In boycott over U of M suspensions, the issue isn’t football

With the legal cone of silence being lowered at the University of Minnesota, we don’t know what led to the suspension of 10 players on the football team following an alleged sexual assault at an off-campus apartment in September.

That won’t stop anybody.

A woman claimed in the fall that the assault took place after a night of drinking and partying following a football team win. She claimed a sexual encounter wasn’t consensual.

Authorities declined to press charges, however. Why? We don’t really know that, either.

We do know, however, that the university’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office filed an 82-page report recommending five players be expelled from school, four suspended for a year and one placed on probation, an attorney for the players said.

That usually doesn’t happen because everyone was studying for finals. So it’s safe to say something happened.

Which brings us to the other players who have made a stand for team solidarity or thrown a temper tantrum, depending on which side you tend to favor in matters such as this.

The players have boycotted practice and are threatening to sit out the team’s bowl game, apparently a move to try to pressure school officials to ignore whatever was in that 82-page report.

There can be only one reasonable reaction: Go ahead.

Colin Kaepernick has the right to kneel during the national anthem. Black Lives Matter has the right to protest the killing of African Americans by police. Football players can take a walk over what they feel is unfair treatment of their mates.

So, make your stand if that’s what you want to do, kids.

This won’t be pretty. The sports bros will pollute the public airwaves. There are already charges of racism. We will read and hear the very worst of us in the next few days.

I don’t know what happened at the University of Minnesota, but here’s what I do know: Nearly three years ago, I was at a mandatory meeting of all Gopher athletes at the university. They were required to be there; I wasn’t supposed to be, but I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be; nobody told me until after the session.

I was researching a post on a local actress who plays in a troupe that puts on short plays about date rape, racism, substance abuse, and other issues on campus to try to raise awareness of these issues.

Not being a follower of college sports, I couldn’t tell you what athlete who spoke was a star and who was an end-of-the-bencher and it didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t there to cover them. The athletes appeared to sit with their teammates. Some groups sat quietly; others did not.

I couldn’t ignore what I saw: a significant group of athletes who had no clue what date rape is. And a quieter group that did.

Here’s what I wrote at the time:

“She was asking for it,” an audience member said. “Being all sexy and stuff.”

“Don’t act like a victim,” said another. “You’re all bull****,” a woman in the audience said to Nicole.

Many of the men in the audience — and more than a few women — hooted with approval. Other women rolled their eyes and clearly were struggling with anger toward their classmates. Some struggled to make the obvious point: “No” means no.

The reaction seemed to stun the sponsors of the event.

“There are (sexual abuse) survivors in the audience,” a student leader, wearing a “Got Consent?” T-shirt reminded the crowd.

“One in four people on college campuses is sexually assaulted,” Toussaint Morrison, a Minneapolis actor and hip hop artist who moderated the discussion afterward, told the audience.

“Do you think this is funny? One in seven is raped, and they’re usually freshman,” he said.

“That,” he said as he pointed to a trembling Nicole, “is rape.”

I’d never seen anything quite like it. And I never cared about another contest played by a University of Minnesota sports team.

Many of those athletes are probably gone now, but some may still be around.

Whether the culture that was on display that night still permeates college sports on the campus is something we may hear about over the next few days if people can recognize that the issue that’s worth talking about isn’t a football game that doesn’t really matter, or boycotting players who don’t have any more information than the rest of us.

  • crystals

    Everything about this makes me profoundly sad. I hope the victim is getting strong support from those who love her and the University as this continues to unfold.

    I can’t help but wonder if what the Venn diagram looks like of the Minnesotans who support this protest and also support Kaepernick and/or Black Lives Matter protests. There’s an interesting question in there somewhere.

    • Josh

      It is a weird combination, I agree.

      These football players are right to sit out because their friends are in trouble for assaulting someone.
      vs.
      These football players are wrong to kneel because their friends are getting killed by the police.

  • Gary F

    I’m not sure of what the policy is with the county attorney’s office is, but it would be nice to know why this wasn’t prosecuted if the alleged crime did exist.

    • Mike Worcester

      The statements aired this morning on MPR noted that the lack of prosecution was due to a “lack of evidence”. Not sure if that was a lack of physical, eyewitness or combination thereof, but when I hear that phrase used, it says to this legal layman that they did not believe they had enough to convince twelve average citizens of guilt.

      • Rob

        In a criminal case, the standard would be guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Guilt by preponderance of evidence is a less rigorous standard, and that is what Title IX requires.

  • Guest

    I hope this action warrants possible loss of scholarship because most everyday people would not get paid if they did not do their jobs

    • jon

      YEAH!

      *posted from work, where I’m reading newscut instead of doing my job.

  • jon

    So do the players know what was in that 82 page report?

    I think that would make a big difference in how I perceive this particular protest/temper tantrum. I if they know the reasons, and feel them unfair then that’s one thing, if they don’t know the reasons and aren’t looking for more information, but just to have the decision reversed regardless of the reasons then that’s something different entirely.

  • Sam M

    I’m a little bothered by the term “kids” you used in the post. Comes off a little condescending. Most are twenty something young men. Also it seems that you are assuming the men boycotting are the same type of men that were not taking the meeting you witnessed a few years ago seriously or take rape and sexual assault seriously. Pretty big leap.

    There is a video out there of the actual incident so I don’t know that we can act like we don’t have any evidence outside of oral testimony.

    • kat

      if they took rape and sexual assault seriously, they would not be upset that their team mates were suspended.

      • Sam M

        You are assuming they are guilty. Dangerous assumption without evidence. How do you know that took place?

        • John O.

          A scholarship is a privilege–not a right. When an athlete signs a scholarship, there is a whole lot of verbiage. They could lose their scholarship and be booted off the team for any number of reasons without requiring a guilty verdict in a court of law.

          • Sam M

            I didn’t say their scholarships shouldn’t be taken away. I just warned against assuming guilt.

            I also don’t think some of the players shouldn’t be punished in other ways. I just want people to tread lightly before we assume guilt.

            How quickly we have all forgotten about Duke Lacrosse….

          • kat

            not forgotten, just put into perspective

          • Sam M

            Perspective? I don’t follow.

          • The university has already assumed guilt. That much has been confirmed.

            Whether people find credibility in that fact is entirely up to them.

          • Sam M

            Because universities have proved to be so great at that…

          • The universities don’t have much of a choice under Title IX.

            And, yes, there is a great debate about whether the application of the rule is fair, but perhaps not from the same perspective you have.

            http://deadspin.com/why-title-ix-has-failed-everyone-on-campus-rape-1765565925

          • Sam M

            Title IX has done some really wonderful things. I’m very thankful for the opportunities it will create for my daughter someday.

          • wjc

            And the university isn’t assessing guilt of a crime, but guilt of violation university rules and policies. A very different thing.

          • Not university rules, federal rules under title IX.

          • Veronica

            EXACTLY. They are owed nothing.

