OT: UVA Murder Article
Summary: Lots of things had to go wrong for something like that to happen. The unique culture of East Coast lacrosse may have been part of the problem.
Bottom line: a terrible tragedy.
The article raised and explained some interesting points, but "well written" is certainly not the descriptor I'd use.
Thanks for the link. I played for a "Landon-like" high school in metro Detroit and this is a spot on portrayl of what is (often times) lacrosse culture. The sport's novelty definitely created a tight inner circle, that truly shunned outsiders. Further, the culture shock of a public university (after attending a private, utopian high shcool) can't be overlooked.
Sorry man, but Liggett lacrosse sucks. My redneck farmtown team beat them my senior year, and only a handful of us took lacrosse seriously.
UVA really wouldn't be much of a culture shock for someone coming from Landon. A lot of its students are very wealthy and it has a country club atmosphere.
As compared to say, Michigan? Having attended both, they are rather similar in student composition and quality.
I don't think it would be a culture shock for someone coming from Landon to Michigan either
UVa has that whole "Virginia Gentleman" thing going on - definitely a different vibe than UofM.
Is UVa the school that requires students to say "Hi" to each other when walking across campus?
No, I've never heard of that.
It's some school in Virginia, but I can't remember which one - there's one that supposedly has an item in its student code of conduct requiring this. Or it's an urban legend.
Definitely not in the 1990s.
Odd title to this thread, but an excellent article. I find the stereotypes applied to lacrosse players to be pretty much spot on.
Edit: I have now read the entire article, and would recommend it to anyone. Seriously a great article on the lacrosse culture in general.....lots of interesting stuff.
That was a very well written article; thanks for the link. Still, no matter the reason, it seems weird to use "Best" and "UVA Murder" in the same sentence.
This is a different Andrew Sharp than the one who was bashing Dorsey, right?
It's over-generalized bullshit.
Look - what if I pointed out the 5 St. Johns basketball players a few years ago wrongfully accused of rape?
Then what if we talked about the Baylor kid who murdered his team mate?
Then what if I talked about the wide-spread use of illegal drugs among basketball players?
How about if I point out the racial and socio-economic homogenity of college basketball?
Often, people do horrible things to one another, and there is no "lesson" or "greater blame". A drunk, over-entitled asshole beat a girl to death because she rejected him. There is no greater lesson here.
The author has a unique perspective growing up and coming from the lacrosse culture. Of course some of what he says is generalized....and that's probably because he says so himself in the article. He also states that it's not lacrosse's fault that this occurred, but that it cannot be ignored. I see where you're coming from, but it's still an interesting read regardless of whether or not you agree with it.
Look, I played lacrosse at a snobby east-coast prep-school with kids that went on to play DI lacrosse for major programs. I know "the culture". I also don't know any murders, rapists, or what-have-you.
If we're going to talk about the endemic culture of violence in lacrosse, let's talk about the endemic culture of violence in athletics.
I seriously don't see anything in the article that suggests the lacrosse culture is full of murderers or rapists. It's more about people with an overblown sense of entitlement, almost to the point where reality becomes blurred when the real world situations arise. Based on this kid's past and current actions, this writer seems to have at least created a solid foundation to build an argument off of.
To act like entitlement, the objectification of women, and alcohol abuse is a lacrosse problem and not a "college male athlete" problem is absurd. That's my point.
That's an excellent point, and I totally agree, but do you think he's singling out lacrosse because he thinks its worse? I think this guy just took it upon himself to write about something he has experienced himself and knows a lot about. I would imagine he would agree with your point 100%.
"There is no greater lesson here."
Thank you. I seem to recall stories of redneck poor country folk from my home town doing the same thing. The truth is that it happens everywhere there are men and women. The explanation in that story smacks of an "insider" engaging in sensationalism.
Just because it happens everywhere, and people of all shapes and sizes do it doesn't mean there aren't lessons to be learned. How about the fact that the guy had been arrested multiple times but had never been redflagged?
