Monday, June 25, 2012

Sex and College Sports

As many of us did, I followed the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia trial with mixed emotions. I didn't sit in that courtroom. I didn't hear the testimony. I watched the verdict when it was returned. And it brought back a memory I'd rather not think about.

Those of you who read this blog may remember an earlier post where I ended with "I was raped."

I was. On my college campus. In the classroom where I taught Freshman Composition. By a football player. Two weeks before the Rose Bowl game.

The player, a starter on the team, came into class with a form for my signature. He wanted me to give him a passing grade so that he could play in the bowl game. He was riding a solid F, because he'd only been in class three times all term, had never turned in a lick of work. I told him to stay after class when I fully intended to tell him why I couldn't sign his eligibility form.

Instead, this starring player decided I wanted to have sex with him. He told me so during the attack and afterwards. He attacked me on my desk, raped me and left.

I went to the campus health clinic, had a rape kit done, filed a report with the campus rent-a-cop, and another with the real police.

And then I marched the eligibility paper and copies of both reports into the head coach's office. I pitched a major league fit until he saw me. He brushed off my claim until I made him call the player into his office. I faced my attacker and the coach and proved the player had attacked me. His right had was wrapped in a bandage. Under it was an infected bite. A deep one in the webbing between thumb and forefinger. So deep that my teeth went through that webbing. The player said I liked rough sex and he was just giving me what I asked for.

The coach believed the attack happened. Hard to ignore a pus-filled hand. He had someone else sign the eligibility form. My attacker played in the bowl game. My university lost. I couldn't have been happier. The player left school immediately after the game, never charged with a felony.

I often wonder what happened to him. I should Google his name to find out what prison he's in, but I just don't care. The system let me down, but by biting him, I left a mark that won't go away.

He didn't leave a similar mark on me. I survived his rape and moved on. May Sandusky's victims find the same strength and move past this. Sandusky won't.


Vonnie Davis said...

My son went to a Division I school on a wrestling scholarship. The wrestling coach was a past Olympian wrestler. He was outgoing, jovial, dynamic--and a nut case.

Take the time he took 2 qualifying wrestlers to Nationals in Oklahoma. One young man lost his first round. The coach went ballistic, took him back to his room, beat him and tied him to a chair with the phone cord he'd yanked from the wall. He gagged him and told him he'd be back to beat him some more.

The boys parents had traveled to Oklahoma to see their son wrestle. They went to the team's hotel room to make sure he was emotionally ok since he was now out of the competition. When they knocked on the door, no one answered. However they could hear someone thumping around. Their son was legally deaf and wore heaing aides in each ear. They figured he'd simply taken them out and couldn't hear them knocking. The father went to the manager, explained and asked him to unlock the door. When he did these shocked parents found their son tied to a desk chair, scared to death.

They created such a stink!!! And rightfully so. What did the coach get? The university said he couldn't wrestle live with the team members anymore...unless he was showing them moves.

The next year Mike, my son, was slated to be the college's next All-American. Then his head started playing games with him. What if he wasn't good enough? He lost the first match of the season. Then the second. At three in the morning, the coach called the team members to the gym. He put all the guys in a circle and took my son in the middle. He told them if he lost his job, they would all lose their scholarships. Then he proceeded to work Mike over, knocking him unconscious twice. My son, who is no weakling, said he thought he was going to die.

When the alarm went off for classes that morning, Mike couldn't move his arms to turn it off. He paid a friend to drive him home to me--a 3 hour ride. One eye was swollen shut, his nose broken, lips split and he couldn't raise his arms. Nor could he open and close his jaw. I flipped and went into protective momma mode. I wanted to take him to the hospital. He refused. He truly believed if the police got involved his coach would lose his job and then his teammates would suffer. I finally convinced him to at least go see a choirpractor. He worked on him 3 times that day. He saw him every day for a week until he was well enough to return to college. Mike ended up having 2 surgeries on his neck. He could no longer wrestle. The coach got zero discipline from the school because wrestling was such a big money maker there.

Mike still does not know I did a little investigation on my own to find out where the coach lived. I drove to that coach's home. When he answered the door, he met one pissed-off momma. Before he knew what hit him, I had scratched his face and kneed his groin. I kept asking him why. His response? He wanted to see if my son had it in him to be a winner. I pounced on him again. I should have been arrested.

Eventually we took all medical records to a lawyer to sue the coach and the university. We were told state law (PA) prohibited employees at a state run university from being sued. They wouldn't take the case. So except for my ten minutes of "woman-whipping", the coach got off scot free.

There are many such stories, I'm sure. Collegiate sports harbor many criminals...just like the rapist who attacked you.

Betsy Ashton said...

Vonnie, I'm so sorry your son when through what he did. He could have been killed or end up injured for life. He's lucky he had such a tiger mom. I'd have kneed the bastard in the groin, too. In my case, the bite worked better. Permanent scars!!! Thanks for adding to the conversation, even though your son's encounter was painful for both of you.

SkinnyChick2B said...

Wow - I HATE that this happened to the both of you. My sons have been very involved in sports and thankfully we've not experienced this sort of thing. Betsy - you are so brave for sharing your story and I wish the university had taken it more seriously.

Doug said...

Wow, Betsy. I already knew you were such a courageous person, and now I am even more amazed by you. Thank you for sharing your story...

Doug said...

Wow, Betsy. I already knew you were such a courageous person, and now I'm even more amazed by you. Thank you for sharing your story! said...

Betsy, Reading your story and Vonnie's filled me with sadness. I wonder what happened to humanity to make us willing to sacrifice other humans in the name of winning a sports game. And why we're so willing to protect perpetrators while trying to keep the victims quiet.
Thank you for sharing another chapter of your story.

Sally Roseveare said...

Betsy, this makes me so furious!!!! Grrrrrr!!! And Vonnie, I'm so sorry about your son.