NCAA Bowl Division university (team name: the Sandcrabs) with problem-plagued athletic programs. The school is located in Louisiana on the Gulf Coast so close to Texas you can smell it. Some one say it is in Texas, and it is Louisiana that smells.
The School's political philosophy is slightly to the right of the Southern Baptist Association. Women should be modest (Unless cheerleaders) It is the last public university in the country that has a skirt dress code for women.
Athletic Dean Richard Short replaced Robert (Billy-Bob) Sommers in 2012. The school managed to get off the NCAA probationary list for the first since 2006 in 2014. Their noses has been reasonably clean since then. They are either fact talkers or better at hiding stuff. Dean Short has been working hard ot get Enormous state requalified as a FBS Division 1 school.
Football of course is the sport of preference. It is followed by basketball, track and field, and anything else that might bring the school attention, and make the university money. As usual student athletes are barely students, and unpaid athletic slaves (the case in all NCAA schools, not just ESU).
There is just enough service paid to Title 11 to keep the university qualified. Women's athletics is the red-headed stepchild of the school. The Lady Sandcrabs are not so much disapproved of as not paid any mind. Unlike the male athletics, and like academics it doesn't bring in any money. Once in a while the Lady Sandcrabs coaches will squawk enough to get a few scraps thrown their way.
Yea they have some of that. Not much, just enough to hold the sports teams together and keep the athletes qualified. You need enough students paying tuition to keep the school running, fill the stadium, and play in the band.
Officially ESU has a four year curriculum with a post graduate program that is one of the ones in the nation. The school is good at teaching everything, which is why they are not standouts in any field. (According to the recruitment brochure.) They have a high dropout rate among female students that have gotten their MRS degree. (They also have a higher than average unmarried pregnancy rate compared to godless colleges.) The university manages to keep its academic head enough above water to not lose accreditation without compromising its conservative, creationist, Fundie values.
An Enormous State diploma isn't quite not worth the sheepskin it is printed on. Liberal arts isn't too bad, English or other languages are decent. The history department has a heavy God & Country conservative bias. The arts are under-represented but present. You need a music program for the band after all.
The hard sciences are laughable. "Learning" geology at Enormous State will leave you dumber than when you started. Physics and astronomy are closely monitored lest they say something that is against the Bible. Result; they do no useful research into any field. Computer science is about the only one not heavily influenced by their Fundie philosophy. They do turn out decent Veterinarians and Doctors. Germ theory at least got a pass.
The New Engineering sciences have penetrated slowly as they keep looking for Godless teaching in hyper spacial engineering. They ain't found any, but it might sneak in. Well I suppose broke firms that can't pay six figure salaries need engineers too.
Enormous State has been looking for a way to get the magic grant offered by Evan Blackmane without actually teaching any magic. For a university that offers science free science degrees you think that would be easy. So far they have not pulled it off.
Enormous State Founded in 1887 as the Gulf Seminary by the Reverend Jeremiah Jehoshaphat Jones as a school to "improve the quality of Christian ministers". At the time academics was the focus of the school, indeed the only reason it existed. The school flourished and had so good a reputation that it grew and expanded its program beyond the original purpose of educating the protestant clergy. A lamentably under-educated profession at the time.
In 1940 the "Gulf Seminary" recognized that it was no longer primarily teaching future ministers. They incorporated as Enormous State University and made a concerted effort to deliberately fill the gaps in the curriculum that had grown more or less at random. They took the progressive move of going Co-ed in 1953.
By 1955 they were known as a hard school that taught good solid American values along with a good solid American education. This reputation did not serve them well through the liberal '60s. By the 1973 the school was starting to slide toward insolvency. It had dipped heavily into the Endowment.
Two things changed the course of Enormous State. First the rise in prominence of college sports and televised college sports, and the growing neo-conservative movement. TV contracts where sought and the never paid much mind sports program given a hard boost as a means of saving the school. By the late '80s athletics was the tail wagging the dog.
Into the void of attention the growing Fundamentalist movement managed to pack the Board of Regents. They began twisting the academic programs to their philosophy. Professors that didn't agree with these issues where eased, or thrown in the case of one scandal, out and replaced by those that shared the philosophy and religious viewpoint of the hard Fundamentalist Board of Regents.
The quality of education suffered. Athletics became even more important. A vicious cycle ensued of failing academic standards and the prominence and importance of the money that athletics brought it. By the year 2000 the current situation was firmly in place.