Why do scandals keep happening at the U of M?

claeys
The firing of University of Minnesota football coach Tracy Claeys reinforces a good piece of advice: Be careful what you tweet. And don’t thumb your noses at the people who sign your paycheck.

Claeys was a success on the field and really bad at social media off it.

He was, despite assertions to the contrary, fired for this tweet, which he posted as his team boycotted football activities in support of 10 players implicated in an alleged gang rape, and which gave university officials enough cover to fire a coach they didn’t care for anyway.

claeys

Claeys never took down the ill-advised tweet, which made it obvious he had no clue what the big deal was surrounding the scandal, further making it questionable whether he was capable of molding young men into something other than the NFL’s next headaches.

So, goodbye, he said yesterday in a last shot at the entire state.

“I won’t be up here freezing my ass off, so y’all enjoy the winter,” Claeys told KSTP.

I’ve got the money. You get the winter. Oh, and a team of questionable character.

“Why does stuff like this keep happening at Minnesota?” Sports Illustrated’s Brian Hamilton asks today.

He’s a former Pioneer Press reporter who knows what he’s talking about. He says the problem is no one in charge at the University of Minnesota is cynical enough.

In some senses, that’s commendable: Insisting upon the best in others can be a nice, easy way to live. In the realm of college athletics, that sort of blind faith gets you embarrassed over and over. When assessing the possible fallout for the ’99 academic fraud scandal, both before my arrival and after, people who worked in the athletic department or were close to those involved in the crisis would consider the guilty parties and defend them this way: Oh, he would never do that. Well, he would. And he did. And willful ignorance turned your prosperous basketball program inside out.

Applying this theory to the Teague fiasco is trickier, because he had no connections to the state. But it’s not hard to imagine Minnesota decision-makers believing that merely hiring Teague made him one of them, and that by extension he’d never have the capacity to do the distasteful things that—surprise!—he most definitely did. The recent football scandal got out of hand, one can imagine, because school administrators felt they could let the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action investigation run its course (as it absolutely should) and then make erroneous or elusive statements about the process and how much the football coach knew about the ensuing discipline, all without the team raising a massive stink. You can see the thought bubble somewhere in the Bierman Athletics Complex: Our kids wouldn’t do that. This conveniently and horribly misread the current climate in which college athletes feel more empowered to raise said stinks than ever before. So the school got knocked around for a few days and the coach eventually got fired, when the people in charge likely could have headed off or at least muted a precipitously bad reaction from college kids.

“No one is happy with the administration right now. I don’t know who would want to be a part of this program at this time,” quarterback Mitch Leidner said.

“Idiotic decisions have, indeed, been rampant throughout the football program. This wasn’t one of them,” the Pioneer Press’ John Shipley says.

Reminder: The university is razing buildings, moving earth and trying desperately to raise $169 million to build an “Athletes Village” that will feature a new indoor football practice facility, offices for the coaching staff, a locker room for the players and a 24-hour training table for all student-athletes. Yet we’re asked to believe that 100-plus Division I athletes — 85 of them on full scholarship — are now victims of a world gone mad. That the university doesn’t have the right to determine whether their behavior breaks school standards.

Claeys is not without fault. His encouragement for the player revolt via Twitter was short-sighted, unwisely undermining the authority of his two most important superiors — athletics director Mark Coyle and school president Eric Kaler — and tacitly supporting holding the Holiday Bowl ransom until player demands were met. That included reinstatement of all 10 suspended players and apologies from Kaler and Coyle.

The athletic director at the U, new on the job, was never a big fan of Claeys, whom he inherited, the Star Tribune’s Chip Scoggins points out.

Attendance for home games dropped to its lowest level in 14 years. Former AD Norwood Teague’s ill-fated “scholarship seating” price hikes had more to do with dwindling attendance than Claeys’ coaching, but Coyle apparently felt the program is suffering from a crisis of confidence with fans.

Not all fans, though. Anger directed at Coyle and University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler is being heard loud and clear. A healthy percentage of people blame Coyle and Kaler for this mess, to say nothing of the outrage expressed by Claeys’ players.

“They have a right to be angry, they have a right to be frustrated,” Coyle said. “I’m hoping that our students understand that that ‘M’ never comes off.”

