Sunday, April 23, 2006

A consciousness-raising at Duke?

I haven't written too much about the Duke lacrosse scandal. I was going to say alleged scandal but whether there was a sexual assault or not the whole thing (party with stripper, violent emails, etc.) is pretty scandalous regardless of what else comes to light in the coming weeks and month. Anyway, I haven't written too much about it because the stories seems to change daily. I mean this thing is in the news constantly. I don't know how anyone is getting anything done down there at Duke. Even an alumni weekend was interrupted by a Q&A with Duke president Richard Brodhead who came under attack for scrapping the season, the coach, and suspending the two players charged in the event.
My comments aren't about the suspensions, though, but rather an interesting remark by 1970 grad Joe Baden who bemoaned the fact that because lacrosse isn't as popular or as successful as Duke's NCAA-championship-winning basketball team they got cut apparently without some kind of due process. G-d, don't you just hate it when teams at the same school aren't treated equally, Joe? I mean really--where is the fairness in that? Baden is pointing out here that some teams seem to be more important than others and are given certain accommodations/considerations that others are not. Wow--he has just shattered all my illusions about equality in intercollegiate athletics.
OK--the dripping sarcasm may be a little over the top but I needed to point out that equality only seems to get some attention when A) a privileged group of men become subject to the actual rules and laws that they had previously been able to skirt, and B) when another privileged guy is the one pointing these things out.
Also of note in the lack of female alums mentioned in the article. Wonder if they would have been the story if Brodhead hadn't taken the measures (which some still see as a too little too late response from the administration) he did.

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