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Home arrow eBOOKS REVIEWS arrow The father, the son and the sweet 16: A basketball college disaster
The father, the son and the sweet 16: A basketball college disaster Print E-mail
Monday, 30 January 2012


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The Father...The Son...and the Sweet Sixteen: A College's Basketball Disaster by Paul Wieland
The Father...The Son...
and the Sweet Sixteen:
A College's Basketball Disaster
by Paul Wieland


There has never been a college sports scandal quite like the one at tiny St. Bonaventure University. The school's president was caught fixing grades on a basketball player after admitting him with only a welding certificate from a junior college.
The university had once been a national power in college basketball, and a president with grand ideas for a return to the top corrupted his school's academics to reach that aim.
He also made sure his son was an assistant basketball coach.
In the end, the school's athletic director was the only hero, and the chairman of the university board of trustees committed suicide with his note saying he had "failed St. Bonaventure. " The Father…the Son…and the Sweet Sixteeen " is an inside look at the scandal and how it happened, and a cautionary tale about the venality of big time college athletics.

Click on 'Read more...'
to read the complete review and full excerpts of this Book ! And ...!


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The School Basketball Scandal


A St. Bonaventure alumnus and faculty member chronicles the school’s basketball scandal.

Scandals in college athletics are almost a blip in today’s world of rapid telecommunications and cynicism. Wieland, who now serves as a lecturer in the school’s Journalism and Mass Communications department, seems to acknowledge this reality, but he also internalizes “a college’s basketball disaster.”

It is the author’s closeness to the characters and setting that puts a face on an issue that almost seems to be something new. Wieland relates how an idyllic Franciscan university got swept up in the commonplace reality of money. The details of the story are fascinating, but perhaps not for the reasons one might expect.

The reader is not inundated with the seemingly lavish aspects of big-time college sports, but rather the mundane pieces of daily academics and school survival. The book’s theme revolves around the changing of a single grade of a single student basketball player.

The involvement of many individuals, their actions and their conflicting accounts of those actions sometimes read like a TV crime drama, one that poses the question of what really happened. What really happened is fairly clear to Wieland, however, and he pulls no punches in his criticisms.

The chapters on the school president’s apparent boondoggle land purchase or salaries sometimes seem like gossipy payback. His recollections create unmistakable good guys and bad guys. Those same recollections, though, could still leave the reader doubting. That is because Wieland is a journalist who writes like a journalist. He bases his work on interviews with the figures involved and the investigative reports resulting from the scandal, but these are not formally cited as sources and no citations are provided.

There are also a few statements that seem vague, such as, “It was a common belief” or “He is said to have told the agent…” Despite using an appropriate number of quotes, it is sometimes hard to tell who is doing the talking. Ultimately, Wieland is an authoritative source, especially considering his ties with the university.

He sometimes waxes nostalgic about the days when athletics was not a business, but he also acknowledges similar improprieties in his day. Although he despises the actions of some who perpetuate this big business, he is wise enough to know that the problems are systemic and historical. Wieland offers a remedy for these evils, but has no illusions about their coming to pass anytime soon.

A captivating, informative account that goes beyond local interest.

Kirkus' Review


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A Scandal and a Valuable Case Study


The St. Bonaventure basketball scandal of 2002-03 seems like a bad dream from the perspective of nearly 10 years later. A school president who was overzealous about putting together a strong basketball team installed his son as an assistant coach, essentially put his son on the coaching staff, worked to get a clearly unqualified player admitted to the university, and had one of that student's grades well after the fact.

Things like that weren't supposed to happen at St. Bonaventure, a small university in the southwestern part of New York state near the Pennsylvania line. It's instructive, then, to find out what the heck happened.

Paul Wieland was up to the task. The Bonaventure faculty member looked into the matter and has self-published "The Father ... the Son ... and the Sweet Sixteen."

Wieland had access to some of the testimony of the participants in the investigations into the matter, and he also talked to some of the involved people as well. So the book does do a good job of answering the question, "What the heck went wrong there?"

Wieland wisely sets the scene first by describing a bit of St. Bonaventure's basketball history. It was, at times, a national power, perhaps climaxed with the Final Four appearance in 1970 thanks to the play of superstar Bob Lanier. But the college basketball landscape has changed since then, and it's very difficult to get top African-American players to rural Olean, New York, these days.

Enter Dr. Robert Wickenheiser, hired as the school president. He quickly established himself as the loudest fan at Bonnies games. Wickenheiser had Jan van Breda Kolff as his head coach, who like any coach had his own ambitions. Having the school president's son, Kort, as an assistant didn't hurt when it came to internal office politics.

They all teamed up to recruit a big junior college player named Jamil Terrell and made sure he was eligible to play, even though he only held a welding certificate from a junior college. In the process, they ran over athletic director Gothard Lane, who comes off here as one of the few "good guys" of the story.

Eventually, the problems were discovered and publicized, investigations followed, the team went on probation, and just about everyone left in some form of disgrace. The school's reputation was damaged in the process.

Wieland certainly knows enough about the sport and the university to give a sharp, focused recounting of events. While I'm not a huge fan of self-publishing -- it can lead to a lot of typographical errors -- it was a good idea here. The book checks in at 127 short pages. That's a bit short for a commercial book project, but too long for a magazine story. This allows Wieland to tell the story, and then get out without padding it.

I'm a longtime friend of Wieland, so I'm not going to give this a formal rating. I'll merely say that those interested in what can go wrong in college athletics will find in this book by Paul Wieland"The Father ... The Son ... and the Sweet Sixteen" a valuable case study.

