Football, the South and bigotry

Can somebody explain the difference between this

Mr. Ruiz, the former prosecutor who handled the case for the state attorney’s office, recalled that the coach at the time, the revered Bobby Bowden, attempted to convince him that a crime had not occurred. A jury eventually acquitted the player.

“I learned quickly what football meant in the South,” said Mr. Ruiz, who grew up in New York State. “Clearly, it meant a lot…”

… and this?

In a speech Wednesday night, Slive described his job thusly: “…I am the trustee of a sacred public trust, and if you live in the South, you know exactly what I mean.”

‘Cause I’m not seeing one.

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47 Comments

Filed under College Football

47 responses to “Football, the South and bigotry

  1. Bulldawg165

    “the revered Bobby Bowden, attempted to convince him that a crime had not occurred. A jury eventually acquitted the player.”

    Sounds like he was right.

  2. Moe Pritchett

    I am guessing that….a New York yankee discovered that football is in fact pretty important in the south on one….and Mike Slive, a Connecticut yankee, could have told him that.

  3. Normaltown Mike

    Well, one was deduced after an alleged rape and subsequent pressure to cover it up by an unscrupulous (“aw shucks”) coach.

    The other was deduced from managing an athletic conference.

    • SC

      Yeah, I’m with NM. One was concerning a crime, the other was concerning some selling their agenda (which, though it is a potentially BS agenda, is not to the best of my knowledge criminal).

      I get what the post is going for and agree with the sentiment — invoking the sacrosanctity of Southern football can be used for good or evil in many different ways — but the link was a little bit of a stretch.

  4. Rhymerdawg

    Honestly, I think that derailing Mr. Ruiz yesterday for his sweeping inference and drawing a link between the two is hypocritical.

  5. Dog in Fla

    My Counsin Vinny learns about higher education the South

    “FSU Officials Tried To Broker Rape Deal”

    “Assistant Leon County State Attorney Adam Ruiz said FSU President T.K. Wetherell spoke to both parties in the case, and the school’s vice president of student affairs tried to get the woman not to press charges in exchange for Johnson getting counseling and leaving school for six months.

    The proposal would have allowed Johnson to return in time for football season.

    FSU officials acknowledged Thursday that Wetherell’s talking with the students involved in a sexual assault case was unprecedented, as was Student Affairs Vice President Mary Coburn’s attempt to mediate the five-point agreement before the criminal matter was resolved….

    Johnson’s accuser testified she spoke to Wetherell after she decided to press charges.

    In a Feb. 27 e-mail obtained by the Orlando Sentinel under the state’s public records law, Coburn laid out a 5-point offer to the accuser.

    “Even though Travis does not admit this wrongdoing, to avoid embarrassment to himself, his family, the university and you, Travis has agreed to withdraw from spring semester and not return until Aug. 8, which is football reporting day,” Coburn wrote in the e-mail. “He has also agreed to receive counseling and provide documentation to me that this has taken place.”

    The e-mail also stipulated that “all parties agree to keep this matter confidential” and “not pursue any further legal action.”

    Ruiz said the proposal was “bizarre at best. There was an attempt to try and broker an agreement between her and the defendant, and this case either would not go public or would not be sent to law enforcement. That I know. I don’t see how anyone can attempt to resolve a case of this nature of sexual battery by a contract with stipulations.”

    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-08-15/sports/0308150026_1_wetherell-and-coburn-johnson-s-accuser-sexual-assault

    • 69Dawg

      There is gambling in this establishment, I am shocked, shocked to hear it.

    • Rp

      This is why universities should stay the hell out of sex crime allegations other than referring them to law enforcement. They are not law enforcement agencies and have no freaking clue how to investigate or adjudicate potential criminal matters.

  6. awreed79

    It’s kinda like using the “N” word. Slive is one of us (not born in the South, but he is the SEC commish), so it’s okay.

  7. Spike

    For the record, I don’t give a damn how they do it up north…

  8. Derek

    Have you heard any rap songs? I don’t advise you use some (one) of those words. Groups can say what they want about themselves, but they really resent it from people not belonging to the group. It’s pretty natural and easily understood. I can say things about my friends and family that I’d hurt a stranger over really bad.

    Besides I don’t need no Yankee asshole talking about how we over emphasize football while I’m mortgaging the trailer for bcs tickets!

    • Which yankee are you referring to, because they both aren’t from ’round here.

    • Minnesota Dawg

      This was a story that needed to be written and read, and I’m glad that it was. It’s really too bad that the real message of the piece seems to be getting lost (at least to members of this audience) in this defensive posturing about something which is fairly-well understood–that football is very important in the South, and possibly, for some, even to an unhealthy and corrupt extent.

      It’s too bad that the story didn’t appear in the Tallahassee paper, a Florida paper, in the AJC, etc. It’s too bad some acceptable, good-ole boy didn’t do the work to present this disturbing account. But, guess what, that didn’t happen. And maybe instead of asking why a Yankee wrote the story, maybe you should be asking why a local or a Southerner didn’t. You may not like the source, but that doesn’t mean that the story is bad or that the straight-forward implications are wrong–unless it is suggested that important facts have been fudged because of a bias against the South (which, frankly, doesn’t seem to be the problem here).

      • Rp

        I would recommend that you not believe anything you read about a high profile rape allegation (or other crimes with social/political implications) in the media. The only statements you should belive in these situations are those made by first hand witnesses, under oath, and after they have been subjected to cross examination by the accused persons’ attorney. As far as I’m concerned nothing in this article should be believed or relied upon.

