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Ohiodad51 Senior Member

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  • Re: Latest Football CTE Study Report: Parents' Thoughts?

    I have what I believe to be a pretty unique perspective on this issue. I was a kid who would not have attended college or been able to lead the life I have without football. I also have a son who was blessed with more economic opportunity than I was, and who playes football even though he had other opportunities to further his education. We both played at roughly the same level in college, and indeed our schools occasionally play each other. So I have had a pretty up close and educated look at how the game and players have evolved over a fair amount of time.

    I think that there have been some very positive changes in the time between our two careers. Helmet technology is light years ahead of where it was in the 1980s. The changes to rules about practice opportunites and defenseless players are on balance a good thing. Education and monitoring is much, much better. I have no idea how many concussions I had, because back in the day if you got your "bell rung" you went on the sideline until you could tell the trainer what stadium you were in and maybe what the score was. Then back at it. Very different today. Field surfaces are another often underappreciated but significant improvement (playing on the original astro turf was like playing on worn out carpet). Even with all of those improvements, the violence in the game today is far beyond what existed a generation ago. With the evolution of training, weightlifting and especially nutrition guys today are far bigger, stronger and faster than a generation ago. My son and his teammates would physically manhandle any of my old teams, not that I would ever admit that to him. At some level, the human body is just not capable of absorbing the force directed at it on a modern D1 or worse NFL field. Add to this the increasing number of games played in both Division 1 and the NFL and no matter how good the technology gets, concussions will happen.

    That said, you have to recognize that football is a game often played by those who do not have a lot of economic or cultural opportunity. It is not soccer or lax or swimming. Certainly I would have played even if we were aware of the risks back in the day. There are thousands of kids in the same or worse position who gladly make that same choice today. I don't think that will change.

    As far as the larger culture, I doubt football will lose its position as the dominant form of entertainment any time soon. While I think people do recognize the violent nature of the game, in many ways it is impersonal, because the guys suffering the consequences are for the most part NOKD (not our kind, dear). In this respect, it is important to remember that the corruption among boxing promoters had a whole lot to do with the loss in popularity of boxing, probably more so than Ali's problems.

    Strictly speaking as a parent, I would not have allowed my son to play as a youngster unless he was in a situation where he was getting appropriate coaching and safety equipment. I think that a lot of the problems that occur in football are the result of weekend warrior coaches at the lower levels who have absolutely no idea what they are doing, and are only coaching because they want little Johnny to play quarterback so he can be the next Tom Brady. I think that is where the real danger is, not in the NFL or even college where you now have state of the art equipment and medical personell, and for the most part, adults who are making an informed choice about the risk they are running.
  • Re: Columbia settles with Nungesser

    Trust me @quantmech, if I intend to be deregatory I will do so explicitly. I object strongly to reading nefarious intent into generic language just because you disagree with the point being made.

    As to being deragatory, my personal opinion is Sulkowicz thought the hearing would be a cakewalk, because she existed in an environment which was designed to validate her views. I think she got pissed when she lost. I think she went to the police with the sole intention of placing his name in the public record so she could hound him. I base this interpretation on the fact that she reportedly failed to cooperate with the police from very early in the process and that Nussinger's name began appearing on campus shortly after her report. Somehow I doubt the Columbia Spectator has stringers at the local PD checking the police blotter everyday. None of which is illegal, although in my own layman's way it does indicate someone who is troubled.

    All that said, I freely acknowledge that others can honestly put a more sympathetic spin on the actions she has taken.

    None of which matters in the slightest, because the issue at hand is the scope of a university's duty to protect students from harassing behavior.
  • Re: Ivy Coach Will Track My Application - What does this mean?

    Just wanted to echo @twoinanddone's point. Ask questions. Always and specifically. The process itself is stressful enough. Always best to ask clear and direct questions and listen carefully to the answers. It has been my experience that Ivy coaches will be frank and direct in their responses.
  • Re: Columbia settles with Nungesser

    An anvil, huh? That would show him. But he might not be smart enough to get the point. Maybe it would be better if he rolled a boulder across the stage. You know pour encourager les autres.
  • Re: Columbia settles with Nungesser

    we have discussed this issue many times and I don't want to de-rail this thread.

    Good luck with that, lol.

    As far as your points, let's start with the last. Yes. Some men may be hostile to claims of sexual harrasment brought by a woman against a man. I don't recall ever saying or intimating something different. And as I clearly stated in the post you quoted, this issue has less to do with gender than a person's pre dispositions. To make the obvious point, if my son were unfortunate enough to be accused of sexual harrassment or assault, I would much rather have @momofthreeboys as the decision maker than @collegedad13.

    But in the larger sense, what I am speaking of is the difference between you and I. Based on the exchanges we have had, I would be confident that you would treat a hearing with seriousness. That said, you appear by inclination to be someone who would lean toward believing the accuser over the accused when resolving close factual questions. Similarly, while I intellectually understand that some women can wait many months before reporting a sexual assault, I would find it hard to overcome the fact that she waited some 18 months before bringing her claim, and that her contemporaneous actions evinced an intent to maintain a sexual relationship with the guy. While some of this is the normal variation of biases we find in society, it is at issue here because of the burden of proof. Technically, even under a preponderance standard, if the only evidence presented is he said/she said, the accused should get off every time. But that is not what happens, because try as we lawyers might, humans are imperfect decision makers, and our preconceptions and biases always leak through.

    So over centuries we have developed levels of proof society will stomach before depriving a person of liberty (reasonable doubt) or simply property (preponderance). We use the lower standard because it is more efficient, less costly and in the main the issues decided under the preponderance standard are of less societal import. But, we have also developed a hybrid standard of clear and convincing which for many many years applied to claims like those dealt with in tribunals - those which do not put liberty at risk but where an adverse ruling could carry severe societal sanction. One of the reasons that several schools fought to retain the clear and convincing standard in this context was because it is a strong reminder to those who have a general inclination to believe an accuser that proof is still required. This follows centuries of our legal tradition that holds that a person who asserts a fact must prove its truth. In other words and in this context, it is an instruction to those whose general inclination is to believe the accuser that something more than their general inclination to resolve factual issues in the accuser's favor should be required to sustain a verdict, because the societal consequences suffered by the accused as a result of that verdict could be severe.

    Turning to your other points, yes, an accused person has the right to object to a panelist, but as we both know from the Yale case and from the rest of the section you truncated, Yale reserves the right to decide whether to remove the panelist based on the objection. So what the objection is worth is dependant entirely on the provost's subjective mindset, or more likely the person the provost tasks with dealing with such things. And the circle continues.

    As to how panelists are chosen, how do you think people get nominated and selected? Do you think maybe that people who are not involved in this area get picked all that often? Do you think that a professor, managerial or professional employee who thinks poorly of the process is going to end up serving? You think that someone who the Title IX adminstrator feels is hostile is going to make their way through the system, even if they were masochistic enough to try? Yeah, me neither.

    Also, what "training" is being provided, and who decides that? I would bet a dollar to a dime and a donut (which come to think of it probably costs more than a dollar) that a lot of the training has to do with "explaining" that no matter what actions a "survivor" takes after an event the panelist should not take that as inconsistent with the current claims. Do you think that the accused is offered the opportunity to provide similar "training" to the panel?

    None of this stuff would fly in the legal system, and frankly it shouldn't fly here either.