        • kat

          yes I am assuming they are guilty. I really don’t think a big university would just suspend players without a bit of proof. Not saying its not possible, but reports of women making up these things to get attention are highly over rated and in reality very rare

    • // it seems that you are assuming the men boycotting are the same type of men that were not taking the meeting you witnessed a few years ago seriously or take rape and sexual assault seriously. Pretty big leap.

      To reach that conclusion, you have to ignore this: “Many of those athletes are probably gone now, but some may still be around.

      Whether the culture that was on display that night still permeates college sports on the campus is something we may hear about over the next few days”

      I don’t know whether it does or doesn’t. Nothing would surprise me.

    • Be thankful that you’re young enough to not realize that being in college still makes you a kid in the grand scheme of everything you’ll learn in the future.

  • kat

    thank you for bringing this up- I thought of you and your previous posts on this topic when I heard the news this morning. I know some people don’t understand the term “rape culture” and it can be hard as a woman to convey the message, but you do a good job of explaining why these ideas and actions are dangerous to women.

  • John O.

    My son earned his four-year degree with a significant help from a soccer scholarship at a Division II school. An athletic scholarship is a privilege–it is not a right. My son and his teammates were told in no uncertain terms that the coaches and/or administration had the right to rescind their scholarships if the young men did *anything* that would make their university look bad–even if it never hit the media or the internet. I can guarantee you that from knowing the coaching staff there, a sexual assault allegation would have been dealt with quickly and harshly.

    With that said, the ineptitude of the administration and the folks in the Bierman Building to deal with this kind of crap (AGAIN) is just pathetic. Had they kicked these young men off the team for “violating team rules” in September, none of this would be going on right now.

  • Anna

    We didn’t know the prevalence of the attitude “Boys will be boys,” until the presidential election.

    Well, if the president of the United States can do it…..

    Women obviously have a long way to go in the United States to be respected and valued not for their appearance but for their intelligence, their contributions to a just society and an equal reward for a job well done.

    Way back when I was in college, I was dating a frat guy and we were leaving a party late at night. He needed to relieve himself and decided to do it in the parking lot even though the bathroom was less than 25 feet away.

    To add insult to injury, he had too much to drive safely and I was gripping my seat the entire way home praying we didn’t get in an accident.

    When we arrived at my house, I told him in no uncertain terms “If you ever do that to me again, my father will be waiting for you at the door with a 38 pointed between your eyes. Goodbye, David.”

    If liquor was involved in the alleged assault, the woman was impaired and not able to consent, it doesn’t matter if it was one drink or ten.

    I imagine this is what the university is taking umbrage with. I’m not sure if all of the involved players were underage but my suspicion is many of them were.

    They are representing the University no matter where they are and it reflects badly on the U of M’s reputation. It’s also a very poor way to say thanks for the scholarship that paid their way through college.

    You live in the digital age. There is no where to hide, fellas and all the boycotting and temper tantrums in the world will never change that.

    These kinds of incidents are going to continue to occur now that we have loosened moral boundaries and social decorum.

    • Veronica

      What kind of incidents? this has NOTHING to do with moral boundaries.

      • Anna

        It has EVERYTHING to do with moral boundaries and with social decorum.

        Is it moral to rape a woman and then blame her because “she asked for it?” No.

        Is it moral to take advantage of a woman because she is drunk? No.

        Is it moral to violate the terms of your scholarship, a scholarship being paid for by other hard working students’ tuition who don’t get a free ride like many elite high school athletes do? No.

        Is it moral to suspend football players because of underage drinking? Yes.

        Is it moral to expel students for questionable behavior and moral turpitude? Yes.

        Being a moral and upstanding adult is to know the difference between right and wrong.

        Had alcohol not been part of the picture, I don’t think any of this would have happened. Alcohol removes inhibition and it does it no matter what sex you are.

        Would you like a doctor to perform major surgery without your informed consent?

        I didn’t think so.

        • Veronica

          I’m not taking any issue with your examples above. I’m taking issue with your bonkers assertion that it’s due to “loosened moral boundaries and social decorum.” That’s essentially saying “kids these days….”

          • Anna

            It’s not kids these days. It’s the wrong kind of example put forth by supposed sports heroes, presidential candidates, parents, military generals, athletic directors, etc.

            It’s those that encourage disrespect of women by excusing “locker room” talk.

            To give you an example, it’s pretty sad when a kindergartner is known throughout the school for being a bully. When you challenge the kid’s behavior and ask him what his parents say when the school reports the bullying, it’s a little disheartening when the kid tells you his parents tell him to forget about it.

            Picture that kid down the road as a college athlete at an off campus party with a few drinks in him.

            Multiply that by a several thousand and you get the scope of the problem.

            Teach a child manners and discipline will follow.

            The political correctness that Trump has disavowed is a large part of social decorum. There are just certain things you do not say and certain behaviors you don’t condone and don’t participate in.

            In the last 18 months that line has been repeatedly blurred and there are a lot of young impressionable minds that are watching.

            Without social graces we might as well be living in anarchy.

  • chlost

    These young men may be learning the difference between the standard of proof in criminal proceedings and administrative proceedings. Although there may not have been enough evidence/proof that a prosecutor would be confident of twelve jurors determining a charge was proven beyond a reasonable doubt, there may very well be enough proof/evidence to meet the University’s administrative standards. As I learned through parenting my children into adulthood, “Pick your battles”. The young men may want to be sure this is the right battle to fight.

  • That charges or no charges are involved is relatively immaterial to the question of the school’s action. At issue is Title IX and it rules imposed on universities.

    http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.pdf

    • lorentjd

      You’re stating the obvious (that there’s a difference). What you’re not addressing is whether the difference is defensible. Several players have been expelled permanently from college without basic due process (e.g., an opportunity to cross-examine the accuser). If MPR had a policy that if you’re a rapist, then you will be fired and if I accused you of raping me and you were fired, would that be an acceptable result to you?

      • The process is outlined in the Title IX letter from the Department of Education. They didn’t get due process in a criminal case because criminal charges weren’t filed. There’s no indication that didn’t get the opportunity to participate in the Title IX investigation.

        • lorentjd

          You appear not to be familiar with the process related to campus matters like this. A fundamental element of due process is a right to cross-examine a witness or accuser. I can guarantee you that did not happen here

          • All I have is the Department of Education rule on Title IX, which I’ve provided above.

            Can you explain a little more about your insight behind guaranteeing what happened in this case? It sounds like you have inside knowledge. Please share.

          • lorentjd

            The men may be guilty of something or they may not be guilty of anything. So, I have no inside information regarding the allegations themselves. What I am confident of, however, is that the men did not receive basic due process and a critical element of due process is the right to cross-examine a witness’s or an accuser’s claim or story.

            As I asked you: If MPR had a policy against retaining people as employees who were rapists and if I accused you of rape and you were then fired, without a chance to cross-examine me, would that be fair or unfair?

          • That would be fair. Just as it was fair for the Arizona Cardinals to cut Michael Floyd this week after his arrest for DUI.

