Grovel Of The Year: Matthew J. Mayhew, The William Ray And Marie Adamson Flesher Professor Of Higher Education at Ohio State University

This is pathetic.

When I read the Grovel of the Year—presumably you know what a banner year 2020 has been for grovels, as executives, academics and whole companies and organizations desperately try to mollify the Black Lives Matter mobs—-I instantly thought of the Monty Python skit above, as the brilliant Michael Palin portrayed a certified public accountant attempting to be bold and assertive, only to dissolve into a puddle of blubbering doubt the second he was challenged to follow through on his decision.

We are told that Matthew J. Mayhew, the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Higher Education at Ohio State University, has published more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and is a co-author of How College Affects Students: Volume 3. He recently co-authored an admittedly fatuous piece for the Journal of Higher Education  called, “Why America Needs College Football” that was published on September 24. The cancel/race-baiting/ progressive bully mobs attacked, and it took only four days for poor Mayhew to issue a Palin-worthy grovel, begging for forgiveness and rejecting what he had written just days before.

“Weenie” doesn’t begin to describe the deficits of integrity and character his capitulation represents.

Here are examples of what he and co-author Musbah Shaheen wrote ( Shaheen is an Ohio State Ph.D. student, and hasn’t been heard from. I assume he is on the run, has changed his name and is off the grid, and will soon be sharing an apartment in Antartica with Salman Rushdie):

Essentializing college football might help get us through these uncharacteristically difficult times of great isolation, division and uncertainty. Indeed, college football holds a special bipartisan place in the American heart.


College football reminds many Americans of the community values that underscore higher education and by extension America itself.Americans have lost the united sense of who we are as a nation.


This election season has demonstrated how stifled, polarized and dangerous our political differences have become, and college football can remind us of respect — even in the wake of deep disagreement. We can root for different teams, scream at the players, argue with the refs and question the coaches, but win or lose, at the end of the day, we leave the stadium, watch party or tailgate with a sense of respect for the game and the athletes that train so hard, leaving it all out on the field every time.


Deep difference doesn’t have to lead to disrespect.

The Horror!

Naturally, as exemplified by the one critical letter to the editor this article triggered, the authors were guilty of being complicit with President Trump, who advocated the return of college football while the Leftist university community continues to want America trembling in isolation from the Wuhan virus terror. Desperate not to become a pariah among his peers, Professor Mayhew wrote, in part, in a sequel to his essay,

…I was wrong. And even worse, I was uninformed, ignorant and harm inducing…. I am sorry for the hurt, sadness, frustration, fatigue, exhaustion and pain this article has caused anyone, but specifically Black students in the higher education community and beyond. I am struggling to find the words to communicate the deep ache for the damage I have done. I don’t want to write anything that further deepens the pain experienced by my ignorance related to Black male athletes and the Black community at any time, but especially in light of the national racial unrest. I also don’t want to write anything that suggests that antiracist learning is quick or easy….Rather than make excuses, I should talk about which facets of the article that I have recently learned are harmful — through my students, wider social media community and distinguished academics…

I learned that I could have titled the piece “Why America Needs Black Athletes.” I learned that Black men putting their bodies on the line for my enjoyment is inspired and maintained by my uninformed and disconnected whiteness and, as written in my previous article, positions student athletes as white property. I have learned that I placed the onus of responsibility for democratic healing on Black communities whose very lives are in danger every single day and that this notion of “democratic healing” is especially problematic since the Black community can’t benefit from ideals they can’t access….

I know it’s not anyone’s job to forgive me, but I ask for it — another burden of a white person haunted by his ignorance. To consider the possible hurt I have played a role in, the scores of others whose pain I didn’t fully see, aches inside me — a feeling different and deeper than the tears and emotions I’ve experienced being caught in an ignorant racist moment.

To all communities of color and especially the Black community, I am…

No, I’m sorry, I can’t continue. This is nauseating. It could only be saved by John Cleese turning to the audience and intoning solemnly, “This is just one of the all too many cases on our books of the debilitating social disease of woke academia.”

