March Madness On The Campuses


March was quite a month for college craziness. Besides
the annual contest to see who can
be most hypocritical over college athletes, the
University of California Board of Regents
denounced their own Chairman for
telling the truth about the system`s efforts to violate
the Constitution of the State of California, and the
Claremont Colleges were pranked by
one of their leftist professors committing a hate crime
against herself in order to frame white male
conservative students.

Hoops

Like the crocuses emerging from snow, complaints about
what a small percentage of black players in the National
Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament
actually, well, graduate from college are an annual
March tradition.

This year, New Republic
blogger Gregg Easterbrook began the

complaints
by noting
that graduation rates for African-American male
hoopsters run between 28% and 38%. He seems to feel it`s
shameful evidence that

taskmaster basketball coaches
are preventing their
players from getting the degrees in microbiology or
whatever that would rightfully be their`s if they didn`t
have to practice so much. The New York Times soon
followed up with a

thumbsucker
on this
perennial crisis.

My concern
is the opposite: How exactly can otherwise rigorous
state flagship universities like Illinois or

Michigan
provide "meaningful educations" and
bachelors` degrees to the majority of their basketball
players … without corrupting the university?

After all,
the median IQ of college graduates is around

115
, while the average IQ of African-Americans is
85.

There`s no
reason to assume the typical basketball player has more
book smarts than is the average for his race. In
contrast, pro football prospects (black and white) score
about 5-10 points higher than their race`s average on
the NFL`s mandatory

Wonderlic IQ test
.

Football,
however, is an increasingly complex game. But basketball
has been dumbed down strategically, especially on
offense (as Easterbrook himself recently

noted
). Players who

grew up
idolizing egomaniacal

gangsta rappers
don`t like to

subordinate themselves
for good of the team. So the
game increasingly emphasizes simply isolating one player
with the ball and hoping he uses his superior
athleticism to improvise a way to get the rock in the
hole.

So what do
colleges do? Mostly, they corrupt themselves by winking
at cheating and by creating pushover classes, such as

Rocks for Jocks
(geology) and

Clapping for Credit
(music), as that hilarious
University of Georgia

final exam
for basketball players recently
illustrated. (Sample question: "How many quarters are
in a high school basketball game?"
)

Sometimes, though, the universities do get righteous, and crack down on recruiting dim bulbs. This is admirable for individual colleges. But what if every college refused to admit gifted athletes just because they were born dumb as a box of rocks?
 
A kid who inherits a 36" vertical leap and a 72 IQ didn`t ask for that combination. That`s just what he was handed in the genetic lottery. Playing college basketball would probably be the best thing he ever does in his life. It would be cruel to deny him all opportunity to play.
 

The best


solution I`ve ever come up

with is that there should be two
divisions: the Academic and the Open.

Colleges
choosing the former would live out the

amateur scholar-athlete
ideal. Players would have to
carry a full class load and even pass a national exam
annually.

In the Open
Division, in contrast, colleges would simply license
their famous names to profit-seeking team operators. Any
athlete under 24 could freely negotiate for the most
lucrative contract available,

without fear of having to set foot in a classroom.

And some portion of payments to athletes under 21 could
go into the players` trust funds until they reached a
more mature age.

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Profile in Courage

Wouldn`t it be great to be a billionaire? You`d have so
much money that you could afford to tell

important but taboo truths.

Yet, much as they abuse their personal staffs, real
billionaires in their pursuit of respectability
generally present a disappointingly craven face to the
world.

Thus it is particularly surprising that John Moores, the
software magnate, owner of the San Diego Padres, and
lifelong Democrat who was appointed Chairman of the UC
Border of Regents by former California governor Gray
Davis, has decided to rock the boat. He bravely wrote in
the March 24th

Forbes
:


"The California electorate voted to stop racial
preference in college admission in 1996. Since then UC
administrators have been manipulating the admissions
system and, I believe, thwarting the law. (Although I
have been the board`s chairman since 2002, I`m just one
vote.) UC, Berkeley, the top school in the UC system, is
admitting `underrepresented minorities` with very low
SAT scores while rejecting many applicants with high SAT
scores."

A statistical study he
personally sponsored led him to conclude: "Sadly,
today`s UC admissions policies are victimizing
students–not just those unfairly denied admission but
also many with low college entrance exam scores who were
admitted and can`t compete."

The

San Diego Union Tribune
reported: "In an
unusual move, the regents censured Moores by voting 8-6
to pass a resolution stating that the views he expressed
in a Forbes magazine opinion piece aren`t the
views of the board."

UC
officials, however, were forced to admit, in the words
of Stuart Silverstein of the Los Angeles Times:

"Even though state law

bans preferences for minorities
, black and Latino
high school seniors who applied to University of
California campuses last year were accepted for
admission in numbers somewhat higher than appear
warranted, UC officials reported Monday."[
UC
Officials Note Racial Disparity in Admissions
,
March 9,
2004]

You should note that the
UC apparatchiks found discrimination even though their
study was cleverly designed to minimize it by comparing
the admission rates of students with not just their
peers with same high school grades and test scores, but
also the same family income and parental educational
background. The latter two items reflect the end-run
that the system tried to make around Proposition 209 by
giving lower class students a big break in admissions.
(Incredibly,
having been shot now helps you get into UCLA
!) Yet,
even that isn`t good enough. So UC is still
putting its thumb on the scales to benefit blacks and
Latinos at the expense of whites and Asians.

