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.