I see that MU Athletic Director Mike Alden has finally crawled out of his cave and made a statement about the way the athletic department handled the case of Sasha Menu Courey, the young swimmer who took her life in 2010, nearly two years after allegedly being raped by on or more MU football players.
The Star’s Vahe Gregorian reported today that he got ahold of Alden by phone late last night.
Alden must have been napping and picked up the phone reflexively, because. had he known the press was calling, he surely would have let it go to voice mail.
Since this story broke last Friday, Alden has delegated MU’s response to his department’s inaction to two associate athletic directors, Chad Moller and Sarah Reesman.
Alden’s excuse for being AWOL during what was truly a crisis for his department is that he was in Florida, “performing his role,” as Gregorian put it, as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Well, you know what? Sometimes, even important meetings have to be put on hold. Or the meetings go on with somebody else holding the gavel.
What was more important: For Alden to be in Columbia dealing with the fallout from this national expose, or running some A.D. meetings in Florida? There is no comparison.
So, having returned with a tan, I presume, Alden took Gregorian’s late-night phone call and told him that Sasha’s death and what can be learned from the case need to be the focal points.
“It doesn’t need to be (us) turning around trying to defend what one person’s doing or another person’s doing or whatever,” Alden said.
In saying that, he was trying to turn the attention away from his own, and his department’s, failure to investigate the alleged rape, or rapes. (She could have been raped by as many as three players.)
ESPN reported last week that the athletic department learned about the alleged rape in 2011 but made a conscious decision not to investigate. Surely, Alden made the call not to investigate, even though the Title IX act — a federal law — obligates schools to investigate any such allegations that come to the schools’ attention.
Athletic department officials said they didn’t investigate because Sasha never officially reported the rape. They said they had to take “her wishes” into consideration, implying that she did not want to pursue prosecution.
That is complete bullshit — a total cop-out and Pontius-Pilate hand washing.
Alden went on, in his interview with Gregorian, to say that if the school had come off as trying to rationalize its failure to investigate, “then I would apologize.”
Holy crap! So, Alden issues a conditional apology to what some people might have viewed as MU’s attempt to rationalize its inaction.
I told you earlier this week that this guy is a chicken shit.
In 2006, he dispatched MU broadcaster Gary Link to tell then-basketball coach Quin Snyder that he either had to resign or be fired at the end of the basketball season. It’s the athletic director’s job to hire and fire coaches, not the broadcaster’s.
What’s clear is that Mike likes the sunny side of athletics — the hiring of new coaches, proudly presenting them at news conferences, talking about lofty expectations, celebrating big wins on the hardwood and gridiron.
But when things get difficult, when it’s down and dirty and the top dog needs to be out front, Alden heads for the kennel.
Well, this dog should be put down. Fired. That’s all there is to it.
What didn’t happen in the Sasha Menu Courey case is shameful. The big dog’s gotta go.