consultants are sandburs

Friday, January 06, 2017

After the buyout of his contract by UMn administration, Coach Claeys expressed views on Title IX and fairness.

Strib reports on an ESPN interview Claeys gave two days after the contract severance.

The item deserves attention independent of other posting here. It is quite tightly written, and excerpting will be brief. So reading the entire original item is best:

Tracy Claeys questions Title IX-mandated investigations
By Jason Gonzalez -- January 5, 2017 — 2:58pm

“The university had the right to get rid of me and that’s their choice,” Claeys said. “But the bigger thing is we bring to light this whole process and the Title IX law that does put universities in a tight bind, and hopefully this will be looked at across the country.”

Claeys said the Gophers football boycott was about standing up for fairness in the process. Claeys expressed Thursday a similar sentiment the players voiced by questioning why a university investigation would overrule the results of a police investigation.

“Any type of sexual assault or sexual misconduct is serious and needs to be looked at, and you have it looked at and investigated by law enforcement and people trained to investigate that, and they come back with one decision. And it comes back another way in a [Title IX] process that our kids didn’t feel fair. I don’t know how that trumps an all-out police investigation.

“My personal belief, and this is just me on my own, I don’t know if we want a single office on any campus handling anything that would be like a felony-type of charge that will change a kid’s life forever. [...]

“I think the kids [result of the boycott] got the things that [the administration] needs to do and we’ve also brought light to the process,” Claeys said. “That whole [Title IX] process just needs to be looked at to getting fairness in the system for every student that chooses a university.”

Claeys made no distinction between UMn on-campus and off-campus "supervision and punishment" under its recently amended Regents student conduct code; focusing instead upon Title IX in general, and not in its 2011 and 2014 Dear Colleague and Q and A items sent campuses nationwide under threat of withholding federal funds. Those items likely relate to the most recent amendment of the conduct code.

Claeys also made no mention of the "relative" amount of money the football program earns, especially with the BTN [Big Ten Network] providing conference schools a cut of earnings; with "relative" meaning, roughly, what proportion of the total cash intake goes into preparatory help on notice to and expectations of incoming football recruits, what traps for the unwary lurk largely hidden until the bear trap springs; and on academic and other counseling of a positive type but well short of the Haskins era staff authoring of course content. A greatly skilled athlete can, as Kirby Pucket did, reach the U from the projects, and there is a transition that can be made easier if Title IX attention and resources were devoted that way.

That is not to say serial sexual contact of ball players with one woman in a single bedroom, with onlookers and cellphone cameras is not generally known as improper by nearly everyone; but consider how police were helped by seeing cellphone video of what appeared consensual sexual activity of the complaining woman with two young men, at the same time. Aspects of ongoing hostile environment prohibitions should also be explained if the complainant is a student who could be verbally harassed, absent due notice. Football players taunt and woof at opponents, part of the game, and what's on the field accepted has to be flagged as not appropriate with non-opponents - other students on campus regularly, and of varying sensibilities.

Missives from the government under threat of withholding funds, directed to administrators, does not cut it in terms of due notice to incoming young students of varying backgrounds and sophistication. What was needed to survive and not be picked on back home might be exactly what leads to a hostile environment for other students on campus. Off campus, what's a university doing reaching there anyway? It's for the cops and prosecutors, outside of the campus boundaries; or it arguably should be.

From the Strib item it is unclear how far reaching Coach Claeys interview was. Strib links to it on ESPN online.

Also, from Strib reporting it is unclear if the football players who were punished were told that despite cops and prosecutors; there was still one hell of a big additional landmine called Hewitt, called EOAA, called Regents policy, where a Regents' promise of due process might be vastly compromised, as a nearly hollow promise in practice, in the course of major punishment imposed based upon a poor excuse for a fair-procedures record.

In that sense, the sense of EOAA declining to produce a sound, unimpeachable record, Boss Kaler was hung out to dry by trusting and embracing subordinate output which if successfully challenged by attorney Hutton will become a major landmark administrative embarrassment. The understanding here is that Kaler has no background training in the law; while Ms. Hewitt, who advised Kaler, graduated from law school, is a bar member currently, and has practiced law for years prior to taking her UMn job. One can cut Kaler slack for trusting a subordinate with such a background to hand him an unimpeachable tool with which to set policy by adjudication.

[revised, making sentence fragments complete sentences - stream of consciousnesses has its place but not here] It deserves note that Claeys' interview statements are wholly consistent with, and explaining, his brief possibly misinterpreted tweet of pride in his players. He was tweeting of the boycott decision. He believes the boycott was proper and helpful for the team's collective interest against lax procedure when punishment of any one of them is the issue; that judgments with severe consequences be done fairly; or best to him in his view, not at all by university panels. His belief about the boycott is consistent with his saying that such consequential investigations are best left to those in policing and in County Attorney offices having experience and expertise; and that an institution of learning is not a police force imposing a police state. His words differed, in a more gentle way, but he was not saying that any particulars of sexual happenings that night were okay with him; in any way whatsoever. That was not the tweet's aim, but rather he aimed his attention and support at the positive outcome of the boycott approach - the decision, as a team, to boycott as needed to command administrative attention. Those wanting rallies to fire the man as if he were supportive of assault against women were simply not feeling the rain, while all wet.

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