Quinnipiac: Sports uber alles?

Arrested B-Ball PlayersEvery week, Quinnipiac University shows up in newspapers on the East Coast. The most likely reason for the name appearing is a citation to a poll completed by the excellent Quinnipiac Polling Institute. If it’s not that, then it is the aggressively competitive Quinnipiac sports teams.

Unfortunately, the most recent sports news out of Quinnipiac is the story of two basketball players who have been arrested for sexually assaulting and urinating on a young woman. I suspect that the university will be doing everything possible to minimize the public discussion of this event. But I’m not sure that is appropriate. We should recognize the shame that this brings to our community, and we should do something about it. To my mind, the only appropriate response is to dismiss the two students immediately.

I fail to see why any other approach is appropriate. One of the players has been suspended for the rest of the season. This suggests to me that the university finds his behavior unbecoming of a basketball player, but a relatively minor issue when it comes to his status as a student. I think the difficult, but appropriate, response in this case is not to be quiet about it, but to be noisy. I think this would be an excellent opportunity to make a very public statement about the university and where our priorities are. We should take this shameful act, and publicly condemn it, and demonstrate that while other universities might consider this behavior worthy of a hand-slap, we consider it to be against the core values of community that make up our institution.

That would be a much more appropriate response. I am sorry to say that I doubt it will be the stance taken by Quinnipiac.

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  1. Posted 11/19/2006 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    I almost have to sympathize for the QU PR staff. I wouldn’t be surprised if this story goes big. In my experience, the PR staff usually has an uphill battle to convince administators that the bad press isn’t just going to go away (at least, not before it gets much worse). It will be interesting to watch how the administation deals with this as the story unfolds.

  2. Posted 11/19/2006 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    first, yuck. damn. double damn.

    second, much respect for talking/blogging about this publicly. sports are, at small schools and big schools, big big business – a public response to something like this takes some integrity.

    third, when you say, “I think the difficult, but appropriate, response in this case is not to be quiet about it, but to be noisy,” i say, “i agree.”

  3. Jon Cooper
    Posted 11/20/2006 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    It’s difficult to bring these types of incidents to light, even on public university campuses. Private schools can put the clamps down a little tighter.

  4. M.
    Posted 11/21/2006 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Have these young men been brought to trial and convicted, or have they been charged and not brought to trial yet? If the second, perhaps suspension is appropriate for now. In the last six or seven years, it’s been difficult to remember that the tradition in the USA is to consider an individual innocent until he is proven guilty, no matter the charge….

  5. alex
    Posted 11/21/2006 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Obviously, I agree that they should not be precipitously dropped. But, a couple of things:

    1. There isn’t parity between a b-ball suspension and not a student suspension. I think they should go hand-in-hand. If youthink that suspending them from the team is appropriate, then I think it is also reasonable to suspend them from school until a determination is made.

    2. I’m not sure it needs to be “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If there is a clear indication that they did something wrong–let’s say a decent amount of evidence–we are a private university and should be able to boot them. Even if they have committed no crime, I think we can and should hold them to a higher standard.

  6. Michael Cuddy
    Posted 3/28/2007 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    The behavior of these two kids is a disgrace. They should be thrown out of Quinnipiac.

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