Our Daughters Deserve Better

This is where Heroes resides most Fridays, but not this one.

This past week, Les Miles resigned from his position as head football coach of the Kansas Jayhawks. The announcement came on the heels of allegations of sexual misconduct against Miles for incidents that occurred during his tenure at LSU. To refer to this latest incident as a revelation, as certain news outlets have done, is to dismiss out of hand the fact that these charges are a decade old.

The fact that this story has mostly flown under the radar of national sports outlets is a sobering testament to just how far the women’s movement still has to go. It’s also a scathing appraisal of the sports landscape, where women are still objectified and where cases of violence, abuse and sexual misconduct are oftentimes covered up or pushed aside. Sports leagues and the networks who fill their coffers have done a commendable job of providing us with bumper sticker slogans about women’s rights, but it’s a theoretical illusion whose practices tell a very different story.

This week’s sports news cycle has been rife with quarterback trade scenarios and big money signings, mock drafts, college basketball tournaments and all star slam dunk contests. Basically, the talking points for lame sports talk radio fodder takes precedence over the reality too many women are still facing on a daily basis. It would seem that their ‘woke’ is still broke.

While at LSU, Les Miles lorded over a football program whose treatment of women was shameful at best and criminal at its worst. Miles provided a refuge for players who put the female population on campus at risk by patently absolving them of any wrongdoing in numerous instances. Assault and rape went hand in hand with SEC titles at the school as the quirky old school coach created a cult of personality that shielded his sorry ass, so long as he continued winning.

It was his own personal conduct towards female students that brought him under fire recently. There have been accusations of harassment and stories of how the coach insisted on being surrounding by “blondes with big boobs” in the workplace. Things got so bad that the administration was forced to babysit Miles for fear his behavior would draw the attention of someone outside the university. As it was, the school did its best to protect Miles, at the expense of all the women who came forward.

Miles has since resigned as head football coach at Kansas. He denied any wrongdoing and he talked about football and his players and of course, his family. He didn’t provide an explanation as to why he was stepping down if he hadn’t done anything wrong in the first place. It was an easy decision for the administration, seeing as how he was 3-18 in his two seasons at the helm. Because it’s always easier for these programs to do the right thing when the coach isn’t winning games and donor money starts to dry up. As for the guy who hired him, his pal Athletic Director Jeff Long stepped down two days after the story broke, in a move that KU chancellor Douglas Girod called “selfless”. And there’s the tell in this whole sordid mess, tucked into the language of the blameless. Kansas becomes just the latest collegiate program to get found out for what it truly is, rather than what it purports to be.

Girod has begun the process of pretending away the past, and this is where things get expensive. The school has hired a search firm to assist them in finding their next coach. It’s a good bet they’ll look to add a PR firm to their payroll while they’re at it, so that they can frame their guilt in gold leaf. They’ll insist they hadn’t a clue as to why a big deal name such as Les Miles would’ve been interested in taking over an also-ran program in the middle of nowhere when the truth of the matter is, he was damaged goods all along. Of course, to bring those details to light would make Girod and a lot of other really important people complicit in the aiding and abetting of another bad guy ball coach. Because the sad fact is, Miles’ sordid past didn’t deter the people who hired him.

It was his winless present that made it easy to let him go.

45 thoughts on “Our Daughters Deserve Better

  1. Until these organizations stand up publicly and say “We were wrong”. Then nothing will change. They will hire more lawyers to find more loopholes and more ways to hide their shame. The only way to hurt them is for the donors to pull their money out of any organization with these problems. I wonder if that will ever happen?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m guessing you know my feelings about how women are and continue to be treated…maybe Cuomo should cover that in his next Emmy winning news conference…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. B,

    This is an important piece to write. I only wish more people would start standing up and saying enough. We won’t accept this – not a suspicion of not a proof of. Zero tolerance. I know I’m dreaming in Technicolor but there has to be a change. But Pam is right. Until donors stop donating; until schools stop hiring men who have a track record; until organizations stop hiring coaches with a track record, until coaches stop recruiting players with a track record; this will continue. Until lawyers stop trying to find ways around these situations; this will continue. Until fans stop buying tickets to see games (well, when stadiums reopen fully) and until fans stop watching on the TV; this will continue.

    You keep doing what you do; I’ll keep sharing what you do and who knows? Drop by drop..

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      The fans will never stop going. Look at Penn State, and the fact that young boys were being raped. On the other side of that horror, the fans supported Paterno. They rioted in the streets when he was fired. It’s a cult, and so no, it won’t change. People want their football, they want their school pride, and they don’t care how it gets done.

      And the networks ain’t gonna turn the sports away, no way no how. And the schools are never going to stop hiring the Urban Meyers, the Bobby Petrino’s, the Les Miles’s of the coaching world, if it means they become a big time program. They’ll worry about the rest of it later if they have to.

      Class action suits. These women have to band together and go after every single school where this shit is happening and has happened. Lean on the governors of the states where public monies are going into the wallets of guys like Miles.

      Drop by drop, you’re right. It’s the only way.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. And they can justify that it has nothing to do with the game. To whit – protesting in support of that asswipe.

        And yeah, I know, the networks can’t possibly as that’s their bread and butter. Schools, unfortunately, somehow, sports have become their bread and butter as well – since the ridiculous sums they charge for education can’t possibly cover their overpaid members of the boards.

        Isn’t that a bitch? The women have to band together in class action suits to be heard. Then again – groups of women is the only way to create change.

        Drop by drop, will eventually fill a cup; cup by cup will fill a bucket and so on. It’s time, dammit.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Penn State pride mattered more than those boys. And if that doesn’t say everything about the state of our society, I have no idea what does.

          The end of the line? Is there an end to this line? I don’t really think there is when you consider all the money involved.

          It’s the only way that I can see. How many women came forward against Miles and how long did it take for ANYTHING to come of it? Hell, those women are still waiting.

          It’s well past time.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. You might wonder why I’m not a sports fan. Even some of the fans give it a bad rep. Why they continue to support all the creeps and cronies, I just don’t get it. It’s a shameful situation from the get go. There’s no surprise that the money industries attract and retain this type of sleaze (sports, entertainment, politics). It’s a self-serving feedback loop. Get rid of the money and prosecute the offenders – yeah, right. Never gonna happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Do you know what I love about you the most? It’s that you’re not afraid to state your truth on any subject. You know what that does for your fellow writers? It gives us permission without restraint, to do the same, Not easy to come out swingin’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SB,

      It angers me to think of the blatant disregard many of these schools have for their female population. You send your kids off to school with the expectation that they will learn and grow and thrive. These administrations are willing to put students at risk for the chance to go big time.

      How sad is that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • As I sadly see it, many things are sad these days. To be self centered is the new norm where no one cares about each other, as our Congress displays daily. We the people, just don’t give a shit, however, that doesn’t mean the rest of us, small or not, should throw in the towel. No sirree Mr. Imma.

        Liked by 1 person

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