Fennelly: Carelessness in USF's Big 12 pitch makes a fine school a joke

USF football coach Willie Taggart is included in the promotional highlights seeking Big 12 membership.
USF football coach Willie Taggart is included in the promotional highlights seeking Big 12 membership.
Published Aug. 17, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG — Bigg 12, here they come!

If spelling counts, USF just went to the back of the line.

Spelling doesn't count.

It's not going to keep USF out of the Big 12.

The Big 12 is going to keep USF out of the Big 12.

That or too much lousy football.

There's no autocorrect for that.

That said, it was impossible not to giggle in awe Tuesday.

Even through clenched teeth, USF types should see the humor, if not appreciate it.

USF, high up in promotional material for the Big 12, cited world-class academics and "top-25 reasearch productivity."


Good Lord.

And you're wondering why Arkansas State and Northern Illinois are chuckling this morning.

My heart goes out to the last person at USF who did a spell check, assuming there was a first one.

Can't say that the misspelled version reached the Big 12, only that it reached the Tampa Bay Times after a public records request.

And now it's out there.

Repeating: School speaks with pride about academics, research, misspells "research."

Think that won't be passed around the Big 12 offices? It's probably already on a break-room wall, underlined three times in red with "MUST READ" on top.

I know typos.

Been there.

Wrote those.

And here's the thing:

USF does have strong academics.

USF is a growing research power.

But do you think anyone is talking about that today?

USF is a punch line.

The School That Couldn't Spell Straight.

USF president Judy Genshaft and USF athletic director Mark Harlan are doing everything they can to land USF in the Big 12.

They don't need this.

Sure hope they didn't do the final edit.

Sooner or later, someone at USF will pay for this. They'll be handed a broom and a note:

"Don't forget to dust the cyclotron in the RESEARCH building.''

In USF's defense, who can spell anymore?

I can barely spell "misspell."

And who's to say there wasn't a first draft to the Gettysburg Address?

"Abe, it's 'four' score, not 'fore' score. I'll get you another envelope."

Why, one fading Big 12 expansion candidate, BYU, apparently can't even spell LGBT.

On the other hand, I bet dozens of schools are now kicking themselves for not applying to the Big 12. And deep in the Amazon forest, two isolated tribes, which normally communicate by banging on hollow logs, have written a joint letter to the Big 12 to express interest.

"Did you mention our academics?"

"As much as I could until I ran out of monkey blood."

Anybody can make mistakes.

Cheer up, USF.

Laugh and the world laughs with you.

Let's get ready for the football opener against Townson.

Sorry — Towson.

Now they've got me doing it.