The bottom line is that there are things to be learned from almost every instance like this that could help prevent it from happening again. How do you think Murders ever get solved? Or Murderers ever get convicted? By police officers and lawyers who look back at previous occurrances to guide their investigations.
Here the author is saying we may be able to look at this and prevent similar things from happening again. He isn't saying lax is to blame for the murder but that the lifestyle certainly played it's part.
If bringing a better light to this "lifestyle" could potentially keep something like this from happening again then I would say there is a lesson to be learned. Of course, this is just my opinion, and you are entitled to your own.
If I recall the stories right, he'd only been arrested once and it was for drunk in public and resisting arrest. How can anyone figure we ought to be redflagging everyone who gets a drunk in public charge slapped on them? The link between murder and Huguely's prior arrest(s) is so flimsy there's no way you can apply any lessons to it. It's tantamount to the Justin Feagin situation.
I googled the story because as a Canadian I had heard nothing of this story before. He had multiple run-ins with the law prior to this and the resisting arrest was actually an assault of a police officer when she tried to escort him off a street he was standing in the middle while drunk. He also was uttering verbal threats (telling her he was going to kill her and the other police officers and passers by).
He also got in trouble in Florida while a minor for public intoxication and a few other things that I read. His father called the police in regard to a domestic violence occurance on his boat while in Florida. He had gotten physical with Ms. Love on previous occasions as well from the articles I read.
Also, a red flag can be given to someone who has never been arrested if their behaviors warrant it (I would think). I know in Canada they can anyway and this guys behaviors that I read about could easily have given him one here.
I guess my point is, there is more than you are describing in your post.
It's still the kind of stuff that takes a long, long leap of faith to link to murder. We're talking about an argument on a boat (which isn't illegal), an MIP, and a resisting arrest charge. If the Freep was all over Rich Rod for bringing in a kid with that kind of a background, every single one of us would post about how stupid they're being. Every year all you ever need to do is peruse the Fulmer Cup for thirty examples of worse behavior. What is anyone supposed to do? "Hey, you got angry at your dad once on a boat and you drink even though you're not 21, so we're going to put out a protective order against you for anyone you've ever gotten angry at?" Counseling even if you've done nothing against the law?
The media is chock full of these "find a reason, learn a lesson" stories and that's where they dump it - boom. "Gee, what lessons can we learn from this?" Solutions seem to be scarce, because they're infinitely harder than tut-tutting about "the lacrosse culture" and "red flags" and "lessons." I've only ever seen one proposal to change things in the wake of this, and that came from the UVA president himself, and even that was met with "umm, err, gee, that's tough, all kinds of issues with that, you know. Don't know if we want to do that. It's really complicated." And it was nothing more complicated than notifying the school if a student is arrested. The victim herself didn't go to the police about this guy, ever; how can we expect anyone else to jump on it? And how would you react if you were told you had anger issues and we're counseling you whether you like it or not, based on that argument you had on a boat last summer?
As a Dr. we look at cases all the time and try and figure out what we can learn from it so that it doesn't happen again. Sometimes there are revolutionary results and sometimes we simply conclude "shit happens". It doesn't make the practice of trying to learn something in the face of tragedies a useless endeavor.
Seriously, you seem to be from Virginia and taking this all very personally. What did they do at VT after the massacre there? Did they simply say "Shit happens and there is nothing to learn here" or did they try and learn from their experience?
I can tell you what they did, because my sister is a professor at a University here in Canada and attended a conference where some faculty from VT spoke about the event and changes that subsequently took place afterwards.
I was saying you don't need to be a convicted criminal to be considered a danger to others. After the fact many people are saying he was an aggressive person and all these events together, along with his history with the law and this lady inparticular, could have shown that this event was a lkely outcome.
