University of Minnesota football rules called 'Date rape/Gang rape' a 'pitfall' to avoid

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Getting cheered on by tens of thousands of fans is great, as long as you don't fall into the "pitfalls" of raping someone. Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

A review of the University of Minnesota's suspension of 10 football players involved in an alleged sexual assault found the school did nothing wrong

Nice when it works out like that. Especially when you paid for the report, as the U of M did in this case. 

Those suspensions later led to a threatened boycott from the entire U football team, which said it would skip the Holiday Bowl unless ths suspended players were reinstated. Then someone leaked the (horrifying) report on which the suspensions were based, and the team dropped its boycott threat.

Ultimately, five players involved were suspended or expelled, and five were reinstated.

At the time, many were discouraged to see team leaders had discovered their right to protest only when a woman accused their fellow footballers of rape.

This week, it's a footnote in the larger report that's got people wondering just what, exactly, Gophers football players were being taught about sexual assault. As noted on Deadspin, an attachment to the report submitted to the University lays out the team's "three core principles," its "team rules," and a list of potential "pitfalls around college athletics." 

The "principles" ("toughness," "accountable," "intelligent") are meaningless, and the rules ("play hard," "be a good teammate") are boring. It's those 15 "pitfalls" everyone's talking about. 

Some seem to fit that word, pitfall -- defined as a "hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty" -- like the warnings about "using a fake ID," "underage drinking," "plaigiarism/cheating in class," and "gambling." All the sort of things colleged undergrads might fall into without thinking it through. 

But pitfalls Nos. 7 through 9 are pretty fucked up.

Sexual harassment, rape, gang rape, and criminal assault don't really feel like examples of "unsuspected danger," and anyone who thinks they are should immediately be classified as a "suspected danger." 

Also, if you are going to make a terrible list... can we get "gang rape" above "parking tickets"?  

The two-page document also includes some very basic instructions on how to treat people. "Respect all nutrition staff and interns. Disrespect will NOT be tolerated," it says. In another section: "Respect weight room staff at all times."

The first of the five rules is "act right," and the very last line of the document reads: "Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

You'd think some of this is just basic human decency. Then again, if you're used to people describing you gang raping someone as a thing that might just happen to you, maybe you need to be reminded.

 


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