A very ugly read

The full EOAA report, and the police report, of the University of Minnesota football team scandal, have been released. It’s 80 horrible pages.

I can see now why the police aren’t pressing charges — the victim would be crucified in court, because she went along with some of the activities that went on in that apartment, out of fear or drunkenness. I can also see why the university is taking action against them, because the football players who participated were awful, ghastly, horrible, rotten young men. I am even less sympathetic with the other team members who are supporting them.

One bit of good news: the other players have ended their threatened boycott. It’s not clear whether it’s because they read the EOAA report, or because UM just got awarded a bowl game.


  1. rayceeya says


    Flyers that look like wanted posters with names and pictures and what each one of them did in graphic detail all over the city.

    That’s how I’d handle it in my home town.

  2. Jessie Harban says

    the victim would be crucified in court, because she went along with some of the activities that went on in that apartment

    Ah, the “You let me borrow your lawn mower so of course I have the right to take your car” argument. If I could pick one absurd claim made by rape apologists as if it were the most ordinary thing and make it physically painful to argue it, I’d probably pick that one.

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    [all emphasis that occurs in block quotes is either mine or is simply a section header/title]

    If you know how to read the legal details, almost everything is laid bare in 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS’ article.

    The players, quoted at the end of the article, say:

    “Effective immediately, we will boycott all football activities,” said senior wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky. “The boycott will remain in effect until due process is followed and the suspensions for all 10 players involved are lifted.”

    Wolitarsky made the statements at Rod Wallace practice field on the university campus with his teammates lined up behind him.

    They are quoted elsewhere, notably in the summary by PZ in his earlier post on this rape:

    Wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky, center, flanked by quarterback Mitch Leidner, left, and tight end Duke Anyanwu, and with the rest of the team standing behind them, read the statement on behalf of the players.

    Wolitarsky said the team wants the players reinstated because they were punished “for things they didn’t do.” Attorney Lee Hutton, who is representing all 10 players, said he is working on their appeals. Wolitarsky said the players were incensed after a brief meeting with Coyle following Wednesday’s practice.

    “We got no answers to our questions about why these kids were suspended when they were just found [innocent] by the law,” Wolitarsky said. “He basically told us that he didn’t have answers, and that led us to believe that this is kind of unjust. He has the power to reverse this, and he won’t.”

    You have to combine the above quote with other bits of the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS article to really get the full picture of what is going on.

    Prosecutor’s Statement

    Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office provided 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a statement earlier this fall about their review of the case.

    “The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office reviewed a case investigated and submitted by Minneapolis Police against several Minnesota Gopher Football players. Based on the evidence available, the county attorney’s office is declining to file any charges. There is insufficient,[sic] admissible evidence for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either force was used or that the victim was physically helpless as defined by law in the sexual encounter. This office will have no further comment on the case.”

    University Standard of Evidence

    According to the University’s investigative report reviewed by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, their investigators wrote about looking at a variety of evidence, including redacted police reports, but they did not get evidence from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

    “EOAA determines whether sexual assault or harassment occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standard. In other words, EOAA determines whether it is more likely than not that the alleged sexual assault or harassment occurred.”

    So, what is going on here?

    The prosecutors, as is appropriate, looked at the rape statute and asked themselves not merely if they thought the accused were guilty of a crime as written in statute and clarified in court precedent… they also asked themselves if it was remotely possible to get a conviction. If they thought it wouldn’t be possible, then they shouldn’t bring charges.

    HOWEVER a conviction happens because of the jury’s decision given access to specific bits of evidence. It can be readily obvious to experts that some scumbag is guilty of crime X even when it is not at all obvious to non-experts. Think global warming: If there hadn’t been a whole lot of discussion about this issue, I would never have read enough to be remotely educated enough to see how reasonable that sea surface temperatures in areas subject to consistent, high-volume upwelling need to be evaluated differently than those areas in which you see relatively little upwelling and/or mixing between surface waters and deep waters.

    The EOAA tries like hell to have people that are at least competent making these decisions while guided by at least one person who is truly expert. Moreover, not being a court of law, they aren’t actually deciding whether a rape occurred according to the definition in statute. They are deciding, more generally, if assault or harassment occurred AND they are also entitled to decide whether any students housed on campus broke housing conditions, any students (which is every player accused) broke any student guidelines, and whether the players broke any scholarship conditions – which includes taking actions which bring disrepute upon the football team or the athletic department or the school more generally.

