Like everyone else, I was impressed when the University of Colorado announced a series of football recruiting reforms last week. But I had no conception of how drastic those changes would be -- until I received an unmarked envelope that contained the following draft memo.
To: University of Colorado Buffaloes football-recruit class of 2004-'05
From: Athletic Department
cc: Department of Sexual Harassment, Coordinator of Alcohol Programs, Campus Police Department, Boulder County District Attorney's office, NCAA, CNN
Welcome! We here at the University of Colorado Athletic Department are very excited about your visit to our Boulder campus. We hope your stay is as enjoyable as it is instructive, and with that in mind, we have worked hard to arrange a bounty of fun-filled activities. We think you will find that our recruiting weekend compares very favorably with those of schools that are not currently the subject of a congressional inquiry.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask (in writing, through corporate counsel). Enclosed please find the schedule for this year's recruit weekend, as well as our new orientation pamphlet, "Chicken Soup for the Football Recruit's Soul." Let the festivities begin, and Go, Buffs!
9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Meet and greet, Balch Fieldhouse.
Dick Tharp, director of athletics: "Now That You're on Your Own, We're Counting on You to Be Good."
Head football coach (TBA).
Decaf coffee and dry toast will be served.
10 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: Captain Bill Stubbs, Colorado Bureau of Investigation: "Urinalysis: What Do We Mean When We Say 'Mandatory'?"
10:30 a.m.-noon: CU Counseling and Psychological Services presentation and open discussion: "Men's Group: The Way of the Warrior."
What does it mean to be a man in today's world? In this group, we will share our experience as men to discover ways to bring our full potential to everyday interactions, all the while aiming toward a conviction-free life.
Noon-12:05: Free time to socialize with football-squad upperclassmen. (Please do not leave fieldhouse.)
12:05 p.m.-1 p.m.: Lunch.
Keynote address from ex-Bronco and author Vance "The Vance" Johnson: "Sometimes Football Makes You Want to Mistreat a Lady, but I Guess You Shouldn't."
Listen to and learn from the Broncos' legendary receiver.
1 p.m.-2 p.m.: Tour of downtown Boulder. Observe our colorful buskers and homeless musicians. Escorts courtesy of the Boulder Valley Boy Scouts.
Please be sure to wear your red "Colorado Recruit" T-shirts for easy identification.
2 p.m.-3 p.m.: Roundtable discussion: "Men: Sexual Predators or Social Misfits? Historical Perspectives." Led by our Women's Studies Department. (Mandatory attendance.)
4 p.m.-6 p.m.: Build-A-Bear, FlatIron Crossing mall. Make a new best friend! Choose from 25 different models of bears, dogs, frogs, cows, monkeys and kitties. Two hundred outfits and accessories! "Stuff your furry friend, make a wish and give it a heart!" (Thanks to the CU Foundation for its generous grant.)
6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Dinner, Balch Fieldhouse.
Keynote address from Sherry Franklin, Colorado Department of Corrections, Arrowhead facility: "Advances in Penile Plethysmograph Technology."
Slide show, demonstration and testimonials to follow.
7:45 p.m.-9:30 p.m.: "Tales From the Dark Side: Movies With a Message." Recruits may select one of the following films to watch: Leaving Las Vegas; Days of Wine and Roses; Fatal Attraction; The Lost Weekend; Reefer Madness.
Discussion to follow.
9:35 p.m.-10 p.m.: "A Gospel Goodnight." Join former Buffs championship coach and Promise Keeper Bill McCartney for a group sing-along. Red Zinger herbal tea and biscotti will be served.
6:30 a.m.-8 a.m.: "Sleepy-Time Yoga." Celestial Seasonings co-founder and spiritual traveler Mo Seigel meets us in the fieldhouse to remove morning kinks to the detoxifying stylings of John Tesh.
8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.: "Now You Be the Drunk Girl..." Interactive workshop and therapeutic gender-role playing with Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan. Signed release required.
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: Clean Ralphie's stall.
Noon-1 p.m.: Nobel laureates Carl Wieman and Eric Cornell present a lecture from our brand-new, NCAA-recommended Athletics-to-Academics series: "The Fermi Degenerate Gas of Atoms and the Bose-Einstein Condensate." Quiz to follow.
1 p.m.-2 p.m.: Lunch.
Keynote speech from Bob Maust, Coordinator of Alcohol Programs: "Shoddy Methodology and The Princeton Review: If You Review the Data Closely and Follow Generally Accepted Statistical Principles, We're Actually Not No. 1."
Hear how CU's binge-drinking "problem" isn't that bad -- really.
2 p.m.-3 p.m.: Boulder Police Department. Live demonstration: "Taser and K-9 Attack Unit."
3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: Recruit choice! Putt-Putt Golf or Go Fish tournament. Betting prohibited.
5 p.m.-7 p.m.: Pep Rally!
Watch the university's much-praised Cheer and Dance Express teams perform their series of "moral-center" moves:
"Be a hero: Blow a zero!"
"Life in prison/Don't take the chance/ Improve your life/With ab-sti-nence!"
"Don't be stupid or moronic/All your dates must be platonic!"
Brought to you by Colorado MADD.
7 p.m.-9 p.m.: Progressive church dinner. Dark jackets and ties, please.
9 p.m.-10 p.m.: Sing-along Broadway! Join chanteuse Lannie Garrett in belting out beloved classics from the Great White Way.
10:30 p.m.: Mandatory prayer session with basketball coach Ricardo Patton.
6 a.m.-10 a.m.: Rise and shine! Twenty-six-mile "Fun Run" with Olympic gold-medalist Frank Shorter.
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: "Black Widows and Femmes Fatales." Practical "how-to" advice on strategies for adjusting to student social life at CU. Presented by the football team.
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Tour of CU Sinapu offices. Recruits will have the opportunity to engage in earnest discussions with staffers about ecological degradation and the latest efforts to reintroduce the wolf to Colorado. Coffee will be served.
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1 p.m.-2 p.m.: Lunch.
Keynote address: "Busted! What Now?" Corporate counsel explains how CU's student/athlete legal-assistance program can help you socialize without being criminally charged.
2 p.m.-3 p.m.: Closing remarks by Kim Gandy, president, National Organization for Women: "No Means 'No': If Everyone's Having So Much Fun, What Are You All Doing in Depositions?"
That's all, guys! Thanks for considering the University of Colorado as your football school. And remember: Commitment letters are due in two months. We hope to see you in the fall. Go, Buffs!