Affirmative action in freshman admissions at UC is a
particularly stupid policy because UC schools
traditionally flunk out a lot of freshmen and
sophomores, and then replace them with transfers from
second tier Cal State colleges and third tier community
colleges. This means that a lot of the more promising
black and brown high school seniors get admitted due to
racial preferences—then get tossed out within a couple
of years in favor of less-talented students from
community colleges.

That the UC schools are
cheating is made clear by the experience of Cal Poly,
San Luis Obispo. This is the finest college in the
second-tier Cal State system, with test score averages
above several of the nine UC campuses. The LA
Times
sniffed:

"Only 12.9% of Cal Poly`s undergraduates belong to
those traditionally underrepresented minority groups …
That is the lowest rate among the 30 California public
universities with comprehensive undergraduate programs.
Even with a state ban on affirmative action, enrollment
of underrepresented groups has risen at other Cal State
and UC campuses in recent years. At Cal Poly, the
numbers started tumbling from a high of 18.9% in the
late 1990s and have never rebounded."



Diversity Lagging at Cal Poly
 By Stuart
Silverstein and Doug Smith, March 21, 2004

Being an underfunded Cal
State school, Cal Poly SLO admits students by GPA and
test scores—the way the UC schools did before Prop. 209
encouraged them to implement expensive "holistic"
admissions in order to make the criteria so fuzzy that
they could get away with violating the law against
racial preferences.

Paradoxically, Cal
Poly`s law-abidingness has gotten it into legal trouble:

"In January, the
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

sued
Cal Poly for discrimination,

contending
that the campus` heavy reliance on the
SAT penalizes Latinos because they generally score lower
than whites on the exam… Victor Viramontes, a defense
fund lawyer handling the case, said the university
compounds the problem by trumpeting the high average
scores its students earn—a factor that could turn off
potential Latino and black applicants."

UC Regents
Chairman Moores also doesn`t think much of the sacred
cow of minority outreach.
According to an insightful


LA Times
article by Alan Zarembo, "Putting
Them to the Test: The head of the UC Board of Regents
wants low SAT scorers—even his own sons—kept out of the
system. Hardship doesn`t matter, he says,”
Moores

"…accuses university outreach programs of unfairly
planting dreams of Berkeley in the minds of poor
minority students at underachieving high schools. He`d
rather spend the money on improving their elementary
education."

Many pundits
simply assume that outreach programs, such as

flying black and Hispanic high school seniors from LA to
the Berkeley campus
for the

weekend
at taxpayer expense, somehow creates more
talented minority students. Instead, it simply shuffles
the existing ones around. A 2003

LA Times article

by Carol Pogash makes clear that the chief goal of the
"Fly to Berkeley" program is to lure minorities
away from the UC system`s other flagship school,

UCLA
. How this expensive zero sum game benefits the
taxpayers is not explained.

Perhaps even more
heretically, Moores thinks the academic-industrial
complex should keep its mitts off the

less bright half
of the population. As the LA
Times
` Zarembo reports:

"When it came time for college last year, John J.
Moores encouraged his twin sons to aim low.`I`m fairly
indifferent about college for a lot of kids,` said
Moores, chairman of the University of California Board
of Regents. `I don`t think it`s all that important.` The
boys were more suited to the football field than the
classroom, Moores said. They would have no place at UC.
Neither would thousands of other students already there,
if he had his way."

Fascinatingly, Moores has in effect been conducting his
own personal nature and nurture study: his identical
twins are adopted.  A venture capitalist friend who
worked for Moores told me:

"This LA Times
article came out this past Tuesday, and I learned of
it at lunch that day with its subject (John J. Moores).
He had actually missed our Board of Directors meeting
because he was off helping his twin wards negotiate
the process of becoming construction union apprentices
that day. Basically, I hold John to be a saint,
because he did something I would never even think of
doing, taking guardianship of (identical) twin boys
whose parents, upon divorcing, decided neither wanted
custody of their children. He and his wife raised them
as their own and in-person, rather than farming them
out to staffers."

Although Moores` twins
are not mental giants (both scored under 900 on the
SAT), they are physical giants. My friend said,
"Interestingly, the [
LA Times] account
under-describes the twins. They are more like 380
pounds
[each], and an absolutely terrifying
amount of that bulk is lean muscle mass."

Moores has guided his
boys to playing at football factory colleges and then
into blue-collar trades. He`s not just courageous, but
wise. 

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The New Reichstag Fire

The
Claremont University Consortium consists of seven linked
private colleges east of Los Angeles. They are best
known for some venerable scholars, such as the greatest
management guru, Peter F. Drucker and the famed
political philosopher

Harry V. Jaffa
, at the Claremont McKenna campus. In
recent years, however, the administrations of the
campuses have been trying to shed the conservative
reputation that Drucker and

Jaffa
brought.

