BEST VICTIM - 2000
It's a good guess former Gophers coach Clem Haskins never thought a 50-year-old, somewhat frumpish office manager would or even could take him down. But that's exactly what Jan Gangelhoff did on March 10, 1999, when she blew the whistle in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, alleging academic fraud in the men's basketball program. By admitting that she'd written more than 400 pieces of course work for players between 1993 and 1998, Gangelhoff guaranteed an NCAA probe and prompted a swift internal investigation, which led to the ouster of the unrepentant athletic director, Mark Dienhart, and McKinley Boston, vice president for student affairs and athletics. What was most impressive about her performance, though, was the way she managed to parlay her action into penance. She had "struggled for a long time" whether to disclose the allegations. She wanted to help the kids. She'd never do anything to hurt them. Blah, blah, blah. A few local sports columnists had the gumption to rightly question her motives. But the media at large let her off the hook. In return she provided them with all the award-winning footage they could handle--hanky in hand, crying on cue.