            MPR’s policy is very broad, as most employers are. You don’t bring disrespect to the company. I could be fired for tweeting. There’s no crime involved in tweeting, but I could lose my job over it. That’s the way it is.

            The Title IX procedures are quite clear. I suspect they were followed.

            As for the not-involved players. They’re a sideshow. They’re entitled to nothing relating to this case any more than any of your work colleagues are entitled to know anything that happens between you and your company.

            Entitled…oh, there’s that word again.

          • lorentjd

            You’re a man with an unusual constitution, Bob. If someone merely *accused* me of rape and I have no opportunity to examine the evidence or cross-examine the witness or accuser before being fired, then I would be angry and feel that I was unfairly treated (and I think it’s fair to say that most people would have similar feelings).

            But, I think this is something that is legitimately debatable between people of goodwill.

            In my view, this is a highly political issue. As you know, college and university involvement in these matters was sparked by the “Dear Colleague” letter issued in 2011 by the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education to colleges and universities — threatening to pull all federal funding if colleges and universities did not investigate and punish acts of sexual violence. My view is that if colleges and universities are going to investigate and punish acts of sexual violence, then a broader array of due process rights should be implemented (a right to hire a lawyer [even at the cost of the accused] and have that lawyer actively participate in the hearings, having hearings that are public and transparent, a right of the accused to cross-examine witnesses, including the accuser, a right of the accused to see all evidence in advance, and so forth). Due process is something that is simply…fair

          • The reasons for which you can be fired legally are, obviously, a matter of law.

            Nothing in the law says you can’t be upset that you got fired.

          • lorentjd

            In any event, as I said earlier, I very much hope that the new administration (as one of the few things they may do right) retracts that “Dear Colleague” letter and that we leave rape (and all other crimes) for the criminal justice system.

          • Louisa

            The players are not being punished for a crime. They are being suspended for violating the U of M’s code of conduct. Code of conduct is something ALL students at the U are expected to follow and abide by. This is not just an accusation of something occurred. This is based on the FINDINGS of an investigation.
            Further, any allegation is usually investigated to see if what was reported has any evidence of occurring. In your example, if you accused someone of rape, it would not be up to YOU to question your accuser. It is the act of a third party, In a criminal matter, the police would do that for you and at work, your HR department. This is what was done and lead to an 82 page report. The findings of that investigation concluded a suspension was in order based on the findings. It was not just an accusation that lead to the suspension.

          • lorentjd

            “In your example, if you [were] accused…of rape, it would not be up to YOU to question your accuser.”

            Actually, I would (through my lawyer). It’s called cross-examination of a witness. As an accused, I would have a right to test the truth of the accusations against me through that questioning. If someone said there was evidence that I committed a sexual assault and I was facing permanent expulsion from the Univeristy of Minnesota (which is what has happened to four of the players), I would sure as hell want to test the credibility and truthfulness of the witness. Testing the credibiilty of a witness is a crucial element of finding the truth — and it is exactly why it is a right of someone accused of a crime to do that.

          • Trump Drumpf✓

            You keep making the same stupid and unrelated argument.

          • lorentjd

            Huh? She said that if I were accused of rape, then I wouldn’t have any ability to question the accusor in a criminal case. I would.

          • lorentjd

            Louise said that the police would to that for me. Well, yeah, during the preliminary investigation, that would be true. But, at a trial, that is *obviously* not true.

          • Veronica

            Go read the report.

          • lorentjd

            What, will that tell me I’m wrong about an accused having a right to cross-examine an accusor at trial? That’s the specific point Louisa and I were discussing.

          • FarmGirlWithPitchfork

            This is not about a trial or criminal charges. Title IX investigations are not conducted in courtrooms.

          • Trump Drumpf✓

            No one cares what you think.

          • Rusty Shacklefort

            Title IX is a requirement for schools that take federal funding.

            Title IX guarantees :No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

            The misconduct investigations exclusively target men. In fact, in response to (I believe) this case http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/04/27/stanford-student-accused-of-sexual-assault-fires-back-at-university-in-federal-lawsuit

            Stanford replied that it could not be sued because you could not prove it favored women’s accusations over men’s. Their reasoning? That no women had ever had a case successfully brought against her in all the time the tribunal’s had existed.

            If the Title IX mandated “Dear Colleague” letter that brought about the preponderance of evidence standard, the no-cross examination process, the affirmative consent problem (which shifts evidential burden from the accuser to the accused) and if this process disproportionately targets men on the basis of their sex, then it could be said to be violating Title IX.

            That is of course, if men and women have equal standing before the law in the case of Title IX.

          • lorentjd

            Time for the “Dear Colleague” letter to be retracted by the next administration.

          • KTN

            The U of M has no obligation to provide due process – only the government can do that.

          • Veronica

            Bob is VERY well aware of the process. Many regulars here are aware of the process. Don’t throw around nonsense. Having a rapist “cross-examine” his victim is why we’re finding so few rape charges get filed with the police. Simply put: the University has policies in place that encourage silence from the victim and discourage getting law enforcement involved.

            http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/09/21/university-of-minnesota-sexual-assault

          • BJ

            > A fundamental element of due process is a right to cross-examine a witness or accuser.

            No that is not true, not in the least.

            Due process may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. If cross-examination is part of due process is debatable point (for the record in US criminal situations it is not debatable, it is part of 6th amendment). We are not talking about the U suspensions as a criminal procedure.

          • Rusty Shacklefort

            Adequate and adversarial representation is a hallmark of western judicial systems.

            In accordance with taking federal funds, the university has to abide by Title IX, which includes certain elements of “Fairness” so as not to deny people education on the basis of sex.

            The federal government cannot ignore process by simply waving things off as civil, and the university is bound by the same rules both by being a state actor and a federal actor by virture of federal funding ties.

      • jon

        I don’t know about your employer, but my employer reserves the right to terminate me for not representing the company appropriately…

        So yes they can fire me with out giving me the ability to confront my accuser, because they aren’t governed by the same rules it would take to imprison me.

        This shouldn’t be a suprise, this is how the real world works.
        Also where are all the people who were complaining that colleges don’t prepare kids for the real world? How has this thread avoided the “special little snowflakes” comments that normally plague newscut when young people do anything?

      • Trump Drumpf✓

        Why do so many of you assume you have the same rights as though you are entering criminal court?

        You don’t. Student athletes sign a contract and they enter into an agreement to conduct themselves a certain way.

    • lorentjd

      Perhaps the ONE good thing about Trump’s election is the possibilities that the “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights gets revoked. Star chambers are for banana republics, not America.

      • theoacme

        Then I’ll get a letter from the Trumpian Star Chamber – “Dear Commie UnAmerican Women’s Libber – you are a traitor, and I Daudt that Kurt won’t lynch you, except that I am personally going to.”

        • lorentjd

          Why go from one extreme to another? The sensible mandate to replace the Orwellian “Dear Colleague” letter: All matters of alleged sexual misconduct will only be investigated by the police, prosecuted by the county attorney, and adjudicated in a court of law.

