Rape Is Rape

I've been watching the whole Penn State/JoePa mess unfold and this interview just made me sick:

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It's so clear that Franco Harris Just.Doesn't.Get.It. At all.

The statements that "it wasn't a football thing" turn my stomach.

It made me glad - for perhaps the second time since graduation - that I went to Hamilton College. The firing of Eugene Tobin was one such time, not because I disliked Tobin but because there was a principle at stake and Hamilton did the right thing (which hasn't always been the case).

But there was one other event, something that happened while I was there, where the Right Thing was done. A friend of mine was on a sports team - she also had a slight drinking problem. One year, at the winter sports banquet (held off campus) she had a little too much to drink and wanted to go "home." She mentioned this and one of the assistant coaches offered to give her a lift. The Big Coach approved. And on the way home, the assistant coach stopped the car...

I got involved because my friend came to my room, very upset and disheveled. She told me and another friend what happened, after which the other friend took her off to another dorm. Which was a good thing because shortly after the assistant coach came to the dorm looking for my friend. According to him, "she was upset and drunk and [he wanted] to make sure she got back to her dorm safely." Only problem was, according to my friend, he'd told her to go to her room, take off her clothes and he'd be up as soon as he'd parked the car. I mean, a car's so uncomfortable, right? So why not have a follow-up in a real bed?

My friend reported the rape. The school investigated (I was questioned) and - unlike at PennState - both the Big Coach and the assistant coach were fired. Immediately.

Now, Hamilton is a much smaller school. When I was there they were Division III and didn't play in any post-season tournaments. PennState, of course, is Division I and makes a ton of money off that. Still, rape is rape. That the right thing wasn't done until now? Unforgivable.


Aravis said...

I hug you for this, love Hamilton for that, and hope that your friend found peace one day.

It wasn't a coach, but a couple of lacrosse players/frat boys who got me. I didn't have friends like you to stand by me at the time. You may never know how much that meant, but thank-you for being that person for her.

Jandy said...

Having been out of town last week, I missed all this. My brother told me about it this morning. One of the things he told me was that the whistle-blower received death threats because of the firings. What are those people thinking? The whistle-blower should be praised, not threatened.

Congratulations for being the friend in need. As Aravis said, it's important when you are lucky enough to have someone available.