alternate headline: man does job
Ferentz has "no idea" how the UI could have better treated sexual assault victim
One of the "entries" today on ESPN's new Big Ten blog is a phone interview with Kirk Ferentz, in which he speaks about the University's handling of a sexual assault victim - if you haven't heard about this story by now, you haven't been paying attention.
Some key quotes from the interview:
Ferentz on how he feels about addressing the situation publicly: "I would hope people would realize there may two different sides to this last release, if you will. I don't have access to information, to every degree of the letter that came out. But certainly the part I have knowledge of, I'm very confident that the Regents will find that the steps taken by the members involved were first and foremost, of the best concern for the young woman and her family. Everything was followed very properly, procedurally."
What. I mean really, what? Procedure was followed to the letter, never mind the fact that the procedure was fucked up as all hell.
But maybe Ferentz will redeem himself when asked about how he would change those procedures?
Was there anything you would have done differently?
"Not to my knowledge. The bottom line is it certainly appears there was an incident. That will be decided in the proper place, which is not on our campus."
Except that it wasn't decided in the proper place, BECAUSE the people on your campus told the girl to keep it "in house." Gah.
"I'm totally confident that everything was done the way it was supposed to have been done. There's a strict protocol that has to be followed. It was followed, to my knowledge. It's sad that an alleged incident took place, but nobody can do anything about that at this point. What happened after, from my knowledge, everything was handled extremely well."
It's sad that the victim's trust was betrayed by the very people who are supposed to protect her. Man, it's so sad that the University basically engaged in a cover up operation for the benefit of two football players, trampling all over this girl's rights.
"From what I know, at least everyone on campus exhausted every possible option available to them and everything was handled very well. The Regents already came to that conclusion after an investigation, and I'm very confident they're going to come to the same conclusion down the road. The only other aspect of that, I would not be surprised if they readjust the procedure one more time. That may be a result of this investigation. But that's up to them. All the parties involved could do was follow the procedure that's been laid out.
What could that adjustment be?
KF: I have no idea what that might be."
Oh dear lord. All the University could do was follow a fucked up procedure like robots? He has no idea how this situation could be remedied in the future?
I was ready to give Ferentz the benefit of the doubt on this one. I was ready for him to come out and say "I'm not happy about what happened, and I hope it will be remedied in the future because this was WRONG." But no, instead we get repeated statements that the University did all that it could and that since the Regents approved the procedure before (importantly, BEFORE the victim's mother alerted them to the gross miscarriage of responsibility that happened here) then the procedure will obviously be found A-OK now.
Does this interview piss anyone else off, or just me? Full interview here.
EDIT: Apparently a second letter from the mother has been published here. This one's from May 16, 2008. I wonder how much worse this situation can get before it gets better. If it ever does.
Whether or not the charges are true is irrelevant. The problem here is that the UI completely mishandled the accusation when it told the girl "Keep it in house, use our informal process, don't go to the police" and then failed to actually HAVE an informal investigation, while also failing to secure the room and physical evidence. What they should have done is help her take her accusation to the authorities, who would then look into the situation, gather evidence, take testimony, etc and find out what really happened. It's very hard for justice and investigation to be done, and her accusation proved either false OR true, when the whole thing is kept hush hush and away from the police.
This is NOT a Duke situation. I wish it weren't true, but all signs point to "major fuckup" on multiple levels at this point.
on this topic. Remember, the whole reason this is a shitstorm for Ferentz and Iowa officials is because they involved themselves in something they were not qualified for or capable of handling. Yet here we have Captain Kirk...commenting on a situation that he's not really qualified to comment on. Uh, yeah.
A simple "no comment on a pending investigation" would have sufficed. Or, alternatively, a simple refusal to conduct the interview would have done the job as well. But apparently, both in his actions and in his words, Ferentz has learned nothing from this episode.
Here's the problem: the biggest reason we have so little information? The UI kept it "in house."