          • DavidG

            Your solution is to require a criminal proceeding standard for a school to discipline or remove a student for violating the school code of conduct? Will we have to elevate plagiarism to a prosecutable offense? If not, which violations of the code of conduct will? Who decides?

          • lorentjd

            Plagerism ≠︎ Rape

            Leave *serious crimes* to real courts.

            What is the fundamental objection with that?

          • DavidG

            Serious crimes are left to the courts. But schools also have their own processes to determine violations of their code of conduct. I see no reason a school should have a higher burden of proof to remove someone accused of physical violence than to remove someone for academic fraud.

          • The part about a college saying, “rape on campus? None of our business.”

          • lorentjd

            If someone rapes someone on campus, then the rapist should be…in prison.

          • That doesn’t seem to be working very well. People don’t believe women when they say they’ve been raped and prosecutor s want beyond a reasonable doubt, something easier to prove in , say, murder.

            Plus there’s also the problem that several people who comment on the Internet might serve on a jury.

            Nope. No sale. When I send someone tithe U, I expect it to look out for them and set a bar for student behavior far lower than the standard of criminal code.

          • lorentjd

            If this is such a serious and widespread issue and this is such a wonderful solution, then why only narrowly apply that solution on colleges and universities? Why not make it the rule of the land? Then, if a person is found “guilty” of rape using the standard now used on colleges and universities (with no right to cross-examine the accuser, or a right to a jury trial, or the other due process protections afforded defendants), the person could be deported.

          • It’s not narrowly applied at all, actually. Far from it. Institutions. — perhaps even your own workplace if you have a job at a typical organization — set standards of behavior that always are stricter than a criminal prosecution standard.

          • lorentjd

            I said that if this is such a problem and that if this is such an exquisite solution to that problem, then why not make it the law of the land?

          • Title IX IS the law of the land.

          • lorentjd

            I suspect you’re being deliberately obtuse but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

            Yes, Title IX is the law of the land but it narrowly applies to education. I’m saying that the adjudication process that Title IX imposes on educational institutions, which you favor as a solution to the problem of not enough rapists getting convicted under the criminal justice system, should be applied to ALL claims of rape or sexual assault *instead of* the current beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard.

          • Interesting translation, indeed.

            What I favor is institutions setting a standard of behavior for students/employees without regard to the criminal code, entrusting them with the responsibility of meeting those standards, which, isn’t really very hard to do.

            As far as the justice system, I favor setting a standard for legal behavior, giving them responsibility to abide by the law, and holding them accountable when they do not.

            I do not favor making the criminal code the minimal standard of behavior for institutions which possess higher values.

          • lorentjd

            But if the standard you like so much (Title IX’s standard), because it makes sure rape victims will be given more justice relative to the current criminal justice system (where, you assert, juries are reluctant to believe accusers), then why not apply that standard universally? Why should a 20-year old woman who is assaulted by a non-college student not have the same protections as a 20-year old woman assaulted by a college student?

          • I don’t consider the criminal justice system relative to the institutions which choose to set a standard of behavior of their choosing. Title IX sets a higher standard of behavior over and above the criminal code.

            In your scenario, both have the same protections under the criminal code.

          • lorentjd

            Yes, I’m arguing for the criminal justice standard across the board as the exclusive standard (because I don’t see the problems with that system that you do). You, on the other hand, like the Title IX standard because you believe It makes sure men are held responsible for acts that they are often not held responsible for under the criminal justice system. Therefore, why not extend that same protection (the Title IX standard) for the benefit of all rape accusers?

          • You’re suggesting that the criminal justice code is the best level of behavior any institution can demand of its workers/employees.

            Some institutions — my workplace, for example — expects higher standards and holds higher values.

            As for colleges, well,there’s a reason it’s called HIGHER education.

            Some institutions and people want to be better than the very least of us.

            Contrary to your assertion, I don’t view Title IX as a substitute for a failed criminal justice system. It’s not a criminal law. It’s,s elevating a standard of behavior beyond what the criminal justice system is capable of.

            It’s cool if you choose to disagree with the standards demanded by Title IX. You can simply choose not to attend an institution not bound by those higher standards. That’s the same choice that people who attend the U of M were allowed to make.

            They chose differently and agreed to behave and live under the values enumerated under Title IX.

          • lorentjd

            So, do you or don’t you think the state should adopt the Title IX process and standard to all instances where someone is accused of sexual assault?

          • That would impose the values of Title IX on the criminal code and, in essence, criminalize behavior that is not now criminal. I’d want the state to have a very long discussion about that as it would also impose “preponderance of evidence” over “reasonable doubt.”

            I’d have to hear lot more from legal experts about the consequences of doing so before answering wit a yes or no.

          • lorentjd

            Fair enough.

          • lorentjd

            Also, it’s not prosecutors who “want” the “beyond a reasonable doubt” proof standard. The US Supreme Court long ago ruled that that standard was required under the Due Process Clause of the US Constitution for convictions for crimes.

          • Right.

            Beyond a reasonable doubt is a standard for conviction.

    • lorentjd

      If MPR had a policy that if you’re a rapist, then you will be fired and if I accused you of raping me and you were fired, would that be an acceptable result to you?

      • Rob

        Accusation ain’t the same as being tried for and being found guilty of rape, so what’s your point?

        • lorentjd

          No, but when a mere accusation directly leads to a finding of rape, then it’s problematic.

          • BJ

            Where has that happened here?

          • lorentjd

            What generally happens in campus kangaroo courts is that partial evidence is presented to a student at a hearing for the first time (no chance to review it in advance), often without a lawyer present, and with no opportunity to question the accuser or to gather counter-evidence to rebut the claim. This is a problem that is endemic to college campus sexual assault hearings. This all started with a threat to colleges and universities in 2011 by the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education: Colleges must do this or risk loss of federal funding. Some campuses have quite robust due process procedures in place which allow accused students to adequately defend themselves against these claims. Here, according to the news reports, the AD made the decision. Now, one or more of these students may have done something wrong but it appears that the students didn’t have an opportunity to fully challenge the accusations. This is probably one of the few things that the Trump administration will change that will be positive: Leave investigations into sexual misconduct up to the police, professional prosecutors, judges, and juries.

          • MadeInJalisco

            OMG. Please stop. You are making so many unfounded assumptions and repeating them half a dozen times doesn’t make them right. Have you even read the 80+page EEOA document? If not, kindly stop wasting space in the comments section until you have.

          • lorentjd

            I didn’t realize that there was limited comment space.

          • lorentjd

            Ashe Schow (she’s a journalist for the Washington Times) wrote:

            A player “provided police three recordings from the early morning hours of Sept. 2, showing the woman appearing ‘lucid, alert, somewhat playful and fully conscious; she does not appear to be objecting to anything at this time,’ according to the police report.”

            Schow also wrote:

            “The videos, however, made the case difficult to prosecute. Minneapolis police sent the case to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office on Sept. 30, but wrote of the videos ‘at no time does she indicate that she is in distress or that the contact is unwelcome or nonconsensual.'”