“We need a leader who sets high expectations athletically, academically, and socially,” athletic director Mark Coyle said yesterday in announcing the coach’s firing.

Those would be good requirements for the parents of the next generation of Gophers football players too.

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

  • Robert Moffitt

    In answer to your question in the headline, I don’t know. I do know that in 2014, the graduation rate for U of M football players was the lowest in the Big 10 conference. Yet those numbers don’t seem to matter as much as the wins and losses on the field, or the millions of dollars generated by football and basketball programs for the U.

  • John O.

    If Claeys had simply dismissed the young men right after that Labor Day weekend incident for “conduct detrimental to the team” (or something similar), chances are very good he would have a job right now.

    This program continues to be a comedy of errors. Flying back from Seattle on the day of the Holiday Bowl, I had my “Minnesota” sweatshirt on at SeaTac. As I was standing in line at one of the Starbucks, the guy behind me started laughing. He asked if I was going to the game in San Diego. After I said we were heading home to MSP, he said that after he arrived in L.A. mid-morning, he and his buddy were driving down to San Diego because they could get 40-yard line tickets for $6.

    I hope the new A.D. can clean the mess up and effect some positive changes into the Bierman building in general, but history–and the odds–are not on his side. Especially when it comes to football.

    • Then again, SD isn’t a hotbed of football, especially when two out of town teams play there.

      • John O.

        True, but the weather makes it palatable.

        • When the hills aren’t on fire…

          /…or when said fire is snuffed out out by a mudslide.

          🙂

          • John O.

            Well, there you go again, you nattering nabob of negativity. ;-P

    • Jeff

      Of course it’s the 4 million TV viewers who are the real audience. The guys on the 40 yard line are just the backdrop. Also, I’d guess flying to L.A., renting a car, lodging, etc. will make the $6 seats a lot more expensive.

      • John O.

        Based on first-hand observation, he didn’t appear he needed to worry about having to pay too much for parking at The Murph (I’m old school–it’s still Jack Murphy Stadium).

  • Jack

    I’m not surprised by the tweets from the team after the firing.

    I will say that this whole incident has been a great learning experience as the household of U of M alum go over proper behavior with our U of M student. Without prompting, he went through what was wrong in the situation. But then again, he is not a student athlete.

  • jon

    Can we just dump college football, and in it’s place set up a minor league football system that funnels its profits into the university systems?

    The University owned Football League (UOFL)?

    • Sam M

      Most players don’t make it to the NFL. There are also many men that used football as a chance to get a great education and better their lives. Without that scholarship and something as meaningless as football they wouldn’t have the degree.

      I’m amazed at how everyone’s disdain of football blinds them to some of the real benefits and how great some of these kids really are. Just a lot of sad bitter people out there. The negativity in this town sucks.

      • jon

        Great, then they can get a scholarship to go to college after they finish their tour in the UOFL.

        OR we could just pay the players and they can choose to use that money for college or not.

        I don’t see why suggesting we put some distance between sports and education has to be viewed as disdain.

        If this is a capitalist enterprise, lets stop pretending that it’s about education, and start treating it as a capitalist enterprise.

        • Sam M

          Would they get a scholarship if they didn’t play football? Would they even consider going to college? Maybe they would maybe the wouldn’t that was my point. We just seem to dismiss the players that really benefit from college football and don’t go to the NFL.

          I agree that an acknowledgement about what some of the motivations are in college football would be refreshing.

          My point is that there are a lot of really good things and people that come out of college sports including college football. We seem to be losing sight of that in our discussion regarding this topic.

          • jon

            Do you think that making players who don’t care to receive a college education, get one just so they can play football is a positive in the current system?

            Do you think that having players who may be disruptive in the educational system is a net positive because it forces these kids to get a degree, that they didn’t really want to pursue?

            Separate the systems. Are there kinks to work out beyond that one simple statement, sure… but these are comments on an internet article, not detailed proposals for how to accomplish this.

          • Sam M

            I think there are a lot of players who really benefit. So lets not lose sight of that in all our hand-wringing here.

          • Jerry

            Is someone who is good at athletics more entitled to a subsidised college education than someone who isn’t? Big time college athletics has nothing to do with academics.