Mayhew is frighteningly typical of the weak, compliant, craven individuals we entrust our children to, resulting in their character and values being warped. He is no more than an easy mark for anti-American ideologues who know that such people lack the will and conviction to resist demands that they submit to opinion conformity. The Mayhews of history have enabled the rise of every oppressive and anti-democratic society, and if they are not threatened as much by their rejection by defenders of American values as they are by threats from the Left, the culture is lost.

17 thoughts on “Grovel Of The Year: Matthew J. Mayhew, The William Ray And Marie Adamson Flesher Professor Of Higher Education at Ohio State University

  1. I imagine it would read even more chaotically than in person. There was so much talking over that I don’t know anything of substance will come across.

    Frankly, one of the media’s dirty tricks is to take Trump’s raw transcript, and repeat it without comment. This loses the real time mid-sentence corrections, inflections, and pauses and allow them to distort Trump’s message. With this debate, there is effectively no message that could be conveyed in the transcript.

  2. Hey, so the professor is no longer a proponent of big time college football. That’s great. Goodbye Columbus! I think it would be great if all college sports were reduced to club level. And yes, black college athletes are used and discarded by their largely white field bosses as if they were in fact slaves. I hope the guy introduces a motion at the next faculty senate to abolish all sports at The Ohio State University. Marvelous. No more university supported concussion ball would be a step in the right direction.

      • He won’t enforce the copyright. That would require too much of a spine. If someone violates his copyright, he will apologize to them for coming up with it first and preventing the infringer from copyrighting it themselves.

        The Big 10 schools used to be places where talented working-class and middle-class kids could go to get a first-class education. This education was earned by hard work and the faculty were often quite tough on the students. For example: A professor told my class there was A book on reserve in the library and all 120 people in the class needed to read 110 pages on symmetry before the next class in 2 days (several professors made a habit of doing such things, we became experts at ‘exponential photocopying’). How would Professor Mayhew handle it if a student challenged something he said during class? How would this professor handle it if a student came up with an unexpected and original answer during a test, would he have the self-confidence to judge if it was worthy of points or not? How would Professor Mayhew handle it if a class threw a student through a window for cheating during a test? Would this professor give the class extra credit as in the days of old, or would the professor make an appointment with a therapist?

        • The collapse of the American academy is the biggest societal failure of my lifetime, Michael. About fifteen years ago when a buddy (here in Arizona, and a Stanford grad) was sending his kids to college, he said the Chinese kids had made it so difficult to get into the University of California schools that California parents were sending their kids to Big 10 schools. His daughter went to OSU for a while on a crew scholarship but I think she transferred to Washington University for her undergrad before getting her JD at Michigan. The president of my college groveled and acceded to the demand of a black alumna who insisted he state “Black Lives Matter” in exactly so many words. It was sickening. But the school left planet earth a long time ago. A tragedy, really. But Bill Jacobson (the guy at Cornell Law School behind FIRE) and I got great educations there before it went in the tank.

    • Back in about 1960, the Ohio State faculty, I believe it was, took a stand against the over emphasis or influence college football had on the university. Ohio State had won the Big 10 championship, and the faculty voted not to allow them to go to the Rose Bowl (the 2nd place team went instead that year).

      Well, there was a mighty uproar, effigies were burned, death threats made, careers ruined, people forced to resign, etc. In short, these revolutionary ideas were quickly brought to heel and the next Buckeye team to win the Big 10 was properly rewarded with a trip to Pasadena (one thing to remember is that back then, the only bowl opportunity for the Big 10 was the Rose Bowl. It was Pasadena or nothing).

      You notice that the ban on Big 10 football this fall barely lasted a month before it was walked back, just in time for them to participate in the College football playoffs. Even the Pac-12 has conceded defeat and reinstated their football schedule. I’d say his original essay was spot on.

  3. Is this a result of Trump’s Midas touch? A kind of guilt by association? Same thing that happened to the drug hydroxychloroquine?

    I saw a political ad crediting Trump for bringing back the Big 10. So now because orange man said this is good, it must actually be bad!!

  4. I’m with kubanb – so over the top it has to be satire. Time to turn this ship around and help our youth love this country again.

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