Ramble on the Roof -mts -lew -cd

Torrin Thatcher

As a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, I was definitely surprised by the so-called “outrage” that has been brewing for the last two weeks. A little fraternity party in Wisconsin doesn’t deserve all this talk and the members shouldn’t have to defend why the party exists; it simply provides students a fun Saturday night. Many more stories deserve people’s attention that involves not only men’s actions towards women in sports, but also other classless individuals. Let’s start with a story that began as a motivational story for girls, but ended much worse.
Katie Hnida was a kicker on her high school varsity football team in Littleton, Colorado and was named one of the most influential teens in the U.S. by *****People Magazine*****. She hoped for a scholarship offer from a Division I school, but accepted a walk-on offer from the University of Colorado.
After not receiving any playing time in Boulder, she transferred to the University of New Mexico. During a game in 2003, she became the first woman to score in D-I history when she booted two extra points in a 66-point victory. This was obviously a big moment in sports history and should have ended that way, right? Wrong.
After leaving Colorado before the 2000 season, she stated she was a victim of sexual harassment by former teammates. In 2004 Hnida, along with fellow female students, claimed they were raped, molested and sexually abused by her then teammates.
How did the Colorado head coach, Gary Barnett, respond to all of this? He said that she was awful at football and that her teammates didn’t respect her because she wasn’t any good. Barnett was promptly suspended and eventually left Colorado. Hnida graduated from New Mexico in 2005, and wrote a book in 2006 describing her tales of abuse and sexual assault while at Colorado.
Need other stories to read? Brush up on the men’s Duke University lacrosse team scandal where they were falsely accused of rape, or the Don Imus comments about the Lady Rutgers basketball team.
When the WNBA formed in 1996, female college basketball players continued playing basketball professionally. The league has had a total of 18 teams in league history; four folded and two moved to different cities because of money issues. Making money starts with putting butts in the seats.
The average WNBA attendance for the 2007 season was 7,742 — the worst drew 3,710 and the best drew 9,749. The NBA’s lowest was 12,221 attendees. It’s not like these WNBA teams are playing in tiny gyms or something. The venues used for the WNBA teams are those of their NBA counterparts.
This lack of attendance helps explain why the maximum salary for a WNBA player is 100,000 dollars, while some guys in the NBA are making over 20 million. Men’s sports are obviously the much larger draw in athletics.
Instead of concerning ourselves with the dress of some young women at the SigEp house, maybe we should look at some well-known names that sparked little controversy. Wilt Chamberlin, one of the top players in NBA history, claimed to have slept with over 20,000 women in his lifetime. Do people remember him for that report or his 100-point game in 1962?
Marion Jones admitted to doping in the Olympics. She, along with her innocent relay members, lost their medals from the Olympics. Travis Henry, running back for the Denver Broncos, has nine kids with nine different women and reportedly borrowed money from the Tennessee Titans due to falling behind on child support payments. Do people care about this or do fans hope he scores more touchdowns than he has kids?
Need some more? How exactly did Magic Johnson contract HIV? Why didn’t Michael Vick or “Pacman” Jones play in the NFL last year? Jared Allen of the Vikings is one abuse penalty away from a year-long suspension. The Cincinnati Bengals have a long list of players who have been arrested over the last few years. It’s also been rumored that Michael Jordan, in his baseball time, was suspended by David Stern, the commissioner, for his gambling problems.
You see, our party last weekend should not even be discussed so intensely because there are much bigger things happening across the states that should be of greater focus. I bet a large percentage of our students have no idea who Katie Hnida, Travis Henry, Gary Barnett or Don Imus are.
Why doesn’t the anonymous posterer whip up some images of criminal athletes and explain why we should not watch sports? That’s what the focus here at Lawrence should be instead of wasting time arguing about some party that lasted several hours in a controlled environment.