Friday, July 20, 2012


A couple of updates:

Stuart Taylor and I had an op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, examining the . . . considerable gap between how Penn State responded to the scandal of the Spanier/Paterno cover-up and how Duke’s trustees and administration responded to their lacrosse case failures.

The op-ed focuses on the (almost comical, in retrospect) conclusions of the Bowen/Chambers report—for background, you can see here and here.

The H-S reports that next week, the State Bar will send a letter admonishing pro-Nifong crank Sydney Harr to cease practicing law in his attempt to represent false accuser and accused murderer Crystal Mangum.

The article’s most interesting comment, however, came from Woody Vann, Mangum’s attorney. During the lacrosse case, Vann distinguished himself as one of the fiercest of Nifong enablers. Even as Nifong moved toward disbarment, Vann told the AP, "Nobody knows anything about the previous 28 years. The cases he's tried and won, and the cases he's tried well and won."

Now, however, Vann has changed his tune: “I’m the first one to say I don’t think it’s good for my client to have her name in the same paragraph with … anyone who is a member of the Committee for Justice for Nifong. All that does is tie their names together and dredge up memories of 2006 and 2007 and that’s not what we’re dealing with.”


Anonymous said...

So the NC Bar will send a letter admonishing Harr - and what exactly will that accomplish? My guess is that he will continue in the same vein as he has in the past. Those associated with CGM and Nifong seem to believe that they can do whatever they want. That no real consequence for their actions occurs only reinforces this belief.

The column in the WSJ the other day was good to see - though having to look upon the visage of the oleagineous Brodhead while eating breakfast almost resulted in indigestion.


Anonymous said...

After reviewing three pages of the comments to your Editorial at the WSJ, I'm convinced that that was an accurate random sample showing that a full 1/3 of their readership do not have reading comprehension skills. Wow!

C'mon, WSJ readers, zero in! Put those thinking caps on!

Anonymous said...

Is Bowen a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Is Chambers a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Is Vann a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Reading the NCAA imposed penalties for Penn State. Good, and I wish it were more! Years of hiding and enabling.....what would the penalties be to the Catholic Church if there were the equivalent of the NCAA in the God World. ??
Let's continue to remember who the victims are in Happy AINT Jerry, Joe, and the Three Stooges.

Chris Halkides said...

Several sportswriters have commented on how the NCAA sidestepped regular procedures.
Stewart Mandel of SI wrote, "...even if that meant revoking the traditional due process afforded every other school that's ever been punished by the NCAA; invoking a nebulous, generalized bylaw about promoting integrity that could easily apply to hundreds of lawbreaking players, coaches and staffers across the country every year; and creating a precedent for dictatorial-like intervention that must now be considered every time a scandal of any proportion arises in college athletics."
Dave Zirin of The Guardian quoted an anonymous former NCAA official: "This has nothing to do with the purpose of the infractions process."
Andy Staples of SI wrote, "The NCAA's policies exist because the member schools voted them into existence. To bypass them is to silence the voices of the governed."

Anonymous said...

the National Communist ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION has punished innocent people, small businesses in the penn state area, players who lost their scholarships, economic sanction imposed on the community ...the guilty need to be punished NOT innocents...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, KC, the heavy NCAA response -- $60M in fines, just for starters -- may help to show why Duke did the crafty thing in NOT launching an honest and thorough examination of their own conduct.

Where would it have gotten them? It would have paved the way for heavier and easier civil damages, even in the ongoing suit by the unaccused players.

Sure, an honest response might have helped the Duke administration recover some dignity, but hey, you can't pay faculty salaries with integrity (obviously).

No, once you've sold your soul like that, you're not gonna get a refund -- better to keep covering up, eh!

Anonymous said...

Burness and the Duke 88 will suffer "chapped ass syndrome" for the rest of their careers because their prototype victim turned out to be a liar, their crusading DA turned out to be a law-breaking criminal, and their prototype villans turned out to be, well, dumb drunk college boys who did NOT assault, rape, or even given Mangum a wet willie.
How Burness can pontificate after his vilification of the LAX guys is a testimony to the power of the hypocritical mind

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the opinion section of the WSJ. That's the part everyone gets for free, because its value is in spreading propaganda like manure.

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.12:

An interesting point.

I suppose I would counter in the following way: elite universities in particular purport not to be motivated by the bottom line. Indeed, their very rationale (academic freedom, pursuit of knowledge & the truth) is based on the idea that they're not businesses, & that they don't make decisions solely based on the bottom line--especially if those decisions threaten the fiber of the institution. Much of the recent resistance to the ouster of UVA's president was based on this premise--that the regents were too bottom-line, and failed to recognize the intrinsic values of departments like Classics and German to the mission of the University.

Duke, of course, has every right to adopt policies that basically suggest that whitewashes of the Bowen/Chambers type are the appropriate & only response when administrators and/or faculty members violate the basic principles of higher education & in so doing expose the university to potential financial liability. But having made that decision, it becomes rather hard for the university to credibly assert these principles at any point in the future.

So while you're 100% right that you can't pay faculty salaries with integrity, you also can't place a pricetag on how a university violating its core principles will affect its long-term health.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.00pm:

Thanks for your (anonymous) comment.

Alas, the only links I've seen for the op-ed were paywalled. Based on your comment, it appears that you have seen a link in which everyone could see the op-ed for free. Please either send me the link or place it in the comments section.

Many thanks--and thanks for your continuing readership of DIW!!

Anonymous said...

The entire op-ed is available for free to anyone who knows how to use the Google. Apparently righteous indignation trumps any concerns over sticky things like copyright violations. Funny how that works sometimes.

KC Johnson said...

To the 7.12:

Anonymous @12.00pm claimed that the opinion section of the WSJ is "the part everyone gets for free." As far as I can tell, that's not true--the op-ed was, and remains, paywalled. Whether other sites copied & pasted it isn't the issue--other sites can do the same for paywalled WSJ articles. By that standard, the entire WSJ would be (and is) available for free. Anonymous @12.00pm, on the other hand, was making a distinction between the opinion section & the news section.

Again, I hope that the regular DIW reader anonymous @12.00pm will send me a link to the op-ed--as designated by the WSJ--as "the part everyone gets for free."

Or could it be that anonymous @12.00pm typed before actually looking??

PaulV said...

I went to WSJ link and clicked on comments and somehow story appeared above comments. Lots of loony comments there.

Nadrich & Cohen, LLP said...

I'm doubtful that will actually accomplish anything!

Anonymous said...

KC, any rebuttal to the comments
in the WSJ regarding your article?
I think that the comments didn't
address your point of the
difference in which the
two 'scandals' were handled.

Big Al

Anonymous said...

Lots of loony comments there.

I loved the one about how everyone has forgotten about the other scandal at Penn St., namely climategate. I think there's some study that indicated that, for Republicans, the more education one has, the less likely that person is to believe in climate change. I suspect there's probably a fairly strong correlation to WSJ subscribers as well.

Anonymous said...

Is Vann a Marxist?

KC Johnson said...

To Big Al:

yes, I'll be working something up.