I wasn't trying to imply that everyone that does these things is a likely murderer, but likely offender.....probably. Anyway, I made my point and you made yours, I guess we just disagree.
I played lacrosse at Michigan with some guys from that area (one actually from the same hometown as the victim) and I've got to say they seemed to grow up in a different world than I did. I grew up in Metro Detroit in a working class family so I didn't have this enclosed, over-privileged lacrosse community that the author describes.
Anyway, the guys I played with were all great guys and I could never see them doing anything like this, but the way some of them habitually used drugs and alcohol was a bit shocking. They'd show pictures of their high school teammates partying at D1 schools, doing lines off girls' breasts and whatnot. I'm not saying it's to blame by any means but it definitely is a different lifestyle.
All I'm saying is that for the most part, there were 2 types of players on the team: Michiganders and East Coasters. On the whole, the Michiganders didn't partake in that type of partying and some (not all) of the East Coasters did.
and think that the author is simply coming to the wrong conclusion by making lax his main focal point. He was on the right track when he was talking about the money and private schools but I think starts making erroneous links when he jumps to lax.
Having been one of those priviledged kids growing up I can say everything he discusses is common to kids from that type of family. Not to say every child who has parents with money will follow that road, but kids who don't have it have a very difficult time trying to afford it.
On the same note, not all the kids I hung around with murdered people either but many had problems with the law that, because of who we were, got swept under the rug. This made it seem like we were above the law and led to many of us having criminal records as minors and having that feeling of entitlement the author describes.
I guess my point is that he has a lot of good points, he just draws the wrong conclusion in thinking that lax is one of the main contributing factors as opposed to it being money in general.
Honest questions: Did you play lacrosse? Did your high school offer it? How about basketball?
My point (assuning your answers are "no, no, yes") is that it is hard for those not familiar with the sport to understand how it truly is it's own culture. Did he do it because he played lacrosse? Of course not. But the god-like status he seemed to have been granted as a result MAY have.
EDIT: Just saw your post that you did play. So then you know the culture. It isn't a knock against the sport...I love it too. But, from my experiences, these personalities aren't uncommon.
We don't need to psychoanalyze this one to death. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
and a terrible tragedy, but man that guy has a tendency to repeat himself.
'As I said, it's a culture of entitlement.' 'The entitlement, and the close knit groups, they have an effect.' 'I'm just saying what I've seen, but it seems like they all follow each other, keep the same circles, and because of entitlement and power, they change.'
The word "culture" appears in the article 15 times. He's really trying to nail that point.
It's really not "a fine article." It's a good point wrapped up in an abortion of literary quality.
Really? If douches are revered that much at Virginia, it tells me they need to spend more time and money on their football program...
Football isn't that big a deal at Virginia. It's entertainment, not a religion.
Chitown sentiments. I find this article to be rather offensive to my sense of human decency. Wasnt there a "regular child fantasy" camp they couldve sent him to avoid such behavior??? (WTF!). Save the "you have to understand the plight of the rich white male who cant function with lesser life forms. Or. "It's the culture of LAX." Bottom line someones daughter and sister was bludgeodon by a spoiled little man (allegedly).
I couldn't agree more. Lax "culture" or rich suburban culture, it is the responsibility of the individual and parents to have a realistic view on life. I live in a well to do suburb of Chicago (disclaimer: I am by no means well off), and it is embarrassing the way some of the high schoolers in this town act. But the bottom line is this kid was brought up knowing nothing of the real world and never had to work for anything, and felt he could do whatever he want. He made the choice, he chose to pursue his actions. He is at fault, and I hate to say it, but his parents have a small role in this too, but don't sit there and blame a sport or a town. Take responsibility for yourselves and your children.
I agree with chitown that this article takes some huge leaps. I think that the duke lacrosse case was a more poignant time to look at "lacrosse culture" than this. Without knowing more, the connection between this murder and lacrosse seems to be that both murderer and victim both played lacrosse. There are plenty of murders that have nothing to do with lacrosse. Unfortunately, everybody kills, murders, steals from you, steals from me.
