UW-Madison "wins" free speech "Bracket of Shame"

Sterling Beard
Director of Journalism Training

  • Casey Mattox, the director of the Center for Academic Freedom with Alliance Defending Freedom, has created a bracket based on the NCAA Tournament to showcase the worst free speech abusers in higher education.
  • Following an exhaustive analysis of the first-round matchups, Mattox comes up with a Final Four of Vanderbilt, UCLA, Iowa State, and UW-Madison, from which the Badgers emerge "victorious" overall.
  • Readers can fill out their own versions of the bracket, selecting which schools they think have the unconstitutional speech policies.
  • This is one championship no university wants to win.

    Casey Mattox, the director of the Center for Academic Freedom with Alliance Defending Freedom, has made his picks in the Bracket of Shame, a massive 64-school tournament showcasing the worst freedom of speech abusers in higher education.

    "This is one championship no university wants to win."   

    Mattox’s bracket sees plenty of twists and turns, pitting both public and private schools against each other based on their actual seeding for March Madness.

    [RELATED: Yale wins infamous ‘muzzle’ award]

    In a highly detailed blog post, he runs down the first round matchups for each region, which pitted the University of Miami against Michigan State University, the University of Notre Dame against Princeton University, and Villanova University against the University of New Orleans, among many other contests.

    The school that has the most ridiculous free-speech policies moves on, culminating in a Final Four of Vanderbilt, UCLA, Iowa State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    [RELATED: FIRE ranks the 10 worst schools for free speech]

    UCLA, a private school with a three seed, faces off against #8 UW-Madison in the finals, with the Badgers emerging—well, if not victorious, then as the last school standing.

    Mattox invites readers to make their own bracket selections and pick which school they think deserves the dishonor, a task made easier by his breakdown of each school’s speech sins.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @SterlingCBeard





    Sterling Beard

    Sterling Beard

    Director of Journalism Training
    Sterling Beard is Campus Reform's Director of Journalism Training. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he spent time as an editorial associate for National Review Online and as a staff writer at The Hill, where he served as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Lyn Nofziger Fellow and regularly appeared across the country on Fox News Radio to provide analysis of current events. In 2017, Sterling was named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's Influence List, one of nine people who "affected federal policy, campus culture, and the national conversation about education in 2017 — and who are likely to remain influential in the year ahead."
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