Budd Bailey from @SportsBkReviews


Synopsis

There has never been a college sports scandal quite like the one at tiny St. Bonaventure University. The school's president was caught fixing grades on a basketball player after admitting him with only a welding certificate from a junior college.

The university had once been a national power in college basketball, and a president with grand ideas for a return to the top corrupted his school's academics to reach that aim.

He also made sure his son was an assistant basketball coach.
In the end, the school's athletic director was the only hero, and the chairman of the university board of trustees committed suicide with his note saying he had "failed St. Bonaventure. " The Father…the Son…and the Sweet Sixteeen " is an inside look at the scandal and how it happened, and a cautionary tale about the venality of big time college athletics.



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"The Father...The Son...and the Sweet Sixteen: A College's Basketball Disaster"
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Praises for:
The Father...The Son...and the Sweet Sixteen: A College's Basketball Disaster
by Paul Wieland


"... As a boy, Paul Wieland and his buddies would ride buses to Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium on Saturday nights to watch St. Bonaventure University’s men’s basketball team play other Catholic colleges.
It was Mr. Wieland’s lifelong affinity for St. Bonaventure, its basketball team and Department of Journalism that inspired him to dig deep into the national sports scandal that rocked the campus close to a decade ago.
The result of his efforts is the publication of the non-fiction book, “The Father ... The Son ... and the Sweet Sixteen, A College’s Basketball Disaster.”

The book outlines the basketball sports scandal of the 2002-2003 school year when St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team had offered a key position on the team to a player who was determined to be ineligible. ...”
Olean Times Herald

"... I just finished reading The Father...The Son... And The Sweet Sixteen, a book by Paul Wieland which cronicles St Bonaventure's basketball scandal of about ten years ago. The author, a Bonnies alum and prof recalls the history of basketball at Bonnies and the golden era of the WNY "Little Three".

But it is more than a basketball book, it's about the abuse of authority by a university's President and the unwillingness of the Board of Trustees to step in and do what needed to be done. It clearly demonstrates what can happen when those trusted with fiduciary responsibility of governance of an institution yield to their hired manager for fear of making waves.

On the basketball side, it details the entire history of events which led to the scandal and what followed. All of which leads the author to question whether St Bonaventure was and is simply over their heads and should rejoin other schools with similar enrollment and financial strength.

He talks to boards like this and the prophetic role the Bonnies board played in the tragic suicide of the university's Chairman. I found it an interesting and quick book ( only about 130 pages ) to read and it only cost a mere $9.99 on Amazon.

Many on the Bonnies board dislike the book, you can understand why...
If you get a chance to read it, It is worth it just for a bit of "Little Three" history. ..."
Niagara Athletics Forum


The Father...The Son...and the Sweet Sixteen: A College's Basketball Disaster by Paul Wieland



"... There were a lot of typos and a few misspellings, but the story of the 2003 Men's Basketball scandal at St. Bonaventure University that Mr. Wieland told in these pages makes it easy to deal with. Straight and to the point, this book further illustrates why big -time college sports, while addicting, do more harm than good and treat players like cattle.
Highly recommended. ..."
Good Reads

"... Great book to relive the darkest moment in St. Bona history. Of course, in the era of Penn State scandals, it now seems silly that a welding certificate rocked the sports world. ..."

"... Weiland writes a truly shocking story about a basketball powerhouse that's more worried about its image than the integrity of the game. Sounds like the problem of a lot of sport schools. Thanks, Professor Weiland for the inside view of the dirty underwear that's all hung out in your book. ..."
Amazon Books


About the Author: Paul Wieland

The Father...The Son...and the Sweet Sixteen: A College's Basketball Disaster by Paul Wieland
Paul Wieland has worked for the Buffalo Sabres for more than 25 years as public relations director, communications director, and executive producer of television sports for the Sabres cable network and for a TV station owned by the team. He also served as a practice goalie for many years.

He is a professor in the Jandoli School of Journalism at St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York.
Academic School:
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Academic Department:
JMC

Titles/Responsibilities:
Lecturer

Courses Taught:
Broadcast Seminar
TV Production
JMC 312. Sports Writing
JMC 340. Broadcast Reporting
JMC 400. Media Ethics
JMC 499. Capstone

Academic Degrees:
B.A., Journalism, St. Bonaventure University, 1959

Other Education:
Post-graduate English studies, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY.

Professional Background:
36 years as newspaper journalist, television director/producer, TV executive, public relations executive, advertising executive, and announcer on radio and TV.

Accomplishments:
Won John Domino Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports Journalism, 1999
Congressional Fellow, American Political Science Association, 1967
Won six awards for news writing and reporting in local competitions when writing for the Buffalo Courier-Express
RTNDF Fellow in television, 2005
Won 25 awards for news writing, news features and science writing from local and state-wide competitions when writing for the Buffalo Evening News
Set up and supervised award-winning community relations programs for the Sabres in its franchise’s first decade.

Teaching Philosophy:
Outcomes are most important.

Current Research Interests/Projects:
Writing a novel on the professional sports business.

Additional Biographical Information:
Married with three daughters, and two golden retrievers.


Click here to check ALL the BOOKS & eBOOKS by ( or about )
Paul Wieland

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 • Author: Paul Wieland
 • Format: eBook
 • Book Edition Number of Pages: 130 ~ 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
 • File Size: 596 KB
 • Browse Duration in Minutes: 60
 • Wireless Delivery: Included within a minute of placing your order
 • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
 • Lending: Enabled
 • Publisher: Brown Hill
 • Publishing Date: November 7, 2000
 • eBook Edition: NEW ON November 2, 2011
 • Book Edition Binding: Paperback
 • Book Edition Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
 • Language: English

 • Also available: In the classic paperback edition


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