As a lifelong Binghamtonian, I'm going Richard Nixon on this BU basketball situation.
In other words: Let me say this, about that.
In no way is the behavior of Tiki Mayben excusable. You deal, you're done.
Nor Alvin, who got caught trying to steal condoms. Funny though, that with a culture trying to promote
safe sex, he is punished for giving the last measure of desperation to procure it.
You cannot excuse D.J. Rivera either because he....wait, I don't know what he did...and neither does the public.
This from the Press & Sun Bulletin:
"Hartrick [Spokesperson] said he was not aware of any recent allegations of criminal behavior involving the five
dismissed players. Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen, reached Friday night, declined comment.
Athletics Director Joel Thirer said all members of the team had recently passed a school-administered drug screening."
Before I continue, you must understand that this community has always had a large contingency that hates the university.
They hated it when it was Harpur College decades ago. They hated it when the students started renting homes on the
West Side, yet wouldn't allow dormitories constructed farther up the hill in Vestal. They hate students, they hate students
in bars, they hate the new law school being commissioned. They even hate the downtown university center...the first new
building constructed in Downtown Binghamton in 50 years.
Why? The covert ones will tell you that it is because of tax revenue being used to support the university. That argument, however,
doesn't fly because BU is the LARGEST employer in Broome County. More than Lockheed, more than Maines Food & Paper.
More than BAE Systems, Eureka Tents, and all the local school systems combined. The not-so-covert ones will tell
you they can't stand the Asians, Indians, & Long-Islanders descending en masse into our community.
Binghamton is full of self-loathing curmudgeons who don't know a good thing when it hits them in the face.
They spend their entire lives bitching and moaning about the taxes, culture, economy, and winter.
But do they move? No.
The tell-tale is when something wonderful happens, like our university expanding beyond our wildest dreams.
They build 2-3 new buildings a year and hire when everyone else is laying off. Do these citizens offer
laude and optimism? Hell, no. They find something to complain about.
Now, let's take a look at some of the vitriol spit on the local message boards in the last few days
regarding the basketball [note: I have not embellished or capitalized any words, they
all appear like this in the comments]:
"First out the door should be Head-Thug-In-A-Suit Broadus.
Don't have your own ghetto? $200k plus and he will
hand deliver one to your campus. BU is an academic
UNIVERSITY CENTER, not a training camp for dirtbags who can dribble."
"It's about time someone showed these THUGS that the world isn't a free ride for them.
If only the other school administrators would stand up and show they have some guts and
that the bottom line isn't the almighty dollar."
More digging will reveal that these are some of the more tame comments out there.
Believe me, I've heard worse in real life.
What could have cause the dismissal of all these players months and years post-facto
their "transgressions" (as the Press is calling them)?
This from the AP report on the situation:
"Binghamton is part of the State University of New York system, which is led by chancellor Nancy Zimpher,
who is known to take a hard line on problems within athletic programs. She was the president of the
University of Cincinnati when men's basketball coach Bob Huggins was pressured to resign in 2005...."
I remember that picture of Zimpher in 2005, all smug and full of herself with that grin and that red flower.
She had no appreciation of what Huggy Bear did for that school, and tossed him to further her reputation
among the elite academics, and to ingratiate herself more to the holier-than-thou supposed muckrakers
like Pete Thamel and ESPNdom.
Just like SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor shook the trees by taking the Michigan admission policy all the way to
the Supreme Court with her progressively bigoted views. By the time a decision came down, she had
already used her clout to bolt to the chancellorship of Champaign.
I am fully convinced that the rest of the team is being railroaded because the administrators and
professors want a piece of the clout pie. They hate that the reputation of BU for 45 years was built
on great academics, and all that publicity and affection was eclipsed in one basketball season by
a group of "thugs" who won the conference championship. That team did what no one else was
able to do in 50 years, get 6000 locals under the same roof cheering for the university.
As a political Conservative, I'm very wary of going Jimmy Carter/Kanye West/Harvard Professor on
anyone, but I find myself empathizing with this ESPN web comment more than any other:
"I hope you are happy New York Times and Tom Brennan. Now maybe Vermont will be able to hold on
to a 20 point half time lead against Binghamton this year. Now that Racist Cracker Tom Brennan will be
happy to see his pasty white players succeed once again and see Kevin Broadus fail. Maybe the New York
Times should worry about why they are losing $1 million dollars a week instead of Binghamton Basketball."
I know Mayben had to go, but I can't help but think there's a bunch of stuffy athletics-loathing academics
and cranky locals behind this. Even scarier and more infuriating is the other notion prodding the back of
my brain...the one that says there's a reason why the word "thug" is used to describe the current dismissals,
but never used to describe the European who fled the country last year after beating a student within
an inch of his life.
I'm not saying there's explicit racism behind this, heaven knows the players didn't help their own cause,
but unless there's a lot of dirt we don't know about, you have a lot of arguing to do to convince me that
this unprecedented house-cleaning wasn't sparked by collective loathing for collegiate athletics by
cranky locals, self-rightous administrators, and people who want to make a name for themselves
for being the first to point the finger and make an example of someone for their own gain.
In other words, to paraphrase Kanye, "BU basketball, I'm happy for you and I'ma let continue your
program, but domestic white kids make the best student-athletes of all time...OF ALL TIME."