Cheating Preachers & Trusting Trustees

Board Meeting
August22/ 2015

A provocative title to a book, a movie or BobLee commentary should create a curiosity itch you have to scratch. This one fulfills that purpose.

“Cheating Preachers” scores a 9.5 on most any “provocative” scale.

“Trusting Trustees” surely has something to do with UNC’s Great Unpleasantness and that continues to be a guaranteed “click magnet” on the level of nekkid cheerleaders and cute kittens videos.

In recent weeks, I have had my “spider senses” sharpened on how otherwise sane individuals get neck-deep in Uh-Oh stuff. People who should know better…. not crooks or card-carrying moe-rons. “Crooks and moe-rons” surprise us when they DON’T do stoopid crooked stuff.

Recall that idiot Alabama fan who poisoned the trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner several years ago? The public response shoulda been “How come it took this long for some idiot Alabama fan to do that?”

Staying in Alabama.  That delicious story of the Alabama sorority video and the horrified harrumph from the university administrators was so totally predictable from all sides….. including that so many of you enjoyed that lovely little kerfluffle.


Do you have a positive reaction to the phrase “Board of Trustees”.   Can you utter the phrase without curling your lip or getting acid reflux. It is like “IRS” or “Obama Administration”…. oops naughty BobLee.

Who has ever said “When I grow up I want to be an astronaut, a cowboy or a trustee….” or “a ballerina, an equine veterinarian or a trustee.”

Howsabout being a Deacon?  I don’t mean Demon Deacon….. just a Deacon as in Board of Deacons in a church.

Your institution might call its lay leaders …. “elders” or “session”. Substitute your term for members of the congregation selected to provide guidance to the institution’s professional staff.

I’ve been on layman boards for several churches over the years. I have never been “a trustee” and I never will be. (1) I do not donate enough $$$ to any organization to ever buy an appointment; and (2) I don’t play well with others. But I have had off-the-record chats with quite a few “trustees” of all sorts of organizations. One phrase keeps coming up…..

I did not sign on to run the day-to-day operation…. but simply to offer my advice to the staff.

Trustees and Deacons don’t sign up for the heavy-lifting or for the yucky stuff. Especially not for the “yucky stuff”.

Some Very Good People can get coerced in to becoming Trustees and often end up being unfairly maligned Their stellar reputations reflect favorably on the institution.   Former trustees I’ve known often recall their experiences with similes used to describe clumsy prostate exams or visits to their cable TV provider.

…. You want to know about the “cheating preachers”.

If you are asked to serve as a Deacon in your church…. how likely are you to ever suggest:

Do we know whether or not Pastor Finnegan is diddling Naomi, that sassy divorcee that plays the organ when Mrs Cathcart is visiting her niece in Saskatoon?

Unless you have Anthony Weiner-esque pictures or “obscene tweets”, it is unlikely anyone on your board has any reason to suspect Finnegan and Naomi of any philandrity. Especially since Pastor Finnegan is a Hall of Famer PLUS…. “he recruited Charlie Scott”.   ouch!

If there is no reason to suspect malfeasance, why put in controls to prevent malfeasance that simply could NEVER happen? Is that a sound business strategy?

Are Trustees / Deacons suppose to be true stewards of their organizations OR simply rubber-stamp “all in favor say Aye” sycophants?

If your board of deacons / trustees have no “smoking gun” or smoking Naomi; why would you presume to have a PI follow your pastor or…. install hidden cameras in the choir loft or….. take any actions whatsoever assuming anything “yucky” is going on in your Little Blue Chapel On The Hill. ….. If you have a beef with Rev Finnegan or if you have a reputation as a serial troublemaker you would never have been appointed to the board. Cheerleaders Only need apply.

unicornBack in 2008, anyone who had even a gram of suspicion that The Carolina Way was as bogus as leprechauns riding unicorns to Oz was not going to become a UNC Trustee. I guarantee you.

If you are not a washed-in-the-blood “true believer” of your intercollegiate institution you will not become one of its trustees. You may not be a hard-core “jock-sniffer” but you better “bleed (insert primary school color)”.

If you question the Virgin Birth / Resurrection you won’t be a deacon in any mainstream denomination. It is 2015, you could be a lay leader in some uber-progressive Olin T . Binkley Whatever.

I GUARANTEE you there is NO ONE on Duke’s Board of Whatever they call’em that suspects Mike Krzyzewski of ever jay-walking or having any knowledge of who Myron Piggie was.   Trustees are NOT “Doubting Thomas’s”.   Cheerleaders Only Need Apply. 

The day before Marvin hit SEND, not one of UNCCH’s thirteen sitting trustees were questioning The Carolina Way…. or whether Dean Smith was the 4th member of the Holy Trinity.   Before UNC or The Titanic hit their respected icebergs, they were both considered “unsinkable”.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth Millions of $$$ of Clean-up/Cover-up.

Do you really believe 60+ Power Five Schools’ Boards of Trustees are now saying to one another:

Could what happened at UNC be going on here? Is there any way our millionaires Coach Hardrock and Coach SilverTongue could be running eligibility schemes or thug-asylums here on our hallowed campus?

That question has likely been raised on some boards by some rational minds; and in every case could it happen here was met with ABSOLUTELY NOT HERE at Wonderful Whazzamatta U. ….. Case in point just blew up in Waco, Texas at Baylor.

Bragging rights-obsessed jock-sniffers will soundly harrumph the dickens out of even a whiff of possible malfeasance.

I’d love to know which Power Five schools have run their own diagnostic investigations a/k/a academic audits in the wake of Chansky’s nemesis Inspector Wainstein’s controversial looky-see amid the nooks & crannies & lofty pines.

As castigated as UNC’s BOTs (and BOGs) have been over this mess, the reality is they were poleaxed by this entrenched malignancy.  There had been no reason to “place a hidden camera in the choir loft”.

Should every advisory board include a few Doubting Thomases?

Should you ever hire a sassy divorcee as your back-up organist?



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