03.19.09

Hey Cinderella, Show Us Your Tits: Duke’s First-Round Victim Earns Another Round of Scrutiny

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, History's Great Hook-Ups, Lower Education, The Law at 11:08 pm by

Brendan Flynn had some good comments on my Portland State post; we probably could have gone back and forth all week, which only serves to underscore the main point of my post – that the topic is probably worthy of some in-depth coverage in the Oregonian. Especially considering (as I updated), that Portland State itself publicly admitted its Division I status was in danger the next day.

My other point amidst the verbiage was that, during this time when we romanticize the small schools and the mid-majors and underdogs, they aren’t all the same, in terms of academics, money, or philosophy. Having a double-digit in front of your line on the NCAA bracket isn’t necessarily a mark of purity. The New York Times‘s Pete Thamel has already explored this topic with regards to Binghamton; today, he reports the university has been named in a federal sexual misconduct complaint (H/T to SI.com):

A woman who raises money for Binghamton University athletics has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging œegregious acts of sexual misconduct by two senior athletic department officials.

Elizabeth Williams, a major gifts officer for Binghamton athletics, began processing the complaint with the E.E.O.C. on March 5 and formally filed it Tuesday. In it, she named Jason Siegel, a senior associate athletic director, and Chris Lewis, the assistant athletic director for development….

Williams was hired in March 2008 as the university™s regional director of major gifts, and she switched to raising money for the athletic department in January. She said the harassment began her first day in the department, when she was told by Lewis that she needed to engage a donor at a Binghamton game because he liked œchesty, loudmouthed women.

One week later, Williams said, she attended a dinner in New York with Siegel, Lewis and major donors from a fraternity. Soon after dinner began, she said, a donor began putting $100 bills on the table and asked her to tell him to stop when there were enough there for her to sleep with him.

According to Williams™s complaint, Siegel and Lewis encouraged and participated in harassment the rest of the night. She said that they speculated on her chest size and that Lewis suggested she strip for a donor who was planning a bachelor party.

At their hotel after dinner, according to the complaint, Siegel grabbed Williams™s breast in an elevator and told her he wanted to œmake sure it was up to standard. She said Siegel spoke with her the next morning in the lobby, saying: œWe™re all O.K., right? Nothing happened last night.

Williams said similar behavior continued at work, where she said Siegel consistently stood close enough to touch her body, stared at her chest and spoke to her using sexual innuendo like œusing her assets. When she made a work recommendation to Siegel in February, she said in her complaint, she was told she was œnot hired to have opinions, but rather to look good and flirt with donors.

And let me add, I am glad to be publishing this on a blog where there won’t be seven comments in the next half-hour asking for her picture.

7 Responses to “Hey Cinderella, Show Us Your Tits: Duke’s First-Round Victim Earns Another Round of Scrutiny”

  1. Pete Segall says:

    One of the brittle and six-years-too-late-to-be-of-any-use blogs in the Times yesterday had a spiel about the question of the commercialization of the Tournament. One of the contributors was William Dowling from Rutgers, who’s made something of a career wishing it was still 1920, at least as far as college sports are concerned, and he made a point of singling out Harvard as a “real college” that hasn’t “prostituted itself.” The same Harvard whose men’s basketball coach was accused of chatting up the parents of a recruit who had committed to another school. In a Shop-Rite. Ethical cruddiness is pandemic in this sport and one of the biggest problems is the number of power wielders and apparatchiks who insist it’s not (especially in small schools).

  2. Chris B says:

    do you have a picture of her?

  3. Jason Cohen says:

    Cheapest straight line ever and it still took 13 hours. I actually wrote this post having not see Deadspin’s earlier item, and sure enough…

    I think it’s even more than that Pete – everyone, the sports media especially, buys into the paradigm, and singling out the worst examples and the times when people are actually held accountable (if not always THAT accountable) allows us to pretend all of the rest is working fine.

  4. ric says:

    Really late to this post, but I remember reading in the Knight Commission or some other NCAA committee report some years ago that the overall student body was more impacted by athletic programs at smaller universities. Though athletes don’t get scholarships at Harvard, they still are admitted with lower standards. While at Ohio State, the football team is a tiny percentage of the student body, at say Harvard, they’re a much larger percentage. Speaking of campus’ where atheletes are overrepresented, is Tommy Amaker the coach of Harvard discussed above?

  5. Pete Segall says:

    Ric, Harvard can essentially give scholarships. They can’t be called such – and because it’s a beautiful Saturday, my son needs a snack, and Washington-Purdue looks like a decent game so I won’t go into the details of Ivy athletic arcana – but they are de facto scholarships. Theoretically any Ivy can “match” these scholarships but effectively only Princeton has the resources – but since both schools use such heavy amounts of their endowments for financial aid and said endowments are in the proverbial if not literal pisser at the moment, it’ll be interesting to see how this evolves. (And yes, Tommy Amaker is presently Harvard’s coach.)

    Jason, I don’t think it’s the sports media that buys into the paradigm; it’s the sports media that’s created, perpetuated and maintained the paradigm (if I’m reading you correctly). The self-congratulatoryness of actual gotchas like Binghamton is just part and parcel of the same narrative.

  6. Jason Cohen says:

    Well, if by “media” you start with the broadcasters and rights holders, sure. And in the age of consolidation, obviously there is (literally) no difference between Fox Sports and newspapers.

    Some of the other points take us back to Brendan’s comments on my other post – is it necessarily horrible if a few marginal kids get Harvard educations? Maybe, if some other non-sports kid didn’t get one as a result. Maybe not.

    Or if it’s a public university, that raises a separate set of issues.

  7. charlie smith says:

    do you have a pic?

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