Linking the words “college” and “scandal” is not really be that much of a shock for anyone. From ruthless hazing scandals to sex escapades to to test cheating, the words have long seemed inseparable from one another in news headlines. But in the past few months, the scandals have been popping up at an explosive rate, showing up in the news in rapid-fire succession, and really pushing the limit in scandalousness. Here are a few of the biggest:
Syracuse University: Bernie and Laurie Fine Case
Voted as one of the top ten sports stories of 2011 by the Associated Press, the scandal involving assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine gave the Syracuse college paper and ESPN lots of drama to write about. Fine was fired at the end of November, after he had been accused of molesting two ball boys back in the 80s and 90s. The men (who were minors when Fine allegedly molested them) came forward years later demanding justice, and another man later came forward saying he had also been molested. Fine was finally fired after an audio tape with a conversation between Fines wife, Laurie, and Bobby Davis, one of the accusers resurfaced. Parts of the dialogue indicated that Laurie knew what had been going on.
What makes this case even more scandalous is the most recent development: There have been allegations that Laurie not only knew about her husband Bernie’s actions, but also slept with Syracuse players too, pampering them with gifts and participating in debauchery (all this has unraveled through an affidavit written by Davis). The couple is still currently under investigation and wins the top spot for most bizarre and surprising development in a scandal case.
Claremont McKenna College: SAT Case
Reports that Claremont McKenna, a very highly regarded, rigorous liberal arts college in California had been rigging SAT scores since 2005 emerged during the last week of January. According to Business Week, the scores were mostly inflated by 10 to 20 points by someone involved in the admissions committee. For example, for the sophomore class, the college had said it had a combined median SAT score of 1,410, when it was really have been 1,400, and a 75th percentile score of 1,510 when it should have been 1,480. The differences can seem mundane, but when US News and World Report ranks the school, it could be the difference between a few notches on the college hierarchy.
The president of the school, Pamela B. Gann, released a statement saying “As an institution of higher education with a deep and consistent commitment to the integrity of all our academic activities, and particularly our reporting of institutional data, we take this situation very seriously.” She claims that she did not know what was going on with the scores and has hired a law firm (O’Melveny & Myers LLP) to help carry out investigations and assess the situation.
Penn State: Sandusky Case
Yale: Patrick J.Witt Case
In October last year, it looked as if student Patrick J. Witt, 22, had it all. He was selected as a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship, and was the quarterback for the football team. But on November 13th, things started falling apart when he had both the interview for the Rhodes scholarship and an important football game against Harvard. He announced that he would withdraw the scholarship application, and gained lots of praise for his dedication and loyalty to his school and football team.
However, the story took a huge twist when news emerged that the Rhodes Trust had been informed about accusations of sexual assault against Witt, from a fellow unnamed student accusing Witt of non-consensual sexual behavior. The Rhodes Trust then told Witt and administrators at Yale that they were suspending Witt’s candidacy unless Yale tried to re-endorse him. Yale, however, did not.
According to reports by the New York Times, Witt has since left campus but has been working on his senior thesis, while also training for a prospective football career in the NFL.