In my opinion, we shouldn't be making Terrelle Pryor jokes when talking about actual homicides.
I could be wrong, but I found it to be the perfect time for a Terrelle Pryor joke.
I agree with chitownblue.
I don't doubt that there's a "lacrosse culture" of partying and entitlement. But how is that different from the stereotype of, say, basketball as one of, hey, you guessed it, partying and entitlement? It's just that with basketball the partying happens in da club and the entitlement is because the kids are from poor ghetto backgrounds and deserve the money. Or so goes the stereotype.
Cocaine culture in lacrosse. Steroid culture in baseball. Marijuana in the NBA. This is hardly unique. Rae Carruth was not proof of an entitlement culture in the NFL. I suspect the author, while earnest in his intentions and belief in the words he writes, is an unknowing victim of the same insular atmosphere he writes about. In his own eyes, he is an able-eyed independent viewer of the culture he has been exposed to and sees many of the "insiders" there as unable to move outside of it - instead, the joke's on him, so to speak; he's as much an insider as they and while qualified to write on what he sees, he misses its true relation to the outside world.
I went to the same small all-boys lax-powerhouse middle school as George Huguely. He was 2 years ahead of me so I only knew him from his dominance on the lacrosse field.
I really think the "LAX culture" is an overplayed meme. To suggest that Huguely did this because he parties with people who wear the same sunglasses and flip flops as him is ridiculous. He's an asshole and he probably would have been an asshole if he played soccer instead of lacrosse.
As a follow-up to what I said - anyone remember the partying culture depicted in movies like "Varsity Blues"? (Granted, it's Hollywood, but there are plenty of real-life applications. Life imitates art.) This is a lacrosse thing insofar as a lacrosse player was the perp and a lacrosse player was the victim; therefore it affects the game of lacrosse. That's where it stops being a lacrosse thing; it is not the other way round. There isn't a "lacrosse culture" so much as a "17-22-year-old" culture. In Texas it's a "football culture." In Canada it's a "hockey culture," and the large point is it doesn't matter what the sport or the background or even if a sport is involved at all. I didn't need to be on the lacrosse team in college to get stinking drunk and hit on girls or be at places where that goes on, and neither does anyone else.
Very sad for the girl, her family and the community but it's only news because she's a white woman. I haven't watched CNN in a very long time but I'm sure Nancy Grace is exploiting her death for ratings.
My dad's take on it was just the opposite: part of the reason it's not on the 24-hour news cycle is because the victim was white and not black like the Duke girl. No hate crime or race aspect = not as interesting.
I think it's because of the oil spill and the Times Square bomb that it's not the #1 story, but hey.
Some disconnected thoughts:
First, this is a great thread. Vive Le MGoBlog.
Second, I'm somewhat torn as to what to think about the referenced article. I think it's well-written (the college-aged writers at my university's student paper don't write like that) and well-meaning, as many have said. On the other hand, I agree with Chitown et al. that it misses a larger story about male sports culture, and ends up grasping at straws a bit.
On the third hand, there is something intrinsically different about the largely wealthy, largely white, highly insular world of D1 LAX that I don't think you get in many other sports. I'm trying to think of a comparison case, and I'm coming up short. Maybe water polo? I'm not sure it matters a whole lot in terms of this case, however. Sometimes a jilted, homicidal fucker is just that.
Finally, I think the article is a great example of what happens when tragedy befalls privileged white people, especially privileged white women: explanations are needed. I'm willing to bet that the press coverage of Jasper Howard's (to take only one example) murder, both in volume and in tone, wasn't anything like this coverage, in the sense that there's no real collective cognitive dissonance when a black football player from the inner city is killed. White LAX player from the suburbs? How could this happen? Explanations are needed. It's understandable on one level, but sad as well.