornography.

“Working on my speach.”

And I hope Basabe is working on his spelling, too—in another tweet, this moron also spelled “know” as “knoe”—as well as continuing to devote serious attention to elementary verb forms.

“ill nail you, fish scale, that on the scale boo, run a train on your girl then derail you."

Ah, there’s nothing more civilized than a little gang rape banter, is there? Basabe, a creep with a sex problem, will fit right in at the University Of Iowa, where Pierre Pierce and numerous football players—those already convicted as well as those currently awaiting trial—paved the way for acceptance of such behavior.

“alcholod edu is in the way between me and the end of summer school…This is stupid, I don’t need this information”

I’d review this sentiment if I were Basabe (as well as continue to work on basic grade-school spelling projects). In fact, Basabe may want to repeat that alcohol abuse course three or four times, perhaps more—and consider taking teammate Matt Gatens with him, too. Gatens has been a fixture of the Iowa City bar scene since high school, habitually engaging in underage (and unlawful) drinking in public bars even before entering college—and Iowa City law-enforcement authorities (and bar owners) have deliberately looked the other way for years.


If I were Sally Mason, President of the University Of Iowa, I would be having a cow over twitter accounts and facebook accounts of University Of Iowa athletes. The athletes are bringing disrepute upon themselves, they are bringing disrepute upon the athletics department, and they are bringing disrepute upon the university.

Basabe’s twitter account, bad as it is, is far from the worst of twitter and facebook accounts belonging to University Of Iowa athletes. Indeed, Basabe’s crude rantings are mild compared to a few others I have seen.

This deplorable behavior is happening on Sally Mason’s watch. It has become an inherent, integral and longstanding part of Iowa athletics. It is becoming part of Mason’s—and the university’s—legacy.

And this behavior is not admirable. It is not acceptable. It cannot be tolerated by a reputable institution of higher learning.

And people are watching.

And people are talking.


  1. This kind of thing is not allowed to happen in Izzo's program.

    Is this idiot going to major in ceramics?

  2. Ah, yes . . .the great Tom Izzo can do no wrong.

    I doubt this moron will major in English.

  3. Laugh at me if you want, but Tom Izzo gets rid of bad eggs (Chris Allen) while Fran McCaffery goes after them (Macari Brooks).

  4. Not laughing at anyone, Paul. Izzo’s accomplishments speak for themselves. He’s a great coach.

    And I’m certainly not endorsing McCaffery. McCaffery has the ethics of John Calipari without the winning record.

    Andrew refers to Fran and Margaret McCaffery, that white-trash husband-and-wife duo, as “McTeague” and “Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets”. I rather like that.

    And, with their arrival in Iowa City, sales of hard liquor in Johnson County are sure to be robust!