Chris Rickert: Chadima saga reveals much about UW's powerChris Rickert is a columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal. The incident he's writing about is the embarrassing revelation that senior UW-Madison football staff have for years been providing liquor to under-aged students and apparently in some cases have been using their authority to force the students into having sex with them; and as far as the drunken parties alone are concerned, the head coach and the sports director have known about it for years.
Wisconsin State Journal. January 26, 2012.
... I feel pretty confident a primary factor behind the incident and the university's response to it is clear enough: hubris.
UW football is a powerful, beloved institution, and this wouldn't be the first time men of powerful, beloved institutions thought the usual rules didn't apply to them. ....
The crazy thing is that Rickert says that the athletic senior staff think the usual rules didn't apply to them. Hello?
The university administration and much of the senior staff doen't think the usual rules apply to them, and they are right. It's not an opinion limited to the football staff.
When it was discovered that university vivisectors were matter-of-factly breaking state law by killing sheep with atmospheric decompression, the university went to the Legislature, snapped their fingers, and just like that, pop, without any opportunity for public discussion, the state's anti-cruelty laws no longer applied to them.
They simply don't believe the usual rules apply to them. And they are right. We live in a tiered society where rules and laws that govern people like me and Rickert are unimportant to the likes of institutions like UW-Madison.
The rather sad thing is that Rickert has not noticed this until now and probably will always imagine it's something unique to the athletic department.