    So the EOAA is considering a different, wider definition of sexual assault than is written into criminal statute. The EOAA is also considering violations which aren’t crimes at all (breaking the UofM housing conditions or student code of conduct or scholarship conditions). These are things the prosecutors didn’t even begin to consider; the prosecutors certainly didn’t find the players “innocent” of such violations.

    Finally, the EOAA – not being a court of law – uses a different standard of effort. Given a different jury, a different prosecutor, a different defense lawyer, and/or access to different evidence (as a result of different rules of admissibility), even when trying the same person for the same crime in two different universes where the facts of the underlying crime are exactly the same (though the universes diverged somewhere around the time of selection of defense counsel, one presumes) you can get two different results.

    This is in fact the reason that no person can be tried twice for the same crime…
    …if the state could simply keep trying until they get just the right jury, or respond to an unfavorable ruling with new law on evidence admissibility before trying the case again, trials would be meaningless for prosecutors that really have it out for someone. That prosecutor could simply keep making someone’s life hell until they get the verdict they prefer and ship the defendant, now convicted, off to a prison so some warden can make the defendant’s life hell.

    Since we are well familiar with the fact that multiple trials can come to different conclusions, it should surprise no one that the EOAA, operating according to their jobs in using a different standard of evidence and considering completely different possible violations, can reasonably come to different conclusions than the prosecutors.

    But the players, collectively, have decided that it is opposed to “due process” to proceed with EOAA investigations and recommended actions when the criminal prosecutors apparatus has filed an investigation into the players under, “Take no further action, including actively searching for new evidence, unless new evidence unexpectedly turns up.”

    In other words, “If someone entirely different from you doesn’t have enough admissible evidence to lock me up for 25 years, you can’t possibly have enough to bar me from representing your university on the football field for one.”

    There’s a whole ‘nother post in here about their ideas on “due process” and how those ideas have been (mis-)shaped by the MRA-hellholes on the internet.

    But for now, this is enough to understand the issue: different violations, different jury, different standard of proof, and different venue with a different purpose results in a different decision (move forward towards potential consequences vs. stand pat and let more evidence, if any, come to us). Rapists respond by screaming that criminal law is everything and that even allowing people to know someone has been accused of a violation of the law – despite the fact that this is absolutely necessary to conduct any investigation of the accusation – is a violation of right. Football team responds by saying, “Yeah, what that rapist said.” Football coach cries tears of joy: “I’m so proud of my players. They’re totes the best, aren’t they?”

    Fuck this shit.

    This is an easy issue to evaluate – so why can’t I find the quote by the players specifying their bewilderment and (out-?)rage that “these kids were suspended when they were just found [innocent] by the law,” in the same article as someone specifying that different burdens of proof and different evidentiary rules are used by the prosecutors and the EOAA?

    If you could find the quote and the burden of proof issue in the same place, you could figure out what was going on even without a law degree. If you just had the quote – which seems to appear much more rarely in articles about the players’ boycott than other quotes that have appeared in multiple articles – then you could figure it out with enough legal training/education*1. But fuck, you get the quote rarely and never with the burden of proof and I **still** haven’t seen the differences in burden of proof explained*2 in any of the eleven articles I’ve read.

    Rape fucking culture: Smile for the camera.

    *1: which you might get from law school or from a job that causes you to interact with lawyers or otherwise know about the distinctions in venues, etc.

    *2: they are simply stated as fact – this venue uses this burden, this other venue uses this other burden

  4. John Morales says

    Not quite on topic, but I think it sad and weird that this boycott has any traction whatsoever.

    (So, don’t practice and don’t play. Who exactly suffers?)

  5. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I was writing my long comment when PZ updated the OP to say that the boycott has ended. Interesting, that.

