Monday, September 16, 2019

America Learns About Varsity Blues

Sleazy, filthy and outrageous are visions triggered by the widespread "Varsity Blues" Federal indictments over corruption in US university entrance procedures.

The US Dept. of Justice synopsis reads as follows: "Investigations of College Admissions and Testing Bribery Scheme: Dozens of individuals allegedly involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston. Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators."

A key reason something happened is because a few Hollywood people are involved. The cheating parents are highlighted; their adult children, mostly unnamed, have not (thus far) been indicted or punished.

A recent article in Vanity Fair magazine describes the scandal:

How must it feel if an astute 16-year old student, without special connections, preparing for higher education, and recognizing the system is so deeply corrupt?

Even the overall label "Operation Varsity Blues" is a ripoff of the Oxford-Cambridge rivalry, extending back to the 1827 Cricket Match at Lord's and the 1829 Boat Race.

The University of Toronto (Canada) also gained some form of Varsity Blues design trademark (index designated "Varsity Blues UT T" in 9 April 1984 application, claiming "Used in CANADA since at least as early as 1983") and later clarified in 9 Sept 1988 filing as Prohibited Mark "VARSITY BLUES"

"Varsity Blues" was later made into a 1999 US high school football film. Paramount Pictures was sued by the University of Toronto over use of the label, resulting in a significant monetary settlement & requiring the film disclaim relationship to UT athletics.

The concept was earlier demeaned in a film released in 1984 "Oxford Blues" starring smarmy newcomer Rob Lowe, which in turn was a remake of the 1938 film "A Yank at Oxford"

Anyhow, the bottom line is that American youth should recognize extreme corruption in their educational and legal systems. But what can they do about it? Mmmm.

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