Brian Cook is lazy or a liar

Brian Cook is at best lazy and at worst a liar. He either is too lazy to do research, or deliberately ignores data to further his point. The latest case is a polemic against oversigning penned against the University of South Florida.

Cook just invents “facts” in his polemic. In the case of South Florida, when signee Kamran Joyner Joyer has troubles getting his transcript approved, Cook goes on the attack. He insults South Florida’s academic intergrity, “South Florida is an institution ranked ‘tier 3’ by US News and World Report. There they idle amongst such luminary I-A football leaders as Oregon State and Mississippi State, schools that will admit anything mountainous with a pulse as long as it has managed to scrawl an X on a junior college diploma.”

That is a LIE. The very website Cook cites rates South Florida as “MORE SELECTIVE” with only 49.6% of applicants gaining admission. All Cook needed to do to discover this fact was to click one more link at US News & World Report. Or did he read that and just ignore it? For comparison, Tulane (ranked 51 by US News) accepts 44.4% of applicants and SMU (ranked 66) accepts 50.1% of applicants.

Further comparison for those in Alabama, UAB is a top tier research institution according to Carnegie, but admits 76.7% of students and is ranked a Tier 3 in the US News rankings.

In simple terms, Cook is wrong when he insults South Florida. If he is wrong on this, what else does he get wrong?

He writes, “It’s not because he’s an academic risk in the eyes of the NCAA: he’s been given the go-ahead by the NCAA clearinghouse. He is fully qualified. This is strange and unexplainable.”

No it isn’t strange or unexplainable.

The NCAA doesn’t determine admission standards for its member institutions. The NCAA legislates minimum standards to compete in intercollegiate athletics that sometimes exceed and sometimes are below the standards of its members. One wouldn’t be shocked if Vanderbilt wouldn’t admit someone cleared by the NCAA. Why should we be shocked when South Florida is reluctant?

Because it furthers Cook’s agenda.

If Cook had bothered to READ the stories on this signee, he would have discovered this: “Coach Leavitt has been great through all of this, and we respect everything that he’s done,” said Joyer, “but with the academic committee, it’s kind of ridiculous. He’s a local kid, and committed because he’s local, and his uncles and five other relatives all graduated from USF. Now he won’t be a Bull”

But that isn’t helpful to his tirade. Cook writes without any evidence, “South Florida signed 29 players when they had 23 spots and is in the process of deleting players they find undesirable.”

There is only one thing to say to this. BS.

The player said this had nothing to do with the coach, but Cook imputes this to the football staff and not to the academic side of the University. He does so without proof and with Joyer’s explicit statement saying the coach supported the player.

The Internet fails as a reliable forum for the exchange of information because it lacks fact checking. There is no greater example than Brian Cook.

The Sporting News should be ashamed to have its name associated with this. Cook owes South Florida, its coach Jim Leavitt, its alums and its students an apology. The Sporting News does too. The Sporting News owes South Florida an apology for the reckless manner in which it published incorrect information.

Are there no standards at the Sporting News? We must hold the Sporting News (and whatever is published on its site) to a higher standard than a typical blog. The organization has put its name on whatever is published, and has an obligation to make sure what it publishes is truthful. Will it correct this? Will it do the right thing?