First off, let's deal with the issue of San Diego State University President Stephen Weber's cojones.
Your holy scribe recently suggested that the president of the Harvard of La Mesa might not have the testicular fortitude to handle the school's athletic department-after a state audit portrayed some department personnel as a bunch of cheap hoods. The athletic department embarked on a feverish rush to develop new "policies and procedures," no doubt expecting Weber to soon move on and focus on issues more worthy of his towering intellect, like the theme for this year's Homecoming Day float.
But it turns out Weber has plumper balls than anyone could have guessed. After downing 37 tequila shooters and watching a Clint Eastwood marathon, he summoned up his courage and took a stand for geeks everywhere, telling the jock king Rick Bay to take a hike.
Maybe he had issues from a long ago P.E. class incident, but ol' Stevo decided to kick a little jock butt. Bay wasn't jumping high enough, so hasta la vista, Señor Bay.
In the wake of the firing, there was no attempt to come up with some happy horseshit excuse. Weber seemed to like his new swashbuckling role, telling anyone who asked that if Bay hadn't resigned, he was going to bitch-slap him.
Weber could have rambled about Bay's "fine record" and "mutual consent" and maybe even dampen a hankie against his moist eyes, in order to let Bay save a wee bit of dignity. If he had consulted with his crack team of public relations professionals, they could have crafted a statement saying Bay was leaving to "pursue other opportunities."
But after careful consideration, Weber decided, Naah, screw him.
And just in case anybody missed it, in addition to making it clear that if Bay hadn't quit, he was all set to fire him, Weber said Bay was given the garrote because he wasn't getting the message from the audit report, the type of specific honesty that must have sent dozens of university human resources professionals scurrying under their desks.
It was such a decisive move, keen observers of minor college administrators might wonder if this was Weber's devious plan all along, using the audit as an excuse to get rid of Bay. This scenario portrays Weber as some sort of Dr. Evil with a bad tailor, using the stormtroopers of the state college's investigative unit to trap Bay.
If true, Weber, the evil powermeister, was certainly killing the beast he created, a Dr. Frankenstein in his lab trying to feed the monster some anthrax.
Bay and his predecessors simply strove to create the type of athletic empire the university so desperately wanted. Many years ago, they decided to sell the university's soul to the Dark Lord in order to go Big Time. They built a bonfire out in Jamul, slaughtered a goat or two and decided they would do whatever it takes to become a Big Time Sports Power, like all those cool guys at UCLA and Arizona State.
They saw the Q filled with 60,000 screaming, rabid SDSU fans, all smartly dressed in red and black sweatshirts, cheered on to victory by a politically correct mascot, preferably a fierce looking bear of some sort. The television networks would beg to schedule the teams. John Moores would buy Lemon Grove and donate it the school for a new practice facility. And former Gov. Pete Wilson would visit to give pep talks to the basketball team.
They brought in Big Time athletic director Bay to make the big push to get the Aztecs on TV, sell ad campaigns and make the big bucks. They announced to the world they would do whatever it takes for Big Time. Heck, they'd reschedule a football game to 6 a.m. on a Tuesday if ESPN would chip in a few bucks for corn dogs.
It was all a big gamble, a roll of the dice. Spend the big bucks, recruit like a desperate 'ho and maybe, just maybe, you'll a win a few games and make the big money, and you won't have to listen to that weenie crap anymore from the dean of social sciences at Notre Dame.
Nothing was better than puffing out their chests and saying, look, we hired the former coach of the University of Michigan-ain't we big shots. Except the basketball team still sucks, a snot rag for the mighty Utahs and New Mexicos of the basketball world. And Steve Fisher has been dogged by scandal, suggesting Michigan may not have been too bummed to see Fisher head west.
But it didn't matter. The SDSU elite are jonesing for the Big Time. They want it so bad. The alum can just taste the fried shrimp at the NCAA awards banquet.
But every time they get close, every time they seem primed to give UCLA or BYU a real battle, gosh darn it, they get cornholed by the prison warden.
And it's not like they can claim they're not competitive because they're maintaining such a high level of academic excellence. This ain't exactly Stanford were talking about here.
So instead of rolling in the big bucks and smoking cigars with Pete Wilson, the Q is a sea of empty seats, the basketball team sucks and the athletic department is losing money to the tune of a million dollars.
In gambling talk, that's called rolling craps. The greed thing just isn't working for State. Maybe by firing Bay, Weber is announcing that he's ready to give up on the quest for Big Time and settle for Not So Embarrassing.©
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