A number of University of Minnesota football players stated that the lack of “due process” was the reason for their boycott and the bad feelings that followed it. What they failed to consider was the reality that many times “due process” is not part of the process.
All of the Gopher football players, at one time or another, experienced consequences when a parent decided that a parental rule had been violated — privileges were taken away, or grounding took place. The U, meanwhile, has stated consequences for violations of the student code of conduct. Among those consequences are possible expulsion or suspension. It took 80 pages to determine what events occurred that were a violation of the code. The result of that violation was the possible expulsion or suspension of 10 football players.
“Due process” does not dictate or determine what consequence a parent might give to their child. Likewise, consequences for violations of the university’s code of conduct are not controlled by rules of due process as perceived by the players. Indeed, these young men will soon find out as they venture forth into the adult world that there are many places where “due process” is not part of consequence equation.
George Larson, Minneapolis
• • •
University of Minnesota coach Tracy Claeys should submit his resignation as football coach. A coach is supposed to be a leader. Claeys’ statement that he was proud of his players when they refused to practice (because they thought 10 players, accused of breaking university rules, should be reinstated) should disqualify him from the job. I’m sure his statements gave the players an impetus to continue the boycott, which helped ruin the image of the team and a great university.
I can understand why the players jumped to conclusions before knowing all the facts; that is often what young folks do — emotions take over. But Claeys is old enough, and, I thought, wise enough to wait for the facts. He should have told his team to wait for the entire story to be told, and if the 10 players were being unfairly punished, to react then.
Ted Storck, Surprise, Ariz.
• • •
Jim Souhan lists “Too many failures to count in U’s latest sports scandal” (Dec. 18), but he missed one big one, by the Star Tribune, and in particular his Sports-section colleague Patrick Reusse. In his gasp-inducing Saturday column (“Clash of social forces — or a feud — roils U waters”), Reusse clearly suggested that while baby boomers like him might assume five men having sex with one inebriated woman to be nonconsensual, “the shock level for millennials is much lower when hearing of such an encounter.” Seriously? What looks like the gang rape of a woman unable to give consent to us old folks is just a normal good time to these kids today?
As a professor at the U, I deal with today’s students all the time, and I have never seen a generation more thoughtful and aware of the ethical issues involved with gender and sexuality. If Reusse ran his theory by a typical undergraduate student at the U, he would likely be told that he should spend less time feeding his fantasies on his computer and more time talking to actual young women about what sort of treatment they expect from their sexual partners.
Jason McGrath, Minneapolis
• • •
We have been reading a lot about the sports teams at the U. While this is certainly newsworthy, there is another story about work going on at the university that influences nearly all of us, but gets far less attention in the media. This is the story of the work being done by our faculty and students within the School of Public Health, and in particular within the Division of Epidemiology, where I have had the good fortune of working for over two decades and which I currently lead. The research being done by our faculty probably has had an impact on the types of foods that you eat, foods served at sporting events for your children, family meal patterns, weight-control behaviors, and the types of physical activities in which you engage. Our research is aimed at preventing the most significant public health problems of our time, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, eating disorders, substance abuse and infectious disease. Our work is aimed at decreasing disparities in health outcomes across socioeconomic status, gender and race. When we do our work well, there is nothing newsworthy to report, but people live longer and higher quality lives — perhaps not newsworthy, but I’ll take it.
Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, St. Louis Park
It’s not easy to pry privilege from those who enjoy it
After the kerfuffle regarding how the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority was using the two luxury executive suites recently surfaced, three of the four commissioners decided to ban friends and family from using the suites.
But then, according to a Dec. 17 article about the change, Commissioner Barbara Butts Williams expressed doubts that the new policy is reasonable. “We’re here to enjoy ourselves and really be part of the people’s stadium ... and we want to share it with friends and family,” she said.
This is why people worry about who is spending our tax dollars. That mind-set to me seems a little self-centered and even more out of touch with reality.
I think that columnist Jon Tevlin (“Too late to apologize for stadium suites deal,” Dec. 14) expressed it best when he said: “Don’t these people know any Republicans?”
Mike McLean, Richfield
Courtesies can go a long way toward keeping the peace
The policy of a former warden at Minnesota’s maximum security prison was to have guards address inmates as “sir.” One of those inmates was transferred to a minimum-security facility, Faribault, and was in a workshop I cofacilitate, the Alternatives to Violence Project. He said, “You can’t treat someone badly when they treat you well.” He went on to say how amazed he was by the difference it made in him.
Caging humans is punishment enough. Sharing unknown peaceful life tools, importantly modeling respect, makes re-entry successful. Successful re-entry is the goal of incarceration.
Barbara Vaile, Minneapolis
228 regulations are on GOP’s chopping block. At what cost?
After reading through the list of 228 regulations Republicans want President-elect Donald Trump to reverse (Dec. 17), it struck me that every one of these regulations was intended to help the common person. Reducing the health damage of obesity, encouraging healthy diets, improving appliance efficiency, requiring that financial advisers act in the best interest of their clients, expecting for-profit institutions to teach real life skills, reversing paid sick leave and wage increases, undoing net neutrality, and relaxing pollution and renewable fuel standards are all designed to benefit industry, not you and me. Most of us have experienced the frustration of dealing with arbitrarily applied local rules, but laws should be written and enforced with common sense and compassion. Maybe that is where we should direct our frustration. Who are the Republicans representing? It seems the Grinch has stolen our government.
Ruth Bures, Minneapolis