I'm not passing judgment on whether or not a sexual assault occurred, because that's entirely beside the point. I AM passing judgment on how the UI handled the accusation (and how Ferentz has commented on the situation). I think we have plenty of information at this point to make that judgment call.
the dudes with all the incentive in the world to make it go away were put in charge of protecting this girl. and in the name of helping this girl, they fuck with a crime scene. completely beshitted.
If you're going to claim that this is being reported by "not serious websites" I'll go ahead and point you to the place the story broke, namely the Iowa Press-Citizen, which is a "real paper." http://www.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage
I guess you can keep covering your eyes with your hands and calling those reporting this story inept, but you'll have to face the facts here soon enough.
So uh, would this have to show up on the BBC or something for you to trust the news story?
Give me a break.
In the very post you accuse me of taking you out of context, you take a quote from the article while completely ignoring the statement right above it? Priceless.
"The warrant documents state after Johnson-Koulianos moved into N207, he threw out a new condom and a used condom found behind a bed and a mattress cover with an "orangish-reddish color" substance on it."
I've comented elsewhere here that I don't believe the UI officials or Ferentz ordered a direct evidentiary tampering. However they did nothing to prevent it, and allowed (or even ordered according to some of the info) a player to move into the room (and necessarily clean it up/move stuff around) when they knew it was a crime scene crucial to the investigation of this girl's accusation.
To me, that's just as bad.
I am somewhat familiar with the Duke LaX case, and this is a little different. First, the Iowa woman, I believe, did go to the hospital the morning the regained conciousness. I do not know if it has been reported whether a rape kit was used or not. Second, by not having the proper authorities (police) conduct an investigation, rather the University of Iowa, practically ensured that no evidence, one way or the other, was gathered. This not only did a disservice in not establishing the guiltly party; but if the players were actually innocent of any crime, not having a proper investigation conducted actually hurt them.
In the Duke case, the university, faculty and much of the town immediately came out against the players, before the POLICE investigation was a week old. It was this investigation (despite the efforts of DA Mike Nifong) and the gathering of evidence that got to the truth of the matter. There was no such police investigation in the Iowa case; the woman was pursuaded to go the "informal" route.
FYI, the two 911 calls made by the "second stripper," recorded after the party and the alleged rape, never could be reconciled with a rape taken place only 30 minutes prior. These two call were broadcast within a couple of days of the incedent, but were quickly forgotten.
And by a little I meant is that there is a lot of difference between the Duke and Iowa case.
The guilt or innocence of Everson/Satterfield is sooooooo not the point here. The point is that if an accusation of sexual assault flies around between athletes at a university, the administration officials needed to behave in a much more professional and competent manner.
Suppose it is like Duke lacrosse, and Everson/Satterfield are actually innocent- did UI officials behave in a professional and competent manner that protected their rights? Answer: NO. By not letting the legal authorities gather timely (and if they were innocent, exculpatory) evidence, then those two young men were denied their chance to clear their names. Have we forgotten that Duke University officials stayed out of the way, enabling those boys to "have their day in court"? Everson/Satterfield will never have that chance, thanks to Barta, Mason, Ferentz, et al.
And, in the case that Everson/Satterfield are actually guilty, we don't really need to go over why this young woman's rights were not protected by UI admin officials, do we?
So, no matter the guilt or innocence of Everson/Satterfield, the UI admin officials behaved in such an egregiously corrupt/incompetent manner as to make them wholly unfit to serve at UI anymore. THAT is the point.
To clarify, I'm saying in this situation:
Professionalism & Competence = Calling the Police, NOT tampering with a potential crime scene, not withholding pertinent information from the Regents, etc.
And because UI officials lacked the basic skillset (or perhaps, the incentive) to do these things, then their incompetent and unprofessional behavior here represents a firing offense.
The University should have never been involved in this. Correct. We agree. But we seem to disagree on who's responsible for having the University involved in the first place. Personally, I think the University officials who suggested that they be involved are more to blame.
