May 14th, 2013 10:29 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Tennessee
Tags: AD, Cuonzo Martin, Jenny Wright, Robert Kurtz, Todd Dooley, UT
Trae Golden’s decision to transfer from the University of Tennessee basketball team has taken another bizarre turn. It was announced early last week that the senior-to-be would transfer from Cuonzo Martin’s program to another school, leaving the Vols without a proven point guard for 2013-14.
Reports at the time cited academic issues — namely repeated acts of plagiarism — as the reason for Golden’s departure. UT’s associate AD for compliance, Todd Dooley, then revealed on radio that Golden did not have the hours necessary to graduate at Tennessee, meaning he will have a hard time finding a new home as well.
Now to the present. Yesterday the University of Tennessee fired the director of its Office of Student Judicial Affairs. The school has launched an investigation into whether or not Jenny Wright had improper relationships with student-athletes at UT.
A graduate of Tennessee, Wright has hired an attorney who said that she tried to resign rather than cooperate with the investigation. “She didn’t think the climate at UT was such that her reputation would be preserved,” Robert Kurtz said. “UT didn’t have any interest in protecting that. Even if everything is proved to be completely false, the damage to your reputation can’t be undone, and you can’t un-ring that bell. That’s why these allegations are so powerful.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy Hyams of WNML-AM/FM in Knoxville reported yesterday afternoon that — according to sources — one of the athletes Wright is alleged to have an improper relationship with is Golden.
As Wright’s attorney has stated, it’s unfortunate that this situation has come to light before anyone has found her guilty of having inappropriate relationships. As a result, Wright will have to rehab a tarnished reputation while any male athletes involved will, most likely, get a pass in the court of public opinion. If a man has sex, he’s a stud. If a woman has sex, she’s easy. That’s not fair, but it is how our society tends to view these things.
Obviously, no one employed as the director of a school’s Office of Student Judicial Affairs can go around having sex with athletes. That kind of behavior is unacceptable. And if it’s found that Wright did have a relationship with Golden, it will raise questions regarding his alleged repeated acts of plagiarism while still on the UT basketball team.
But this is a story of sex. And though that’s an act that everyone takes part in, it’s still a topic that drives ratings, sells papers, and ups pageviews. The presence of dirty laundry will ensure that this story won’t go away quickly, at least not for Wright.
Whether UT investigators find proof of wrongdoing or not.
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