          • Sam M

            I didn’t say they were more entitled but they aren’t taking that opportunity away from another student either. Just don’t lose sight of the good it does. I don’t disagree that there is bad.

          • RBHolb

            If this is such a great educational opportunity for these young men, why is the graduation rate so low for football players (66%, according to the NCAA,)?

          • Sam M

            Some don’t see it that way apparently. What about the other 66%? Why do we have to be so negative? Half full or half empty? You act like none of them graduate and nothing but bad things come from football.

          • RBHolb

            Here’s a radical proposition: Offer need-based financial aid to every student who is admitted. Don’t tie it to participation in athletics.

          • Sam M

            That’s fine for kids that know in high school they want to go to college. What about those who don’t see it as a possibility until they get the football scholarship? There are lots of these guys that wouldn’t be in college except for football and a lot of them do graduate with a degree.

          • RBHolb

            “That’s fine for kids that know in high school they want to go to college.” In other words, those who have worked to prepare themselves and are motivated in the first place. Aren’t they the ones for whom the University is supposed to be operating?

          • Sam M

            I didn’t say the other ones haven’t worked just as hard in high school. Maybe they just might not aware of the scholarships and things like that which are available to them. Do you really believe that nothing at all good comes from college athletics???? I never said that it was the only way just that good things do come from it. Quit being so negative.

          • X.A. Smith

            You said football was meaningless, yet you tie so much to it. I don’t understand.

          • Sam M

            Where?

          • X.A. Smith

            “There are also many men that used football as a chance to get a great education and better their lives. Without that scholarship and something as meaningless as football they wouldn’t have the degree.”

      • X.A. Smith

        If football is so meaningless, why have football scholarships at all. They don’t have internet comment scholarships, after all.

  • Mike

    The cult of sports has become a generally toxic force in our society. This is certainly true at the professional level, where politicians scramble to provide hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for stadiums while genuine public needs go unmet. This foolish devotion trickles down to the university level and even lower. Parents spend their weekends and thousands of dollars a year running their kids all over creation for this or that sports league. Apparently no amount of time or money is too much, if sports are the beneficiary.

    Imagine what things might be like in our country if half of this commitment were focused on academics, or the arts, or philanthropy.

    I find it morbidly humorous that, while the worship of athletes is probably more intense than it ever was, our society is also more obese than ever. Clearly, all this attention is not related to mass love of actual participation in any athletic activity. It’s merely hollow spectatorship – something our government and various aspects of the American establishment cultivate in citizenship as well.

    • Rob

      I’m with you; I’ve never understood the jock-sniffing fervor of our culture. But Bread and Circuses R Us.

    • RBHolb

      “I find it morbidly humorous that, while the worship of athletes is probably more intense than it ever was, our society is also more obese than ever.”

      My own observation is that the fervor of a sports fan is directly proportional to the size of his gut.

  • Rob

    I’m pleasantly surprised that the U acted so fast on this.

  • Sam M

    Why do you continue to imply that all the kids on the team are terrible people? Why don’t you get to know some of them before you make such ridiculous assertions? Disappointed once again in you Bob.

  • Angry Jonny

    Hell, he could have said nothing except “we’re cooperating with the investigation” and he-and the entire program-would have been better off.

  • MikeB

    They keep hiring the wrong people, so they keep having problems. If the administration wants a hands off approach then they need to put in place someone who is competent enough to be left alone and manage the athletic department. Coyle seems like a good selection so far, here’s hoping that he is the right person.

    Claeys was an accidental head coach, completely in over his head. The fact that players felt comfortable enough to boycott a bowl game while he was out of town speaks volumes. Anyone in charge of a program would have quashed that before it got out to the media.

    Other Big 10 programs put more emphasis on football and they do not have these problems. Find a good coach that will graduate players, run a clean program, and provide stability.

    • John O.

      And it will cost significant money to do just that. A lot of us thought Lou Holtz was the answer to our prayers in the early 1980’s until we found out late one afternoon that Paul Giel (the A.D. at the time) didn’t bother to tell anyone else that the Little Elf had an “out clause” in his contract for Notre Dame.

