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Terrible News

I do not want to write this. I do not want to consider this. I do not want to accept the reality of a world in which this sort of thing happens. But here it is and here we are.

Three Iowa football players are under investigation for an alleged sexual assault at the Hillcrest Residence Hall on October 14. We will not be naming names, although we're sure you can find them easily enough if you go searching for them. These rumors have been around since the middle of October, and we were hoping the silence from the authorities meant there was nothing to them.

Obviously, that's no longer the case.

There is no crime worse than rape. Not a single one. Even murder only accelerates the inevitable; everyone dies eventually. But sexual assault destroys a person's confidence, their sense of trust with the world around them, and their feelings of intimacy. Nobody--not even the most morally impure man or woman alive--deserves to be subjected to such personal hell. If the allegations are true, I hope the offending athletes are dismissed from school and sent to prison, where they may spend many years pondering the consequences of violating the most basic of covenants between man and woman. We here at BHGP--not only as Hawkeye fans, but as men--are ashamed, outraged, and sickened today.

The entire news release is after the jump.

University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 14, 2007

UI Police investigating reported sexual assault

University of Iowa Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred on campus during the early morning hours of Oct. 14.

According to a report filed with UI Police by the victim on Nov. 7, she was sexually assaulted in a room in the Hillcrest Residence Hall.

UI Police confirm that three Iowa football players are being questioned in connection with the investigation. No arrests have been made, and the players' identities are being withheld at this point in the investigation.

UI Police are being assisted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa City Police Department.

Jim Saunders, a spokesperson for the DCI, confirmed that UI Police have requested assistance. He stated that agents and criminalists have been sent to the UI campus to assist with the investigation.

University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 14, 2007

UI officials issue statements on sexual assault report

UI President Sally Mason is traveling but asked that this statement be issued on her behalf:

"The safety of all members of our campus and community is of paramount importance, so I am deeply disturbed to learn of allegations of a sexual assault. The university will do all that it can to insure that the investigation is thorough and that due process is followed so that a just resolution can be achieved.

"The issue of sexual assault has been very much on our minds this year. It is worth repeating what has been said at the various forums already held. Students, families, university employees and community members deserve and expect a safe environment, and we must all work together to create one. This new and unwelcome news is a sharp reminder that our collective efforts have only begun."

UI Athletics Director Gary Barta:

"Sexual assault is a very serious issue and we're treating it as such. I'm obviously concerned for the well-being and safety of the young woman; I'm concerned there are football players included in the investigation; and I'm concerned that we allow the legal process to take its course.

"Because this is an open investigation, authorities have asked me, Coach Ferentz and everyone in athletics to not comment further on this issue at this time."

UI Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz:

"I have talked with Gary Barta on this matter. I share his concern for the young woman and her well-being. Likewise, I am concerned that football players are the subject of the investigation. Because it is an open investigation, I cannot comment more."