        • Minnesota Dawg

          Nothing? I have a feeling that the NYT libel attorneys might take issue with this belief. I do appreciate that one must judge the credibility of certain accounts, behavior, defenses, excuses, etc. to come to certain conclusions. Further to your opinion, I doubt whether being under oath makes that much of a difference.

          • Rp

            Not saying that I know none of it is true. Just saying that there is way too much history of completely inaccurate and irresponsible reporting in these types of cases for prudent people to rely on this type of story. Jury acquitted, that is the best information available concerning Winston’s actions. As far as the police investigation, if an FBI or official state of Florida probe with subpeona powers finds wrongdoing I would rely on that. Not the NYT.

            • MinnesotaDawg

              “Jury acquitted”? I don’t think so. I know you made it clear that you wouldn’t believe it if you read it…but did you read it?

      • Q

        “maybe you should be asking why a local or a Southerner didn’t.”

        Seriously? Atlanta, Jacksonville, Mobile, Nashville, Tampa, B’ham are all protecting FSU.

        • Protecting FSU? No. Tolerating a botched investigation of a star football player’s actions and a prosecutor’s levity at the presser when he announces no charges will be brought? Tolerating the active involvement of a head football coach and university president in the criminal investigation of another football player? You tell me.

  9. AusDawg85

    Slive was speaking at UMass, and his audience, upon hearing the quote, looked around at each other, shrugged collective shoulders, and had absolutely no idea what he meant.

  10. Deutschland Domiciliary Dog

    My momma taught us never to use the “Y” word in polite company. Then, damned if my sister didn’t go marry one.

  11. Brady Hoke

    You Southerners sure do go above and beyond to protect your players. Kudos.

  12. 3rdandGrantham

    In many respects, I’m glad I no longer live in the deep south, though I was born and raised in north GA. The football culture is just too over the top and misguided, which is hard to ascertain until you move away for at least a year and look back with a clear prism.

  13. McTyre

    The two statements indeed share a recognition that CFB is a very importent institution in the South. However, the key difference is that the negative connotation in Ruiz’s statement – unintended or otherwise – invokes cultural stereotypes. Obviously, CFB powers in every region have at times gone to despicable lengths to keep star athletes eligible. The only bigotry apparent in this story alleging a Winston rape coverup or this blog discussion is – and this is a stretch – the handful of commenters deriding Ruiz’s NY roots. If Ruiz intended to say that “this happend only in the South” then that’s a bigoted statement. I think the bigger point to make here is the troubling tendency – a human condition rather than a regional or ethinic one – to reserve one’s moral indignation for “the other guy’s” people or institutions. Rather than judge everyone by the same moral standard, one tends to lower the bar when the questionable behavior is closer to home (family, sports team, political party, etc.). When law enforcement/university apparently follow procedure based on whether they adequately value the citizen/student that is a severe form of discrimination in itself. I hope that someday that the NCAA and law enforcement “reward” Coacjh Richt for running a clean program and treating [eople with respect, but I’m not holding my breath.

  14. Moe Pritchett

    Ruiz did leave one a slanted caveat to this little herring…..B1G teams have been known to protect coaches shower privileges. I guess that must have gotten lost somewhere between State College and Wall St. Granted that’s a pretty slipper slope; goose and gander.

  15. Big Shock

    I see those two comments as being very different. I see Slive’s comments reflecting how important SEC sports, especially football, are to the people of the south. It’s his job to ensure that it remains important, that the traditions continue (except for the occasional conference reallignment), that the conference maintains national prominence, that the love that the fans feel for the programs continues. I see Ruiz saying that in the south, football is above the law…that winning a football game is more important that a girl getting raped. That’s just not true. With the exception of lunatic fringe, fans want to win the right way and they want good players and good people to represent their university.

    • Again, I don’t agree with your interpretation of what Ruiz said. But I’m curious – did you happen to read any FSU message boards or blog comment threads during the height of the Winston mess?

      • Big Shock

        No, but I’m assuming that there were a lot of FSU fans that just wanted to see Winston get off and play the rest of the season. Then there are people that think that the girl is full of crap and just wants to: bring down the program…get attention..make money…etc. I’m sure those people exist, but I think it’s the minority…probably consisting mainly of fans who never attended the university and will never have children attend the university.

  16. Turd Ferguson

    Breaking news: Context affects meaning. Story at 11 …

  17. cube

    Football apparently means a lot in the North too. Penn State covered up serial child rape for years b/c of it.

  18. If they had as much evidence as they did on O J he would not have been convicted in Tallahassee.

  19. I’m a white churchgoing Christian UGA grad who’s never lived anywhere north of Lynchburg, Virginia, so please take that into account when I offer the following constructive criticism.

    If the topic du jour is a botched rape investigation that has resulted in a brutal sexual assault going unprosecuted or an innocent young man potentially living under a cloud of suspicion for the rest of his career, and the first thing you can think of to get outraged about is how some random New York attorney hurt your fee-fees as a Southern football fan, the only advice I can offer is to wipe away your tears, hop up off your fainting couch, and get some fucking perspective.

    • … or an innocent young man potentially living under a cloud of suspicion for the rest of his career…

      That’s the thing easily overlooked here. Botching the investigation didn’t do Winston any favors in terms of his perceived guilt or innocence. But it sure helped FSU keep a valuable player on the field.