          • MadeInJalisco

            Why are you citing a journalist when both the police report AND the 82 page report from EEOA are available to read? Like I said, until you’ve read them, you have nothing to say that is worth reading. You’re just clutter.

          • lorentjd

            I’ve read the police report that KSTP released. The video evidence is almost determinative (exculpatory). I’ve read about half of the EEOA document. Seems to be significant differences between accuser’s statements later with contemporaneous brides recordings.

          • DavidG

            That video evidence represents less than 2 minutes very early in something that lasted almost 2 hours. What may or may not have been consented to at that time bears no relevance to what occurred later.

            The MPD report draws quite different conclusions on consent than the EEOA report.

          • lorentjd

            Words of wisdom to college students: Video tape every sexual act you have…even if you have to do it secretly.

          • MadeInJalisco

            You realize that videotaping without consent was on the list of things EEOA found fault with, right?

            You seem to have a fundamental lack of understanding of the differences between a trial, an EEOA Title IX investigation, and the code of conduct particular to student athletes.

            All of the details re. the above are public information. Why don’t you spend some time educating yourself before spouting off from the MRA handbook?

          • lorentjd

            The best evidence of that is said and done is video recording. It should be used, as long as these college kangaroo “courts” continue to make determinations about sexual misconduct.

          • lorentjd

            Alternatively, both parties should have a lawyer present any time two college students have sex.

          • MadeInJalisco

            Or we can teach people that: being under the influence of alcohol negates consent, “I don’t know” isn’t affirmative consent, and that giving consent (tenuous as it was) to sex with 2 people does not mean that you give consent to anyone willing to wait in line for “their turn.”

            EEOA investigations are not “kangaroo courts.” They are arduous, time consuming investigations (where ALL parties involved are interviewed/questioned numerous times) conducted by the lawyers who work in the EEOA office who then type up a summary of their findings along with a list of recommendations.

            Get yourself together. I’m not responding to any more of your droppings until you’ve demonstrated that you able to respond with something that you haven’t pulled out of your posterior.

          • lorentjd

            It’s amazing how we patronize college students when we don’t similarly patronize non-college students of the same age.

  • Amanda H.

    Thank you Bob for your perspective. It is the culture that needs to change and you’re right, our discussion should focus on the bigger picture, rather than just this boycott. Consent needs to be a topic of discussion well before students reach college age.

  • Will

    Imagine the University taking the punishment of any other crime into their own hands…they’d be sued out of existence. A student could be accused of murder (which by all measures is far worse than rape) and if the police decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute that student or charge them with murder it would be unthinkable that a college/university would then expel that student for that uncharged crime. I think we’ve reached a point where crimes need to be handled by the police and colleges/universities should only punish students when they have been proven in a court of law to be criminals.

    • crystals

      Do you think universities should not be allowed to have a code of conduct, then? This isn’t about a crime or criminals.

      • Will

        Depends on what conduct was invoked as violating their code of conduct, if sexual assault or rape is the conduct then you need charges or an admission of guilt. If it’s cheating on a test then sure, that’s not a crime.

        • crystals

          This conversation prompted me to find the U’s student code of conduct. Worth reading. (The last section, IX, specifically addresses your point and is explicit about students being both members of the University community and of the state, and how there may be different decisions made across the two in terms of judgments made.)

          http://regents.umn.edu/sites/regents.umn.edu/files/policies/Student_Conduct_Code.pdf

        • Title IX letter:

          “Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX.”

          “As explained in OCR’s 2001 Guidance, when a student sexually harasses another student, the harassing conduct creates a hostile environment if the conduct is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. Indeed, a single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. For instance, a single instance of rape is sufficiently severe to create a hostile environment.”

          • Will

            Yep, that law is in clear contradiction with the 6th and 14th Amendments. The colleges open themselves up to civil lawsuits.

          • Evan

            How is it a contradiction with the 6th and 14th Amendments?

          • Will

            Face your accuser and right to a defense, right to due process when it comes to government interaction.

          • Nope. There’s nothing about “government interaction” in any of the amendments. Not the 5th, not the 6th, and not the 14th. In the 5th and 6th, the reference is to CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. In the 14th, the reference is to due process OF LAW.

            Obviously, this is not a criminal prosecution. As for law, the Title IX establishes what constitutes due process.

          • Evan

            The first four words of the Sixth Amendment are “In all criminal prosecutions.” A Title IX investigation is not a criminal prosecution, so no contradiction there.

            I am assuming that when you talk about the 14th Amendment you mean the portion regarding the prohibition on depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” which was used to incorporate the 5th Amendment rights to the States when dealing with issues of life, liberty, and property, not enrollment at a university. So, again, no contradiction there as well.

          • Rob

            Huh? I gotta get me some of whatever you’re smokin’.

          • Will

            Its called knowledge and advocating for freedom every chance I get, I highly recommend it. Critical thinking instead of groupthink is also an essential ingredient.

        • Jerry

          So there is a lower standard of proof for cheating than sexual assault?

    • Again, the university is operating from a directive from the Department of Education in the application of a law. In this case, Title IX. It is entirely separate from a criminal case, which, in terms of this particular investigation, is irrelevant to the issue of the discipline of the students.

      • Will

        Secret board, having secret proceedings with no ability to defend yourself; let’s plaster these guys’ faces everywhere with a wink and a nod about rape then use “privacy laws” to hide behind. Sounds on the up and up to me… now imagine this is your son and you KNOW he would never do this and tell me how you feel.

        • Secret to whom? You? What standing do you have? What standing do the other football players have?

          What is it you think anyone you, me, or anyone else not involved in this investigation is entitled to?

          • Will

            Yeah, it’s not our tax dollars paying for the University to exist or anything.

          • Rob

            The mere fact that taxpayer dollars help support the U does not, in and of itself, accord the taxpayer the right to be involved in or be updated on Title IX-mandated disciplinary proceedings undertaken by the U.

        • // Secret board, having secret proceedings with no ability to defend yourself; let’s plaster these guys’ faces everywhere with a wink and a nod about rape then use “privacy laws” to hide behind.

          From the Title IX law under the heading “requirements”:

          Adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints, including the opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence;

        • Rob

          You can never know with certainty what someone else will do. And a father or mother’s claim that they know their son would never do such a thing has ZERO weight or relevance in an investigation, hearing, or any other part of a disciplinary or legal process.

        • DavidG

          It seems that the ones who actually “plastered these guys’ faces everywhere with a wink and a nod about rape” were their parents, lawyer and teammates, not the University:

          “Ten Gophers football players have been suspended from all
          team activities in preparation for the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 in San Diego, the University of Minnesota announced Tuesday night.
          The players are Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, KiAnte Hardin,
          Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson, Antonio Shenault, Kobe McCrary, Mark Williams, Seth Green and Antoine Winfield Jr.

