In the days since the bizarre saga of Manti Te’o‘s nonexistent girlfriend hit the Internet, among the questions posed to no one in particular, some have been pointedly aimed at Notre Dame. Why would the school throw so much weight behind Te’o's version of the story, which appears to have some serious holes (see the Quote of the Day below)?
Well, Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock has an answer to that in his latest column — and he’s not pulling any punches.
According to Whitlock, the reason that Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick stood up in front of reporters and was willing to stand behind a story that doesn’t add up is no different than the motivations of the media which didn’t fact check itself. He says the apparent shock on the part of the media is disingenuous to the point of being hypocritical.
But it’s not just the media that takes Whitlock’s wrath. It’s the entire institution of the NCAA as a business. Whitlock’s certainly never been one to shy away from commenting on racial issues, but his latest assertion is sure to raise a few eyebrows, as seen in his excerpt below:
Let me remind you of Walter Byers’ confession. Byers, a white, conservative from Kansas, created the modern NCAA and wrote these words in his 1997 memoir ‘Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting the Student-Athlete:’
‘Today the NCAA Presidents Commission is preoccupied with tightening a few loose bolts in a worn machine, firmly committed to the neo-plantation belief that the enormous proceeds from college games belong to the overseers (administrators) and supervisors (coaches). The plantation workers performing in the arena may only receive those benefits authorized by the overseers.’
That’s not the race card played by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or me. That’s unvarnished truth from the owner of the plantation.
Also, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Whitlock touches on the reported sexual assault by a Notre Dame player and subsequent suicide of Lizzy Seeberg. Some in the media, Whitlock included, have pointed out the hypocrisy of the incredible amount of coverage of the relatively inconsequential Te’o story as compared to the dearth of coverage of the suicide of a student some say was directly related to a lack of university support and victim blaming after she reported her claims against the player.
Yup, that’s Patrick Chung taking his turn as a cameraman during the Celtics’ matchup against the Bulls at the TD Garden.
“I think I’ll never forget the time when I found out that, you know, my girlfriend passed away and the first person to run to my aid was my defensive coordinator …”
–Manti Te’0 to ESPN’s Chris Fowler on Dec. 8, two days after he supposedly learned of the hoax
This seems likely.
Edmonton Oilers rookies Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz having a skills competition you’re not soon to see at an All-Star Game.