    I’ll still hold them accountable for initiating the boycott in the first place, and the coach for saying the boycott made him the proudest he has ever been of his players. (“They have no fucking clue what due process means or how the MRA-vision of due process would further the interests of rapists at the expense of everyone else – Yay!”) But it is positive that they stopped the fucking boycott. I don’t know whether the credit goes to an administration that gave them a credible threat of cancelling the scholarships of every single person on the team or whether the credit goes to players that convinced their peers they were making the wrong choice. Either way, or even some third way, I’m glad that part of the story has ended.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The players decided to end their boycott.

    The University of Minnesota football team’s boycott started with a bold demand for apologies and a threat to skip a bowl game if 10 teammates suspended after a sexual assault investigation weren’t reinstated.
    It ended less than 36 hours later, the university leadership never blinking, and the players backing down amid pressure from many who read details of the allegations.
    The Golden Gophers players announced Saturday morning that they planned to play in the Holiday Bowl, rescinding their boycott after two exhausting days of meetings with attorneys, school President Eric Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle.

  7. gmcard says

    UM had already been awarded the bowl slot before the players started their protest. However, they were testing the patience of that bowl game’s administrators, who could revoke the invitation if they thought UM would not field a team, and offer the slot to another school. And if UM did not go to a bowl game, there was some question of what the NCAA could/would do given that UM has held post-season practices that are own permitted for bowl participants.

  8. chrislawson says

    I know it wasn’t the intended meaning in the OP, but even if she went along with some of the activities because she really wanted to, it still becomes non-consensual at the point she decides she longer wants to take part or is no longer capable of giving consent.

  9. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I suppose this is where it’s appropriate to stick in the link to CrystalClearConsent™. People put enough work into it, might as well get the maximum benefit out of it.

  10. ledasmom says

    The Golden Gophers players announced Saturday morning that they planned to play in the Holiday Bowl, rescinding their boycott after two exhausting days of meetings with attorneys, school President Eric Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle.

    Oh, well, poor things, two days of meeting with attorneys!
    I wonder who has the authority to turn down a bowl game appearance? I mean, not gonna happen, but that does seem appropriate right now. It’s something the players actually care about. Too bad they don’t seem to care about the victim as much, or possibly at all.

  11. ledasmom says

    Also, the actual golden gopher is a very snazzy-looking rodent that does not deserve to be associated with this sort of thing.

  12. geral says

    Against my better judgement, I read a part of the report. Absolutely disgusting. They’re lucky suspensions is all they’re getting. If the University had any backbone they’d forfeit the bowl game to punish the rest of the team for their stupidity and awfulness.

  13. randall says

    I think that’s my boy Eric. He was in my high school class at Alamogordo, NM, valedictorian, scholarship to Caltech, et al. I hope he handed them their collective asses.

  14. stumble says

    @3 Cryp Dyke,

    As an addendum…

    Consent in criminal law and Title IX proceedings are very different. Title IX defines consent as “active, knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is not freely given when it is in response to force or threat of force or when a person is incapacitated by the (voluntary or involuntary) use of drugs or alcohol.” By contrast criminal proceedings generally the knowing voluntary consumption of alchohol or drugs by the victim does not prevent them from giving consent.

    Then as a practical issue in criminal proceeding the prosecutor has to prove lack of consent beyond a reasonable doubt, while Title IX proceedings have a much lower standard. Again Title IX can infer the lack of consent from the situation, like few women would engage in this type of activity, where that inference in criminal law would be prohibited.

    From a criminal prosecution standpoint this would make this case impossible to win. Proving she didn’t consent with this video evidence is just too difficult. On the other hand with the lower standard and admissibility of evidence, in a Title IX proceeding it is almost a foregone conclusion.

  15. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    I don’t generally follow college ball, because of my feelings in regards to “scholarships” being handed out for athletics instead of, you know… being a scholar. However, I do find myself hoping the local Cougars kick some Gopher ass at the bowl game.

  16. Tethys says

    I hope he handed them their collective asses.

    I think he discussed how their scholarships would all be revoked if they continued to pretend that gang raping a girl was trivial and should not be held against them.

  17. stumble says


    Correct the law itself doesn’t define consent. But the Federal guidance that defines the standards schools must meet to be Title IX compliant does. Which is where I got the definition from. As with most federal enforcement standards they are the minimum that the regulated institution must uphold to be in compliance, but the do not set a floor. So schools are welcome to create their own definition that is more protective, they just can’t be any less.