          The university said it couldn’t provide further information
          “due to privacy restrictions relating to student educational data,” but a player’s father said the suspensions were tied to an earlier incident that embroiled five of the currently suspended players.”

          http://www.twincities.com/2016/12/13/gophers-football-team-suspends-10-players-indefinitely/

  • HilaryLovelace

    I appreciate this post’s greater lens on rape culture in college campuses. However, I think that Tana Hargest made a very good critique on Twitter that the comparison of protests to racial injustice is an unfair comparison to the football team’s boycott. Both are use of voice and actions, but one is in response to death, the other to a loss of scholarship.

    • Sam M

      The punishment will be more than just a loss of scholarship. They are talking expulsion. I understand that still isn’t to the level of death but death shouldn’t necessarily be the standard for protesting.

  • Heather

    Bob. Thank you.

  • Jerry

    The U really just needs to get out of the sports business.

    • Will

      Yep.

    • I will point out that the acting troupe that showed up that night a few years ago, provided an OPTIONAL performance and discussion for the non-sports part of the campus.

      Almost nobody showed up.

      • Sprainogre

        That no one showed up is both telling and depressing…

    • Veronica

      Agreed.

    • Sam M

      There are a lot of really upstanding student athletes at the U so lets please be careful about blowing the whole thing up.

      • Jerry

        I’m not saying all of the student-athletes are bad. In fact, I believe that most of them are good upstanding citizens. I just don’t see what sports has to do with the mission of the university. They have come a long way from simply being amateur student clubs. But this is a discussion which would end up way off topic for Bob’s post.

        • Sam M

          Good idea:)

      • There sure are. And I saw them at the meeting, which I indicated. Many were crying because they knew all about the culture that their more boisterous fellow athletes were displaying.

        Glad I was sitting near them.

      • swagchef

        It’s more so about college sports in general and how the system protects them over the regular people

    • swagchef

      Colleges in general. Too much emphasis is placed on sports and not learning. Imagine what they could do with the money they put towards sports.

  • Mike

    For everyone who blithely believes that we should discount basic standards of due process, fact finding, and burden of proof whenever there’s an accusation of sexual assault, I would point them to this article from the Star Trib from a few months back.

    How is what happened to this young man in any way defensible?

    In their zeal to promote awareness of “rape culture,” those who automatically believe any accusation of sexual assault are merely creating a backlash that will ultimately only harm the genuine victims of such assault.

    http://www.startribune.com/fargo-mother-turns-sex-assault-case-against-son-into-national-campaign/394695181/

    • The notion that the Title IX involves a lack of due process, fact finding and proof (to the standard of Title IX) is without merit:

      Again, from the Title IX letter, which everyone should read at some point:

      As stated in the 2001 Guidance, OCR has identified a number of elements in evaluating whether
      a school’s grievance procedures provide for prompt and equitable resolution of sexual
      harassment complaints. These elements also apply to sexual violence complaints because, as
      explained above, sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. OCR will review all aspects of a
      school’s grievance procedures, including the following elements that are critical to achieve
      compliance with Title IX:

      • Notice to students, parents of elementary and secondary students, and employees of
      the grievance procedures, including where complaints may be filed;
      • Application of the procedures to complaints alleging harassment carried out by
      employees, other students, or third parties;
      • Adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints, including the opportunity
      for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence;
      • Designated and reasonably prompt time frames for the major stages of the complaint
      process;
      • Notice to parties of the outcome of the complaint;24
      • An assurance that the school will take steps to prevent recurrence of any harassment
      and to correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate.

      • Mike

        If the Star Tribune article is remotely correct, the observance of “due process” under Title IX is a complete farce. In fact, there was another major article around the same time as this one showing how problematic this process is for anyone accused in the university system.

        I find it hard to believe that you’re effectively defending this young man’s suspension based on the known facts.

        • Will

          Exactly, political correctness is more important than due process protection in the US Constitution to many of the extreme left wing today.

          • Rob

            I usually reserve these for Gary F, but YAWN. And YAWN. Get your nose out of Breitbart and see what’s actually happening in the fact-based world.

          • crystals

            It’s fun to watch you two applaud each other for simply reinforcing what you believe to be true, regardless of the facts (which NONE OF US HAVE ACCESS TO) in this specific case.

          • Will

            You didn’t see the report about a video?

          • crystals

            Yes, I have read that a short segment of video exists. I do not pretend to a) know what is in that segment, b) assume that what was filmed provides the full and complete picture of what took place that night, and c) assume that you have somehow seen the video and all other relevant findings and therefore have more information about what did or did not take place in this case than any of us do. I also do not assume you have the same access to information that officials at the University of Minnesota do.

            It seems that this is a challenging topic for you, and that as a man you disagree with the laws that exist that provide some privacy for women who have claimed to be the targets of rape and/or sexual assault. I do not hope that women in your life have been the victim of sexual assault, but I do hope that someone who knows you beyond an internet post might be able to talk with you from a personal place about how your lens inherently advantages men and disadvantages women in these situations. Or maybe just try reading Missoula by Jon Krakauer.

        • I’m pointing out what the actual requirements are for Title IX investigations; not what anyone’s mother says it is.

          I don’t know the case above nor the full facts around it so I’m not commenting on it and my relaying the Title IX is neither a defense nor an indictment of anyone charged.

          I’m merely supplying the facts of the requirements. What you do with them is entire up to you.

          • Mike

            And I’m pointing out that there’s mounting evidence to suggest that this process is broken, as is any process that tilts the playing field so significantly toward an accuser. It’s a fundamental tenet of justice that the burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused. Be careful of throwing that standard out; it may lead to places you’re not so eager to justify.

          • Veronica

            Considering few reports result in any disciplinary action, I’m not sure why *you* keep insisting otherwise, Mike. You ideas aren’t based in reality.

          • There’s no evidence of that. Only beliefs.

          • Mike

            Of course there’s evidence. The fact that you don’t acknowledge it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just for starters, you have to dismiss the reporting the Star Trib has done, not to mention high-profile cases like the University of Virginia (Rolling Stone) and the Duke lacrosse team.

        • Carl Crabkiller

          A number of legal challenges to the “preponderance of the evidence” standard are currently in litigation – the case most cited is Doe v. Lhamon (UVA law student vs Dept of Education).

    • kat

      sexual assault is by nature a he-said/she-said problem. There are rarely witnesses to prove one side or the other. Sure, some false accusations happens, but MILLIONS of assaults occur

    • Will

      Great post, we are entitled to due process no matter what the charges or accusations are.

      • Please describe the process for Title IX investigations and how it was/wasn’t applied in this case.

        • Will

          You’ve made me believe that Title 9 is unconstitutional, congrats.

          • YOu have the right to interpret things any way you wish. You conclusion could be accurate or inaccurate. That’s up to you.

            Personally, I tend to be more swayed by actual case law about what is/isn’t constitutional than I am with people declaring something constitutional/unconstitution, especially since surveys have shown only 28% of Americans have actually read the constitution.

            I’m a little picky that way.

            Oh, it’s the Fifth Amendment, by the way, that specifies that “due process” applies to criminal cases.

