Florida Atlantic is far from menacing football program, but we've found some reasons to hate the Owls anyway.
10. Students make murder threats
Listen, I’ve been pissed at a professor, but never “threaten murder online” pissed. FAU student Rafael Decomas can’t say the same.
From the New York Post:
A college student in Florida threatened to kill his professor for scheduling a final exam at 7 a.m., university police officials said.
Rafael Decomas, a 20-year-old student at Florida Atlantic University, was arrested Wednesday after sending a tweet at 1 a.m. Tuesday warning his data structure professor that his upcoming morning exam simply wouldn’t work with his schedule, WPLG reports.
“Bey I gern f—ing kill dis professor bey this is my confession to a premeditated murder,” Decomas tweeted from the Twitter handle @Ashelaniqua, according to an FAU police report obtained by the station.
Either this lad genuinely wanted to murder his professor and decided to tell the world about it first, or he was stupid enough to jokingly threaten murder online and expect no repercussions.
Either way, not the brightest. They must have some stringent admissions standards.
9. Carrot Top Sucks
I've spent more than 99.9999% of my life forgetting about the existence individual that calls himself Carrot Top, but that .0001% enrages me to my very core.
Carrot Top is damn near the top of my list of "Why The Hell Are They Famous?" famous people. I don't know how one becomes a successful comedian without ever uttering a single funny phrase, but Carrot Top has done that for three decades. It's incredible.
Not only is Carrot Top from FAU, he is without doubt the most notable FAU alum on the planet, which is an absolutely embarrassing indictment on that university.
8. Lane Kiffin hates to cover
It should be considered a badge of honor when a folks wage their hard-earned money on the success of the football team you coach.
Lane Kiffin doesn't give a shit.
Two seasons ago, Florida Atlantic was cruising towards cover town, holding a seven-point lead (as a 6-point favorite) with 14 seconds to play. Then for God knows why, Kiffin decided to take an intentional safety, blowing the cover in one of the worst beats my eyes have ever seen.
And he was totally unsympathetic.
Folks placed their money in this man's hands, and this is how repaid them, with out as much of a tear of remorse? Shameful. How can you respect a man that doesn't even respect his own backers?
Always remember: good coaches win, but great coaches cover.
7. They tried to sell their stadium's naming rights to a private prison corporation
They tried to sell their stadiums’s naming rights to a private prison corporation
When it comes to institutions taking every opportunity to sell out to private corporations, I live in the most fragile of glass houses.
But of all the facepalm-inducing things my alma mater has done to fill their pockets, at least they’ve never tried to sell the ‘Shoe’s naming rights to a problematic private prison corporation.
From David Greene of NPR:
For Florida Atlantic University, a recent decision to sell the naming rights of its new football stadium to the GEO Group turned from being a cash windfall to a PR disaster. When FAU's president announced the deal, she called GEO - a private prison corporation - a wonderful company. Not everyone agreed. Students troubled by allegations of abuse at some facilities held protests and now, the deal has been called off. From Miami, NPR's Greg Allen reports.
The protests began in February, shortly after FAU announced the deal. The university said its Owls football team would soon be playing in GEO Stadium. In return, the company agreed to make what it called a gift of $6 million to support the athletic program. Critics quickly dubbed the new stadium Owlcatraz.
GEO is a company with long ties to the university. The company's chairman is an FAU graduate and former chair of the school's board of trustees. While a successful company, GEO has been dogged by charges of abuse at its institutions. In meetings with students, FAU President Mary Jane Saunders conceded she didn't know that much about the company's record before signing the deal. Yesterday, after the deal was called off, she maintained there's little she should have done differently.
Conceding that she didn't know much about the company before making the deal is incredible ineptitude. But props to FAU, I guess, for deciding not to go through with it. However, I almost wish it happened because that would have been my stadium nickname of all time.
The Swamp and The Horseshoe would have had nothing on Owlcatraz.
6. Lane Kiffin's beef with Urban Meyer
Lane Kiffin has aged like a fine wine. I have very few unkind things to say about him in 2019.
He’s a changed Lane these days, but that doesn’t mean we’re just going to ignore his unbearable Tennessee past where he tormented future Buckeye royalty.
From Ben Axelrod of BleacherReport:
"I'm going to turn Florida in right here in front of you," Kiffin said as he addressed a crowd of donors about the recruitment of new Tennessee wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson.
"As Nu'Keese was here on campus, his phone keeps ringing. And so one of our coaches is sitting in a meeting with him and he says, 'Who's that?' and he looks at the phone and it says 'Urban Meyer.' Just so you know, when a recruit's on another campus, you can't call a recruit on another campus.