Many students appear to have responded to these
administration cues by developing a politically-correct
paranoia about purported racist white students secretly
infesting the idyllic campus. On March 9, Kerri Dunn, a
white female visiting professor of psychology at
Claremont McKenna, dramatically announced at anti-"hate"
forum that she had just become the

victim of a hate crime
: her car was covered with
racist and anti-Semitic graffiti.

The
administrations canceled classes the next day, at a cost
of approaching one million dollars in wasted tuition,
and staged a huge rally where students shouted out how
much they hated hate. Dunn gave a rapturously received
rabble-rousing

speech
in which she claimed:

"This was a well planned out act of terrorism. (Applause)
And I don`t believe for one second it was one person.
I think that there`s a group here, a small group, but I
do believe that there is a group here that perpetuates
this in all different kinds of ways."

Not
surprisingly, the police soon announced that

Professor Dunn had vandalized her own car
. Claremont
McKenna put her on leave— paid—although the FBI
may charge her with the

felony
of

lying to a federal officer.

The
college presidents expressed hope that students wouldn`t
be disillusioned. Nancy Y. Bekavac of Scripps
proclaimed: "Above all, we must focus
on this: even if the vandalized car and slogans were a
hoax, our responses last week were right and
appropriate…"

In
the aftermath, I exchanged emails with the presidents of
three of the seven campuses. Here is a typical dialogue:


Sailer: "Here is my
concern. I have two adolescent sons, both fine students,
and I had been casually considering the Claremont
colleges for them when the time comes, but the events of
March have left me shaken. Not just the exposure of that
criminal professor — after all, that was hardly
unexpected. You and I both know from the

long chain of collegiate hate hoaxes
that when the
timing and details of a college hate crime are almost
too good to be true, it

typically
is too

good to be true
.

“But reading in the Pomona student

newspaper
about the cancellation of classes on March
10th, and the details of the Red Guard-style rally was
enough to leave me deeply fearful of exposing my two
white male children to such an atmosphere of anti-white
male hysteria. Reading about chanting mobs of
Blackshirts protesting this obvious Reichstag fire
incident also left me feeling sorry for poor Professor
Drucker. He probably had a flashback to his
days in Europe
in the 1930s.

 “Reading the student message boards as well, I am
struck by overall atmosphere of emotion triumphing over
reason, of hate over logic, on your campus. A remarkable
fraction of your students appear to see themselves (even
before the hoax) as victims, oppressed by white males
like my sons. I guess college students shouldn`t be
blamed too much for childish emotions, but I haven`t
seen anyone in a position of authority telling them to
grow up, that they are among the most privileged young
people in America. The various administrations seem
intent on coddling the whiners and validating their
anti-white male hysterias. In summary, what do you and
your colleagues intend to do to make the Claremont
Colleges less of a hostile environment for white males
like my sons?”


President: "I really do not think that there is
in any sense `anti white male hysteria` here at XXX or
the other Claremont Colleges, nor are your allusions to
the Red Guard or the Reichstag in the least bit
appropriate. The activities on the day when classes were
cancelled were fully inclusive (and many white males
played particularly active roles) and the full campus
community felt that this was a very positive day for
everyone involved. If you had been here you would have
felt the positive energy in the student body, as well as
a commitment to change that I share. Building a stronger
college community is an important job for all of us."

I
fired back.

Sailer: "As a potential paying customer, I can`t say I`m
reassured by your stating that having your entire
university jerked around by a criminal was a `very
positive day for everyone involved.` I don`t know what
this `commitment to change that I share` entails, but I
haven`t heard anything that suggests it would be
positive for my sons, especially since the basic agenda
was driven by a criminal identity politics warrior. What
I saw was a professor at the Claremont Consortium trying
to frame the white male conservative students in her own
classes (such as my sons might be in a few years time)
for her own crime … with the

FBI
! (Look at her statements implying it was
probably somebody in one of her classes.) Yet all I`m
hearing from you college presidents is that this turned
out to be a very positive day for everyone involved.

What
if there had been no witnesses to prove Professor Dunn a
liar? You all at the top certainly didn`t show any
reasonable form of skepticism considering the huge
number of campus hate crime frauds very similar to this
that have been perpetrated over the years. You`re lucky
some

obnoxious rightwing kid
in one of her classes didn`t
get

beaten up by a mob
or
sent to prison
in her place.

I`ve
read lots of your student online discussions and the
theme that keeps coming up is that lots of your students
claim to be

scared of physical violence by white male conservative
students
(e.g., my boys). Obviously, this is absurd.
You`ve got a major problem on your campus with hysteria
driven by identity politicians, and you need to clean
house. Your colleges are already the laughingstock of
America, and your reputation will only get worse if you
don`t take strong steps.

I
haven`t gotten a reply to that. Funny thing.

[email
Paula Gann, president of the seven-college system
]

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[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]