          • Will

            I seriously hope Title 9 makes it to Trump’s SCOTUS and we can settle this. Secret courts, no due process, professors and administrators deciding these “cases”. There’s nothing less constitutional I can think of.

          • BJ

            Title IX had a serious challenge in 2008 the justices were:
            Roberts Kennedy Breyer Souter
            Stevens Thomas Ginsburg Alito Scalia

            look up Fitzgerald, et vir v. Barnstable School Committee

          • KTN

            On what grounds do you hope Title IX make it to the Court. The whole thing, just parts you don’t like, or …
            Remember, only the government grants rights, not universities, or any other institution.

          • Will, you’re kind of “winging it” here. You understand that, right?

          • Will

            Bad dad jokes now?

          • Rob

            First, deep breaths. Then read Title IX, and point out specifically where the secret courts and lack of due process are found.

          • Rusty Shacklefort

            Title IX is not responsible for this. The “Dear Colleague” letter and perpetual sword of Damocles hanging over institutions is largely responsible.

            Dear Colleague specifically reduced the standards of evidence in sexual based offenses. Then additional measures were “Suggested”. This led to “Affirmative Consent”, which places the burden of evidence on the accused to prove that they did obtain consent. How precisely are they supposed to do that? Even with video and notary signed agreements, consent can be revoked at anytime and it is difficult to prove otherwise.

            You cannot go “Well, you need to reduce this by any means necessary” and then turn your head when any means necessary turns into railroading cases through a tilted procedure.

          • Julian

            Polygraph tests, mb

          • BJ

            In Fitzgerald, et vir v. Barnstable School Committee, et al. the Supreme Court ruled that Title IX is constitutional as it does not prevent someone from seeking other means to their civil rights, it is one remedy and not only remedy.

          • Veronica

            What BJ? Facts? It’s been ruled constitutional? Whoa. I wonder if it being ruled constitutional will make it be constitutional in the minds of those who just don’t want to believe it is.

          • Will

            Yep kindergartners and 3rd graders on a bus is exactly the same case.

          • As SCOTUS settles only questions of constitutional interpretation, it actually is.

          • Will

            The fact that a 3rd grader is extremely unlikely to be held criminally liable in any state might make it a bit different in my mind.

          • What was the Constitutional question settled in that case, as you read it?

          • Will

            I don’t think so, I just read the Wikipedia description; could you link to the actual case decision?

          • BJ

            >You’ve made me believe that Title 9 is unconstitutional

            Title IX in both cases.

            It was a conservative court (i’m think it was 5-4 at the time, but could be wrong) and I’m pretty sure it was a 9-0 case.

          • Will

            Rape, football, college, scholarship, adults and internal, secret show trials weren’t involved in that case. Explain how specifically that case relates to this one.

          • BJ

            >You’ve made me believe that Title 9 is unconstitutional

            Explain how that case doesn’t relate to the constitutionality of Title IX

          • Laurie K.

            The constitutional provisions regarding due process are found in both the 5th [applies to federal] and the 14th Amendments [applies to states]. The provisions guarantee that the federal and state government may not deprive any person “of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” I don’t believe it limits due process to just criminal cases. For instance, a person who is being civilly committed has the right to due process.

      • ms_leo

        Not when majority walk that’s not how the justice system was to be set up,,,,failure,,,it wasn’t to be rape is legal unless we think you were raped which rape at this time is pretty much legal if you can’t even get in to a court room

    • ms_leo

      Not when 99% go free it means something is WRONG!

  • Bob

    Thanks. An interesting read. It is curious to me that the players support their teammates without having seen any evidence but it does not matter to me if they play. Perhaps the best thing would be to have the University withdraw so the Bowl committee can invite a different team. I am however, reminded of former U President Mark Yudof, who upon facing a similar situation, asked the decision-makers to consider things like if this were your son or your daughter, how would you want them to be treated, what obligation to each of the students involved, etc. I have seen zero evidence so I obviously cannot have an opinion about what transpired but hope that they are making a sound and reasoned decision based on the available evidence.

  • Trump Drumpf✓

    These student athletes are subject to a code of conduct. If these men violated that code….get rid of them.

  • nathan3e

    That anyone is ever surprised when college football degradations ooze out into the open is the surprise. My brother played major college football. It is not as bad as you think, it is much much worse.

    • Will

      Just like the Duke lacrosse team, right?

      • BJ

        1 example out of hundreds, maybe thousands, of them.

        • Will

          The 18 year old woman who said her hijab was ripped off by Trump supporters has been charged with filing a false police report.

          • Julian

            Your response is 2/100,1000s?

          • ms_leo

            and most rapist men lie grasping staws boy

      • nathan3e

        Sir, you seriously have no idea. None. My brother’s program was/is heavily studded with felonious maniacs. Google Lawrence Phillips. Google Scott Baldwin. Google Thunder Collins. Then get back to me with your Duke lacrosse analogy.

  • Will

    Bob you’re right, no due process for any students, a whisper or hearsay about any “code of conduct” violation should result in immediate suspension and/or expulsion, no trial, no defense, no evidence. The quicker we point out these extrajudicial farses for what they are, the quicker they can be declared unconstitutional. I never thought I’d see liberals demanding the removal of due process, my how things have changed.

    • BJ

      It wasn’t immediate. There was an investigation. This, the U’s actions, isn’t a criminal procedure so not sure why you think due process has been removed.

      Not sure if the U has a ‘trial’ or other process for removing students, I’m sure they do. I hope the process was followed, I see nothing to say it wasn’t.

      • Will

        We will never know thanks to the University hiding behind privacy laws, neat huh?

        • Veronica

          Read the report, Will.

    • KTN

      You do realize the University of Minnesota is not a court of law right? They are under no obligation to use due process in their code of conduct (although I do hope they do). These boys have done something that violated the schools code of conduct – we might not ever find out what they did, but the school is within their rights to punish those players accordingly. If there was a law broken, that is a different story.

      • Will

        You just argued for authoritarian power in the hands of public institutions with secret proceedings, wow.

        • Again, your definition of process and the constitutional definition of due process are two entirely different things.

          You’re telling people they’re wrong based on YOUR definition. They’re trying to tell you YOU’RE wrong based on the constitution . You also — and I presume intentionally — characterized due process as a being required in matters “of government interrraction.”

          There’s nothing in the constitution that says that. It uses the phrase “criminal procedure” in the 5th and the 6th amendment.

          The 14th amendment says that nobody should lose privileges without “due process of law.” What constitutes due process outside of a criminal case is embodied in the law that is being applied. Such is the case with Title IX , which outlines what due process is.

          We all get it, Will. You disagree with it. But that’s irrelevant.

          • Will

            Isn’t education a privilege being denied? Voting isn’t a criminal act but voting privileges are often invoked using due process in the 14th amendment.

          • // t but voting privileges are often invoked using due process in the 14th amendment.

            I have no idea what you’re saying here. Try again. “Invoked”? Invoked how?