      • Probably should have kept Glen Mason…

        /I wonder if he’s available?

        • MikeB

          Last night heard Mason on Barreio’s show. A really good interview. Was immediately regretting that he was not kept on. Most likely I grumbled while he was here but he fits the bill of what is needed.

          • Mason was the winningest coach the U has had over the past few decades and by all accounts, a class act.

            /I listen to Mason on KFAN as well on occasion

          • John O.

            And he does a pretty good job on BTN as well.

          • Jeff

            He made a good point about being a new head coach at the Big 10 level is very tough. A coach can afford to make mistakes at a lower level but the spotlight is always on at the upper levels.

      • MikeB

        Holtz fits the pattern of bad decision making. He was never going to stay here long term. I wouldn’t be surprised that he had a list of programs in his out clauses.

        • John O.

          At the time, the reporting was that Notre Dame was the *only* institution named in that out clause.

          • MikeB

            True, I remember that being the reporting. But given what happened it seemed a little too convenient. Maybe there were some buyout clauses but to me Holtz was more of The Music Man, but that’s unfair to The Music Man.

          • Rob

            Are you referring to George Michael?

  • Ben Chorn

    >“I won’t be up here freezing my ass off, so y’all enjoy the winter,” Claeys told KSTP.

    We will.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8cec0badc49d4df36d9883f10cfdd19149db6328b5c5937fdd050b9fb5310b97.gif

    • Angry Jonny

      “Just headed down to the freezer to get me some fudgesicles.”-Joel and the ‘Bots

  • Dan

    Predictable. Won’t be enough for some, but for most of the public, this will be the end of it. Really once the details leaked, regardless of the EOAA (or anyone else’s) determination of whether some of the athletes involved in the incident committed assault, or what anyone said on Twitter, this firing was going to happen.

    I do wonder what will happen with the five players who were involved in the incident, but which the EOAA found did not commit sexual violence.

    • Veronica

      The findings weren’t that those 5 players didn’t do anything, just that it was hard to find enough to say either way.

      • Dan

        8 players in the report were not found to have violated the sexual violence provision, but 5 were suspended for other violations (and one of the five expelled was also not found to have committed sexual violence).

        They’re applying the same “more likely than not” standard to all involved players, with the 8, uh, “NOT more likely than not” (?) to have violated that provision. Doesn’t that mean they’re “more likely than not” to have NOT committed a violation?

        • They used a “preponderance of evidence” standard.

          • Dan

            Right sorry that’s the standard.
            The verbiage in the report is “more likely than not” for the four they found to have violated the sexual violence provision.

          • The only time the phrase appears is in assessing the credibility of those involved and particular statements they made. It does not appear in a the conclusion of findings for each player — Identified as A1-A10.

            In those sections, the university investigation and the language used is declarative.

          • Dan

            And also appears on page 3 of the report (page 5 of the PDF)

            STANDARD OF EVIDENCE
            EOAA determines whether sexual assault or harassment occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standard. In other words, EOAA determines whether it is ***more likely than not** that the alleged sexual assault or harassment occurred.

            (emphasis mine)

        • DavidG

          Uhm, no. Not coming to the conclusion of “more likely than not” simply means there was not sufficient evidence to come to that conclusion.

          “Not guilty is not the same as innocent” still applies to this standard.

          • Dan

            “Ultimately, based on available evidence, we find it more likely than not that a reasonable person in the circumstances would have believed that RS provided affirmative consent to the reported instances of sexual contact with A2”. He was of course expelled anyway, so that’s not really the issue I was originally wondering about, just following up with the pedantic digression.

            Take “A8”, who denied having sex with the alleged victim and who the alleged victim can’t recall having sex with. He was suspended for a year. Wondering what will happen to him.

            Of course to the public he’s just maybe probably a gang rapist, but I have to keep reminding myself the team was supporting rape and didn’t have a point about fairness or process. I just don’t see how he or any of the other four suspended (or the other five if their expulsions are overturned – that could happen right?) return to the U. Clean break, along with the coach, rape problem solved.

  • vincentlawrence

    The recruiters go out looking for the best football players to improve the teams chances, without considering the quality of the person.
    These kids are looking for a chance to be seen on the national stage for a chance for in the NFL. Most think they are HOT STUDS, because they are thinking with their hormones instead of their unused brain.
    How much does it cost the TAX PAYER each year to import these sexual predators
    to Minnesota?

