"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
JinC News has just learned Duke University’s President, Richard (“Whatever they did was bad enough”) Brodhead, is this year's Sheldon Award winner. The Sheldon is awarded annually to the university or college president selected as America’s worst.
In The New York Sun we read
“[t]he award is a statuette that looks something like the Oscar, except the Oscar features a man with no face looking straight ahead, whereas the Sheldon shows a man with no spine looking the other way.Many other feckless, left-leaning and whinny higher ed presidents provided tough competition.
But according to Sheldon Award chair and sole selection committee member John Leo, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, the ultimate selection was an easy one: Brodhead was clearly the worst of this year’s nominees.
Leo explained in his NY Sun column:
[Here] is what Mr. Brodhead did: On hearing the first reports, he abruptly canceled the lacrosse season, suspended the two players named in the case, and fired the lacrosse coach of 16 years, giving him less than a day to get out.I’ll be saying more about Brodhead’s well-deserved Sheldon recognition but right now I want to get the news out to you because John Burness and his people at Duke News haven’t yet issued a statement concerning this latest recognition of the kind of leadership Brodhead’s providing Duke.
This helped create the impression that the players were guilty.
His long letter to the campus on April 20 did the same thing. He didn't say the boys were guilty, but he talked passionately about the coercion and assault of women, the legacy of racism, and privilege and inequality — all of which fed the anger aimed at the lacrosse team.
Mr. Brodhead did nothing to deter the tsunami whipped up against the players by some students and the Group of 88, an alliance of mostly radical race and gender professors.
One of the looniest of the 88, Houston Baker, answered a polite and worried letter from one of the lacrosse moms by calling her "the mother of a farm animal."
Without any comment from Mr. Brodhead, the protesters issued death threats, carried banners that said "castrate," featured photos of lacrosse players on "Wanted" fliers, and banged pots outside the boys' residences in the early morning hours to disturb their sleep.
A word from the president about leaving the boys alone and guaranteeing them a fair trial would have been nice.
Like Mr. Brodhead, the Group of 88 did not quite call the players guilty, but praised the campus protestors for "shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman."
No comment about that from Mr. Brodhead and no comment from him on Mr. Nifong for nine months.
An engineering professor at Duke said, "There never was a clear sense that the students were innocent until proven guilty."
Congratulations Richard Brodhead, Sheldon laureate 2007. And you should resign.
You can read John Leo’s NY Sun Sheldon column here. I think you’ll agree that while the other Sheldon nominees deserved consideration, Brodhead was clearly the worst of the lot.