        • Nathan

          As has been commented over and over again above; this whole situation is not a criminal investigation or proceeding, or decision making process. The standards at play are different than they are for a criminal situation. This is very similar to how investigations and decisions regarding misconduct would take place, for example, in a state government department or even a private corporation with well established internal policies and procedures. HR or EO or an independent investigator would gather evidence, interview relevant parties, prepare a report and some high level manager or administrator would make a decision as to how to respond to the facts gathered. Just because the accused doesn’t get to harangue the accuser doesn’t mean they didn’t get to present their side of the story or bring up evidence that would bolster their version of events.

        • KTN

          I’m guessing here, but I think the U uses disciplinary committees, and not secret proceedings.

    • Rob

      What is a farse? Is it like a farce?

      • jon

        Probably a British spelling of Farsi.

  • KSTP says it’s gotten a copy of the U of M investigation.

    http://kstp.com/kstpImages/repository/cs/files/U%20of%20M%20EOAA%20redacted4.pdf

    • crystals

      Absolutely inexcusable that this was leaked, for both the woman and the men alike.

      • Will

        So you’re suggesting that Bob may have violated ethics rules or code of conduct?

        • crystals

          Your reading comprehension skills are astoundingly selective.

          Bob didn’t leak this, I have to believe (but hey, I’ll let him confirm that). The person whose name is blacked out on page one – you know, right next to where it says PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL – did.

    • Will

      Why doesn’t this warrant a grand jury at a minimum? If this story is remotely true a trial should happen…charges or something at least.

      • KSTP has the police report too. Go read it. U of M notes its standard is “preponderance of evidence.” Different standard for prosecutors. I suspect Freeman eventually will have to have a news conference to clarify his decision.

        • Will

          I hate that our legal system offers little to no way to hold prosecuters accountable. For both allowing injustices to go unchallenged and for wrongful prosecution of innocent people.

          • Veronica

            Read the report.

          • Will

            I did, I think this woman should have a trial against these men. Let a jury decide, not a prosecutor or DA.

      • Peter

        This is not a criminal issue, it is about a violation of contract. The University is not punishing these students for committing a crime– the University is punishing them for violating the Student Code of Conduct– a code of conduct that all players agreed to follow. Students’ are expelled every semester for violating that code of conduct. The University is not claiming that the students committed a crime. The University does not (nor should it) release specific details about such violations because that would violate the students’ right to privacy over what is NOT a criminal issue.

        • Will

          After reading the report it looks like there should be a criminal case.

      • You’re right, these players should be charged. That they aren’t being charged should make you question why they aren’t.

    • Veronica

      I got to page 47. I’m a fast reader and skimmed once I got to the part where they summarized the likelihood that a specific player was guilty of rape. 47 pages was enough; I’m sick to my stomach.

      Unless you read the report, you have no right to any opinion on the matter. The report is clear–the U is in the right to suspend these players. They should be expelled. Given the issues that the U of M Athletic has had the last few years–shut it down. Shut it down now. Clearly a large number of men raped a girl one night, and some of them gang raped her.

      Another thing: if you don’t understand traumatic incidents and how the victim responds in the moment, let me enlighten you:

      When someone is raped, they cope by disassociating. This means they appear to “zone out”; they can’t and don’t communicate while being assaulted. Basically, trauma victims’ brains shut off to protect themselves.

      Reading the report (which again, I got through half)—it is impossible to defend the players. Impossible.

      • John O.

        I had to stop around page 25.

        • tboom

          I couldn’t read the entire report either, sickening

          I just heard on KARE the regents may lift the suspensions, this has to be wrong!

      • Will

        I don’t think anyone has defended the players, just the process (or lack there of). It’s like freedom of speech, you should have the right to say what you want but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. But I agree, after reading that document I’m in favor of criminal charges and letting a jury (or judge if the defendant so chooses) decide this case.

  • News release from the MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault:

    Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault Responds to University of Minnesota Sexual Assault Case

    The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault works to amplify the voices of victims and survivors of sexual violence across the State of Minnesota. MNCASA represents over 60 sexual assault victim services programs statewide.
    We express our empathy and support to the University of Minnesota student who came forward to report a sexual assault involving several student athletes. We encourage the media to acknowledge the impact on victims, and to use this opportunity to educate the community about the dynamics of sexual violence as well as the vast differences between the criminal justice process (charging decisions made by a prosecutor) and the civil process which occurs on college campuses nationally.

    We thank the University of Minnesota for diligently applying federal guidelines regarding sexual assault. The school has correctly placed the investigative process front and center.

    Recent media reflects a variety of misunderstandings of the laws relating to sexual assault:

    • There are many reasons prosecutors decide not to charge an alleged perpetrator and the lack of criminal charges doesn’t mean a sexual assault didn’t occur. It simply means that after reviewing the evidence provided by law enforcement, a prosecutor determined they could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the same standard used in criminal cases across the United States. It is an intentionally high standard because a defendant’s constitutional rights are at stake. Criminal sexual conduct is often difficult to prove, and it is not uncommon for a prosecutor to decline charges.

    • A campus-based investigation is separate from a potential criminal prosecution. It uses a preponderance of the evidence standard (the conduct is more likely than not to have occurred). The University of Minnesota Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) thoroughly investigates the alleged misconduct, including a review of all the evidence and questioning of the witnesses. In this case, after reviewing the EOAA’s investigation and report, the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (OSCAI) imposed a suspension of the student athletes. If either party disagrees with this decision, there is a process for requesting a formal review and hearing of the case, and a further opportunity to appeal.

    • While there is an increased understanding of sexual assault in our society, victim/survivors are still subject to significant levels of blame and disbelief, especially when the person(s) identified are in high profile positions (athletes, celebrities, politicians). Fear of how the case will affect the defendant’s life is often given more attention than the harm done to the victim/survivor.

    -END-

    Caroline Palmer, JD
    Public and Legal Affairs Manager
    Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault

  • Goldie Student

    “So, make your stand if that’s what you want to do, kids.”

    Your condescension downplays the seriousness of this story.

    • If the words I wrote don’t convey the seriousness of the story, I doubt anything will.

      If you’re suggesting I think the kids have a right to protest and/or I think their decision on which side to stand is ill considered, and I think the boycotting players are entirely irrelevant to the real issue, then, well, bingo. You nailed it.

      Good for you.

    • John O.

      Good luck out in the real world. You’re going to need it.

      • As someone buried in student loans, let me say: Luck can’t save us.

    • Goldie Student? Did you feel destined to attend the U of M because of how your parents named you?

  • Paul Bolstad

    How clueless are these guys? Good riddance to all of them. Why I only go to women’s sports at the U, have yet to be disappointed or embarrassed by their on or off-field behavior.

  • Anne Mckinney-page

    The protesting Football players should just lose their scholarships. PLAYING FOOTBALL Is a gift to them… not an obligation of the School. There are few Professional players who go to the NFL WITHOUT a College playing history. Take these spoiled, self entitled brats out of uniform… and remove them from the Team.

  • John

    Rape, in my opinion, is the result, of the #1 problem – alcohol. Gotta slow down before it impairs your judgement, plenty of people do.