    • Bob Sinclair

      //“We need a leader who sets high expectations athletically, academically, and socially,” athletic director Mark Coyle said yesterday in announcing the coach’s firing.
      Those would be good requirements for the parents of the next generation of Gophers football players too.”

      And maybe the same could be said of those who recruit these young men as well.

  • Curmudge

    Well, two things…….I don’t think his coaching ability is all that great. He got wins due to what he inherited……not what he created. So we probably DO need a new coach.
    Second, his support of the players was exactly what a coach must do……that loyalty must be strong and go both ways.
    The players had a legitimate gripe–due process was lacking and the punishment was too harsh based on the fact that no laws were violated but they were punished as if laws HAD been violated. Blacks having sex with a white woman is legal even though the way it happened turns out to be shameful. Shame on them……but no crime was committed.

    • The part where she said “I don’t want to”, by the way, is the part you missed.

      • Curmudge

        I haven’t heard that that statement has been verified as authentic.

      • Mike

        And yet the totality of the situation was sufficiently vague that law enforcement declined (twice) to prosecute.

        • Saying again: The issue is Title IX.

          The investigation for which the players were disciplined was not a criminal investigation.

          FWIW, Freeman wasn’t vague on what he thought of the players behavior.

          • Mike

            And it’s those standards that are the source of contention. The Title IX “Preponderance of Evidence” standard is only 51% – basically a coin toss.

            While that may be acceptable for traditional academic transgressions (cheating, plagiarism, etc.), I would argue that it’s woefully inadequate for charges that are essentially criminal in nature (sexual assault). So universities get to amateurishly play judge and jury in quasi-legal proceedings on very serious matters, with a low standard for “conviction.”

            And FWIW, nobody cares what Freeman’s personal opinion is of the players. His professional opinion is the only one that matters, and his decision not to prosecute speaks volumes.

          • Veronica

            Have you read the report?

          • Mike

            No, but it wouldn’t matter if I had. I’m not a lawyer and don’t have the training to make judgments in these matters. I’m guessing that’s true of you too.

            My point is that the law enforcement authorities have decided there isn’t enough evidence to make a prosecution worthwhile. That means the presumption of innocence remains.

            I have no opinion on the moral character of any of the people involved in this sordid saga. All I know is that it’s not being prosecuted and, absent some known extenuating circumstance (corruption, conflict of interest, etc.), the rest of us shouldn’t rush to judgment either.

            If you’re OK with a 51% “conviction” standard for an allegation of violent criminality, that’s your opinion and you have a right to it. Obviously, I disagree.

          • Read the report. You don’t need legal training to decide whether this is the crew you want to stand behind.

            Pay particular attention to the section about how the team conspired to hide the identities of the men in the room with the woman.

            Why is the report important? For one thing, the particulars are what allegedly led the players to call off their boycott.

            For another, the details (they were read to him) are what Claeys knew that apparently his players didn’t when he decided to stand with them.

          • king harvest

            “No, but it wouldn’t matter if I had. I’m not a lawyer and don’t have the training to make judgments in these matters”
            That’s a bad excuse

          • DavidG

            But the law enforcement authorities have the power to levy criminal penalties on the accused, so of course they are held to a higher standard of proof.

            The university only has the power to levy administrative style sanctions such as dismissal from the program or school, so the higher standard of proof is not necessary.

          • king harvest

            “While that may be acceptable for traditional academic transgressions (cheating, plagiarism, etc.), I would argue that it’s woefully inadequate for charges that are essentially criminal in nature (sexual assault). ”
            That makes no sense. It’s okay to use preponderance (not a coin toss) for cheating but not stealing? The punishment is the same, why different standards? It’s absurd.

          • It’s the same standard as a civil case.

      • Curmudge

        I haven’t heard that that statement has been authenticated.

      • Curmudge

        I haven’t seen proof that what she said was true.

    • DavidG

      Good standing on an NCAA football team requires (or should require) more than just not being convicted of a crime.

