Arsalan Kazemi has been a huge contributor in getting the Oregon Ducks to this year’s Sweet 16. He has the best defensive rebounding rate in the country. That, along with his height, girth, intensity and Iranian nationality, earned him the Promethean nickname, “The Beast from the Middle East.” He went to Rice for three years before transferring to Oregon.
Reportedly, he transferred not just because he wanted to actually make an NCAA Tournament, he did it because his athletic director, Rick Greenspan, was (allegedly) a raging, racist ballsack. Kazemi was granted a hardship waiver along with Egyptian USC transfer Omar Oraby because of the bullshit they had to deal with. Sports Illustrated obtained a report that detailed the athletic director’s dickishness, and it’s awful.
Greenspan is denying everything, which seems totally believable.
In Kazemi’s waiver request, he claimed that Greenspan told Marcos to “recruit more terrorists” on multiple occasions. He also alleged that when talking in Arabic to another player that Greenspan asked if they were having an “Al-Qaeda meeting.”
Wow, what a smart guy this Greenspan is! Must be related to the former chairman of the Fed. You get a talented player on your poor excuse for a basketball team in your poor excuse for a conference (Conference USA should be renamed Conference Memphis and Feces), and you drive him away by making lowest-common-denominator racist remarks. You ignore the fact that you landed the first Iranian-born Division I player, a fact that could actually give you respect amongst your peers and make your school look good, by (allegedly) being a gaping asscrack.
When Morcos wore a traditional Middle Eastern gown as part of a team function for Halloween, Kazemi alleged in the waiver request that Greenspan told the assistant, “All you need is a backpack and you are ready to bomb the school.” On multiple road trips, Kazemi claimed that Greenspan directed airport security to thoroughly search the bags of him, Oraby and Ibrahim because of their Middle Eastern heritage.
Kazemi also accused Greenspan of telling him and other players in January 2012, “We only need one more guy to complete the Axis of Evil.”
Another time, Kazemi alleged he was talking in a foreign language to another player and Morcos when Greenspan walked by and told them, “Stop speaking in this language because you could be plotting against us.”
This is where I tell you that Rick Greenspan has been called “the worst athletic director in history,” and I support it regardless of evidence.
Seriously, Rick Greenspan doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. William Herbert (of Coldbrook) has a Wikipedia page. Milan Svoboda has a Wikipedia page. I might make myself a Wikipedia page just to one-up this asshole. All he has is this dramaticized bio on Rice’s athletics website, which should instead read:
Rick Greenspan, Rice Athletic Director
Funny joke-maker(Alleged) raging racist but I totally deny all proof I even have a Persian friend
Kept Army athletics in stagnation
Oversaw Indiana’s biggest scandal in school history, setting the nation’s best basketball program back for years
Did other stuff no one cares about
Photo via NY Times