You seem to imply that it's the parents' responsibility to make sure the police are involved. Well, fine, we agree again (to a certain extent), but that doesn't let UI officials off the hook, not by any stretch of the imagination. UI officials have NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER even suggesting some alternative process to deal with this alleged sexual assault. Fault the parents for going along with it initially if you want, but that does nothing to dissuade me from thinking that these UI officials need to be moved far, far away from college students. They're clearly not capable of being the least bit trustworthy, and the damage done by such conflicted idiocy is too great to risk on any other child.
Again: the fact that this could have been prevented by the mom or victim "getting proactive" in the face of coaches and administrators they trusted urging a different course of action is IRRELEVANT. The POINT is that what DID happen was egregiously wrong on many levels. The people that handled this situation were the ones in the position of power, and they abused it. If you want to talk about whether or not the procedures were appropriate, THAT's relevant. Saying "oh ho ho shoulda called the police right away" is a bullshit copout that avoids the real subject of discussion here.
because the crux of the issue we're dealing with here is whether Iowa officials (Ferentz included) need to be sent packing. With regard to how better to handle a sexual assault case in the future, I'm sure plenty of parents can see fault in what the mother and father and even the girl did. But when it comes to answering the question, "what can we do to ensure this doesn't happen again?", I think Step 1 is to make sure these Iowa officials are not Iowa officials in the future.
Another person's fuckup does not excuse the behavior of Iowa officials here, and I think you agree with that, BGH. But, oddly, while you don't want to excuse Iowa officials here, you somehow want to consider the actions of non-Iowa officials to be relevant to the discussion of what to do with these Iowa officials.
That makes no sense. If the actions of the parents don't in any way excuse what the Iowa officials did, then logically the actions of the parents aren't relevant to discussing what the officials did. Period.
They fucked up, the parents' debatable fuckup does nothing to mitigate that fuckup, and the fuckup is of such a serious nature as to call into question the judgment and competency of ALL of the Iowa officials involved. They should all be gone, one way or another.
The AD hoped he could cover it up and then it 'never happened.' This is hardly the first time someone has taken a huge risk to avoid a lesser consequence.
I’m loathe to get re-involved in this absurd discussion but if I may offer you a suggestion bgh. Rape is not a normal crime that you just call the cops, finger a perp, and anonymously go home. As I’m sure you know, many societies (and certainly the US) attach great stigma to sex and rape. Involving the police would probably turn her into ‘that girl who was raped’ and it’s not hard to envision having to leave school. The trial… Jebus, guys like BlueSeoul pouring over your sex life, reviewing your outfits, passing judgement on your actions. Not pleasant. While I imagine we all would like to think we’d go to the police, is it so hard to understand wanting things handled quietly by someone you trust? Plenty of rape victims never enlist any outside help.
You are correct that the private citizen has a right to call the police on this matter, and that the mother or the victim probably shoud have in this case. I don't see how this is relevant to the point of this whole story (the ignorance of Ferentz's comments) which is that the University ALSO should have called the police.
Now it seems like you are highly skeptical that the claims in the mother's letter are true at all, or think that the reporters are inaccurate or dishonest in their reporting of this story. In light of how the University has responded to the letter (namely: not denying anything in it in the least), and the fact that it never went to the Regents when it absolutely should have and Mason had to come up with some bullshit privacy excuse to justify that action - well in light of all this, I think your postition is a pretty unreasonable (if that is indeed your position).
And to me, what is so paradoxical is that the UI administrators, who are ideally dedicated to truth and knowledge, chose to pursuade this woman to go the only route that would practically ensure that any evidence, facts and truth in this matter would never be unearthed.
And then they have the audacity to pat themselves on the back for a job well done in following their procedures.
but clinging to the myth that "everything was done perfectly!" is not the way to get people to trust you. This was a shitty outcome, and what Kirk is unwittingly doing here is telling the world that at Iowa, this outcome will happen again and again and again and again.
I really have to wonder why Iowa and Ferentz want to tell the world that. The world will not be amused.