      • Curmudge

        That’s true but the players had a valid gripe about both due process and the severity of the punishment. The coach supported them in their protest as was proper for a coach to do–he was not excusing behavior, just supporting them in getting a fair hearing (which is a valid request).

        • king harvest

          No. There was no valid reason. The coach looks like he caved in, not proper behavior

          • Curmudge

            Looks like he courageously REFUSED to cave in.

          • king harvest

            He should have refused to let the inmates run the asylum.

        • jon

          “due process” You keep using those words, I do not think that means what you think it means.

          Due process: fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen’s entitlement.

          So unless you want to elevate the U of M to the state of being the judicial system…

          Arguable due process may have had some flaws, since there was no trial for an alleged crime… but I don’t think that is what you are trying to suggest here…

    • Rob

      just so we’re clear, a behavior can be considered wrong even though it isn’t determined to be a felony.

      • Curmudge

        Or a misdemeanor, but that’s not the issue. The issue was due process and a punishment that fit the crime.

        • king harvest

          Due process was met! If the players had a problem with the code of conduct, they should not have signed it.

        • Kassie

          Students get kicked out for cutting and pasting from a wikipedia article and pretending it is their own, so I’m pretty sure having sex with a drunk woman without her consent also deserves being kicked out.

          • Curmudge

            It was never proven that it was without her consent……and therein lies the problem in this case (and the stench of racism).

          • DavidG

            There is an 80+ page report produced by the U that concluded otherwise under the appropriate standards of evidence that they are required to work with.

          • Curmudge

            It’s not appropriate to have standards that require only accusations. There was no evidence. Even the medical people found no evidence of rape. The players were unjustly punished.

          • Folks, the links to the reports from botht he U and the cops have been posted. So, starting now, every time someone cites something in either report, they MUST cite the page number from which they got the information.

            Here’s page 13-14 of the EOAA:

            “After talking on the phone with her sister, RS : drove herself to a hospital in for a forensic examination by a sexual assault nurse examiner. She drove to
            she knew she had health insurance coverage there. RS reported that the medical professional who conducted her exam found some in’itation on her breast, but was unsure how or when that occurred. The medical professional also found “some kind of injury” on her vagina, which could have happened fi:om non~sexual activity. RS reported that the medical professional did not find anything “significant.” EOAA requested the results of RS forensic examination, but RS did not provide EOAA with these results.”

            The police investigation carried no mention of a forensic exam.

          • There’s certainly and element that believes that.

            and an element that doesn’t, obviously.

            Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post wrote for the latter:

            What is the standard of conduct in Minnesota football, and what is their disciplinary code, exactly? The trouble with this boycott is that it suggests that both bars should be abysmally low. It suggests that unless something is a verifiable crime and prosecutable, then college authorities have no right to regulate their conduct at all. And that’s not a great precedent for college students.

            In fact, college administrators might have every reason to find aspects of this episode objectionable and worthy of discipline under the student code of conduct, which contains provisions about respect and prohibits harming other students in any way or making them feel harassed or uncomfortable. They might well be concerned about the mixture of alcohol and the hazy issue of consent. They might well have found she was violated in some way when she was recorded. We can’t know because they haven’t shared the basis of the decision out of confidentiality concerns.

            All sexual assault claims are difficult, and those involving alcohol and athletes can be especially charged and fraught with dispute. The players’ statements offer no recognition of this terrible complexity, and that is what makes their boycott disappointing — and even objectionable. They don’t recognize that women on campuses face an epidemic of sexual crime and that both law enforcement and well-intentioned administrators are grappling for balance and answers in dealing with both false and true accusations. There’s no recognition that there might be an argument for campuses to adjudicate student sexual conduct outside the criminal justice system. No recognition that a misunderstanding could well have occurred between accuser and accused. No recognition, in fact, that women even exist on their campus. It’s a strange silence. And not one that inclines you to take their side and congratulate them for taking such a strong stand.

            There are a million good social-justice causes over which a major college football team could boycott. This isn’t one.

          • Curmudge

            She’d feel differently…..etc.

        • John O.

          I had a kid go through college on a D2 soccer scholarship out west. It’s a privilege, not a right. The school can yank that scholarship at the drop of a hat and dismiss them from the team, if they choose to do so. The NCAA also has provisions in those agreements as well.