"I love the fact that Urban Meyer had to cheat and still didn't get him."
As it turned out, Meyer wasn't cheating—there was and is no rule that prohibits a coach from calling an unsigned recruit on another campus. It wasn't the first time that Meyer found himself in the crosshairs of Kiffin, who guaranteed a victory over the reigning national champion Gators in his introductory press conference at Tennessee.
Lane took a fat L there, and again on the field when Meyer beat Tennessee 23-13.
It’s a shame we won’t get to see Meyer grind his bones until dust one last time, but I have no doubts Ryan Day will do the deed just fine on his behalf.
5. Head coach bad Pelini
Florida Atlantic gave Carl Pelini his lone chance to be a full-time head coach, and it ended...
From Pete Volk of SBNation:
At a Wednesday press conference, athletic director Pat Chun said head coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis admitted "illegal drug use" to him after being confronted with evidence, then agreed to resign. Later on ESPN West Palm Beach radio, Chun said the resignation was immediate. "No other football staff or student-athletes were involved," says Chun, adding that all other coaches will remain on staff.
The two coaches were escorted away by police, but not arrested, and won't be able to address the team's players. Chun later said that the police escort is standard procedure for outgoing employees.
Crazily, we'll find out later on that this is far from the most egregious hire this university has ever made, including its academic staff.
4. Boca Raton is a weird place for a college
More than 20 percent of the population of Boca Raton is 65 or older, DINKs (Dual income, no kids) make up more than half the population, and the median per-capita income for is more than double that of the rest of Florida
That's a weird ass place for a bunch of college students.
But hey, I can see why Lane Kiffin's entering his third year.
3. Lose a drone, don't compensate the finder
When a fisherman recovers the massive underwater drone you lost in the ocean, the very least you can do is compensate him for the engine damage to his boat.
Or, you could be FAU.
From Jane Musgrave of the Palm Beach Post:
“The thing is huge,” the Boca Raton commercial fisherman said Tuesday recalling his struggles to bring the torpedo-shaped underwater robot ashore in May 2017. “It about sunk my boat.”
But while Cziraky battled high seas to make sure the autonomous underwater vehicle was returned to its rightful owner, he says the Boca Raton-based university deep-sixed his requests to be compensated for his travails.
The school reimbursed Cziraky for the $180 he paid a tow truck operator to lift the bright yellow tube from the water onto his boat trailer so it wouldn’t get damaged. But, he said, they weren’t interested in paying him for the $1,400 in damage that was done to his boat engine or the hours he spent bringing the underwater vehicle back to land and then trying to find out who owned it.
“I was really surprised at how rude they were to me about it,” he said. “Nobody wanted to deal with me so I guess they’re going to have to deal with my lawyers.”
Our fisherman friend said he had offers of up to $25,000 for the thing, but he turned it down to return it to its rightful owners. And the rightful owners happened to be a collection of pricks.
2. They employed a Sandy Hook denier
Folks, I'm just going to be blunt about this – Florida Atlantic employed a Sandy Hook denier.
From Jane Musgrave of the Palm Beach Post:
Lashing out at his former bosses and a federal judge, former Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy is back in court, again claiming he was wrongfully fired for publicly and repeatedly proclaiming that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.
In his ongoing quest to get his job back, Tracy insists a federal jury got it wrong in December when it decided the university fired him for insubordination, rather than for his conspiracy theories about the 2012 Connecticut school shooting that left 26 children and teachers dead.
“FAU fired Tracy in retaliation for controversial posts he made on his personal blog regarding the legitimacy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre,” attorney Richard Ovelmen wrote in a 63-page appeal filed last week with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal.
I understand that the views held by this man do not reflect those of the university, but what the hell is the hiring process where a Sandy Hook denier slips through the cracks and maintains employed long enough to get tenure?
1. Also, they employed a professor who blames slavery on black people
Somehow, the Sandy Hook denier was not the most insane professor Florida Atlantic ever employed.
Meet Marshall DeRosa, who writes essays blaming black people for slavery.
From Scott Travis of the Sun Sentinel:
A political science professor has ignited a political firestorm at Florida Atlantic University, after students discovered essays where he claimed blacks created slavery...
A faculty senate meeting on Monday erupted into chaos after about 10 students showed up to challenge DeRosa on his academic writings, including an essay in which he used the term "black supremacy.'
"Linking the two, slavery with white supremacy is a gross over-simplification. First, black supremacy is the origin of Southern slavery," he wrote in an article published on the Abbeville Institute blog. "It was blacks and Asiatic Muslims on the African continent that enslaved and sold other blacks to the slave traders."
Again, what the hell is the hiring process here?