Lies, Damn Lies, and Big Ten Media Day

NOTE:  I Fan(!)Post(!)ed (TM) this one, because we said we're not going to talk about this for a while.  Yes, it might be BHGP Reloaded, but for fuck's sake, someone's got to start actually paying attention to what's coming out of the mouths of the administration.  If the media won't do it, I guess we will.

Also, please pardon the language.  It's 4:30 in the morning and I can't sleep.  Mom, don't read this.  I hear Oprah's website is very nice.

You are WRONG!

You know, it was less than a week ago that, after getting more or less bitch slapped by the Board of Regents for failing to turn over documents considered essential to the Board's investigation of what was either a fuck-up or a cover-up, Gary Barta told us how "challenging" it had been not to tell his story and how, after meeting with the Board, he was going to tell us all just what had happened.

Turns out, neither he nor any other member of the University administration decided to wait.

The University took its lumps in the emergency meeting last Tuesday, but was spinning like a top by the end of the week.  Now, a look back at the bullshit, speculation, and baldfaced lies given to you by the UI:


First, a complete fabrication by Sally Mason.  From her interview in the wake of the Regents meeting:

The mother had claimed that UI athletics officials failed to alert Phillip Jones, vice president for student services, about the alleged assault.

Jones would have been alerted, Mason said, if the internal reports prepared by the athletic department and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity on the alleged assault hadn't been put under seal by a judge because of the criminal investigation.


While it's questionable whether the athletic department's internal reports and the EOD investigation were subject to the seal, the timeline simply does not corroborate Mason's tale.  According to the mother (and in one of the few points not being argued by the UI), she first made contact with Jones on November 15; in fact, she did so at the request of the general counsel.  Judge Potterfield did not seal any records in this case until the next day.  At no point prior to November 16 was there any order demanding the university withhold anything.  By that time, Jones had been notified.  Oh, and the "informal" procedure so conveniently implemented by the university?  It required Jones be notified, so that any potential issues involving housing (like the alleged perpetrator LIVING THREE ROOMS AWAY) could be fixed.  This, my friends, is a lie.  There is no other way of characterizing this statement.


That wasn't Mason's only fib this week.  As you know, the University initially argued that the mom's letter was protected by FERPA, and therefore was not disclosed to the Board of Regents.  This is a legal absurdity along the lines of "waterboarding isn't torture," and Marc Mills is an embarassment to the legal profession for even attempting to justify such a withholding.  Good thing it only took the Sally Mason spin machine 48 hours to understand that fact. 

Mason told the board the UI administration, based on legal interpretation from its counsel, Marcus Mills, thought that FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal statute that protects the privacy of student records, prevented the university from sharing the letters with the board.

Mason admitted to the board the university's interpretation was wrong.

"There is no excuse for the failure to turn over those letters as part of the investigation that you directed the Board of Regents office to conduct in the wake of the report of the assault," she said.

Of course, that's all well and good if the letters are the only things withheld, right?  Um, Sally?  WRONG!

Letters from the mother of an alleged sexual assault victim were not the only documents the University of Iowa failed to turn over to the Iowa state Board of Regents during the initial investigation of how the assault report was handled, UI President Sally Mason said.

Among documents withheld from the regents were letters from UI officials to football players implicated in the assault telling them not to retaliate against the alleged victim, a student-athlete, Mason said Thursday.

The documents, which amounted to a "small box," according to UI General Counsel Marc Mills, previously were concealed from regents based on an inaccurate interpretation of a federal student privacy law, Mason said. Those materials have now been turned over to the regents, who have opened a second investigation into how the UI dealt with the high-profile case.

Wow, there must have been a lot of letters to those football players, considering they filled a "small box."  Any bets as to what else was in the box?  Were the only documents initially produced for the Board of Regents a copy of KOK's one-page playbook and an IHOP placemat colored by Gary Barta?


Finally, a nuanced finagling of the truth by Mr. Integrity himself.  When asked point blank at BXI Media Day whether he had removed Everson and Satterfield from the squad by the next game after the alleged assault (Purdue, 10/20), Ferentz first refused to answer the question, then gave us this gem:

I can’t think of an instance where I kicked anyone off immediately. They were suspended immediately. As the week went on, and my conversations with parties involved were ongoing, I finished on Thursday (four days after the alleged incident), 6 or 6:30 on Thursday it was my last information gathering conversation. I made the decision at that point where we were going. It’s not as simple as saying you are off the team. To remove a player from school, I don’t have that power to remove a player from scholarship immediately.


Let's take a look back at exactly what the head ball coach said in the days following his revelatory investigation into this incident.  In the wake of the October 20 shitkicking at the hands of Purdue, Ferentz was asked why Everson didn't make the trip.  His response?

"He came up short in a couple of departments last week and we opted not to bring him," Ferentz said. He was then asked if the problems were on the field or off.

"That's a matter between (them)," Ferentz said. "It was my choice not to bring him. We'll see how it goes."

So...Everson is still on the team?  And what the fuck are the "couple of departments" where he came up short?  The "not raping women" department?  The "successfully avoiding getting your coach into a year-long investigation of what the hell is going on in his program" department?  The "not losing in-state offensive line recruits to Michigan Fucking State because they have more 'discipline and structure'" department?

No answers there.  How about three days later, at his weekly press conference?

Q: Is Cedric Everson in good standing?

KF: Well, that's pretty much about where he was Saturday, I guess.  That's probably the best answer I could give you.  He wasn't with us Saturday.  Things haven't changed an awful lot.

Q: Is he practicing?

KF: No, huh-uh.  Didn't last week.  I guess Thursday would have been his last day.  He's not in good standing.

Q: Is he off the team?

KF: He's not in good standing.

So...Everson "is not in good standing"?  Is he suspended?  Dismissed?  None of the above?  It wasn't until November 13, with the criminal investigation underway, that Ferentz formally announced Everson and Satterfield were suspended.  Maybe it's a game of symantics, but take another look at those two statements.  The word "suspended" is never used, though God knows he could have added it at any given point.  Those aren't statements made to warn of a future dismissal; those are "Cedric missed 2 classes this week" statements.  There is only one conclusion: HE CLEARLY EXPECTED TO GET THESE GUYS BACK ON THE TEAM.  To say now that they were immediately suspended is fudging the truth at the best and lying at the worst.

I have to wonder if the administration has purchased their Olympics tickets yet.  They've already dug themselves halfway to China.


Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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