          If Claeys had simply dismissed these young men for “conduct detrimental to the team” on the Tuesday after Labor Day, he is probably still the coach today.

      • Curmudge

        And racist behavior is wrong.

    • king harvest

      “due process was lacking” No it wasn’t. The process was followed. A process that the players themselves signed off on when they accepted a scholarship.
      “and the punishment was too harsh based on the fact that no laws were violated” They were not expelled for breaking the law. The punishment for breaking the code of conduct is well established.

      “but they were punished as if laws HAD been violated.” No, they would be in jail. No charges does not mean no crime.

  • Kurt O

    Jerry Kill is now the offensive coordinator at Rutgers. He said that he’s able to coach again because he’s learned to take better care of himself. I suspect that being away from the stress of U of M athletics is a big part of that.

  • Mike Worcester

    As I was driving to work Sunday morning, I had on the sports dudes over at ‘CCO. They of course were talking about the Holiday Bowl outcome and the future of the coach. They both agreed that the coach was going to stay, though there would have to be repairs made to the program’s reputation and public persona. One of them offered a percent of 70-30 he would stay. Their reasoning was fascinating — that because he was the coach he *had* to defend his players because that’s what coaches do; and that would offer him the leverage to get them under control and make him a more authoritative figure.

    It was not convincing logic to me, and perhaps belied a perspective of people who are so immersed in the sports world (esp. the male world) they are not seeing the broader view of the non-sports world.

    • Curmudge

      Well, two things…….I don’t think his coaching ability is all that
      great. He got wins due to what he inherited……not what he created.
      So we probably DO need a new coach.
      Second, his support of the players was exactly what a coach must do……that loyalty must be strong and go both ways.
      The
      players had a legitimate gripe–due process was lacking and the
      punishment was too harsh based on the fact that no laws were violated
      but they were punished as if laws HAD been violated. Blacks having sex
      with a white woman is legal even though the way it happened turns out to
      be shameful. Shame on them……but no crime was committed.

      • jwest8

        No, they were not punished as if laws were violated. They were punished as if a code of behavior was violated. They were also duly punished as deplorable human beings.

        The entitlement attitude of the team, who should have expressed their disgust for the behavior of their teammates, tells me that they should all be fired. They are not that important. And, yes, the UMN could decide to start from scratch. It is within their rights to do so.

        • Curmudge

          So the code of behavior means they believe the white woman and call the black guys liars? That’s arbitrary and invalid (besides being racist).

          • I’m shutting down the race talk. The victim’s identity has not been revealed nor has her race.

      • Mike Worcester

        Did you just copy and paste what you had typed earlier on this topic? Thank you, I’m honored.

        • Curmudge

          It was the least I could do to help.

  • Dane Smith

    Why the U of M specifically is difficult– Why do scandals keep happening in general? It’s a systemic problem. We idolize these people for their skills, starting when kids start playing sports. By high school, these kids are courted by colleges and told they are amazing and superhuman. If you were told you were amazing over and over, you’d probably start to believe it. Fame, money, and idolization affect your world view and behavior. If you’re told you can do no wrong, maybe you think you do no wrong. Opening the door for every scandal, poor choice, and misconduct we abhor.

  • Postal Customer

    What I want to know is, with scandal after scandal, where does the buck finally stop?

    If only there was a person ultimately responsible for the success of the educational community and workers at the institution, and the institution itself. Someone who finds good people. Someone who greases the wheels. Someone has a vision. Someone who does not go to hell and back to light a cigarette. Someone who is responsible. Someone with whom the buck stops.

    If only that person existed. If only.

    In the meantime, Kaler once again gets to fire up the search committee consultancy, dump another $150,000, and find the next guy or gal he’ll have to fire very soon. There seems to be a pattern here.

  • Postal Customer

    Also, that Pioneer Press article misses the fact that there have been non-sports-related scandals too.

    • John O.

      You mean like Markingson? Or maybe you can hop on the way, way back time machine and go to the Rajender Decree.

  • William Hunter Duncan

    When edu turns into a corporatist enclave focused on profit at the expense of making debt serfs of their students, while enriching admin, what do you expect?