McGill just doesn't get it!

Canadian Universities Forum (discussion group)

Subject: McGill just doesn't get it!
McGill just doesn´t get it

Jack Todd
Montreal Gazette

Thursday, October 20, 2005

MONTREAL -- For an institution of higher learning allegedly populated by sentient beings and run by academics with a whit more intelligence than your average tavern dweller, McGill University has shown an astounding lack of sensitivity and decorum in its bumbling, fumbling, inept handling of the Hazegate scandal.

It is so bad, you have to wonder if it isn´t time for my friend Dick Pound to pick up a phone and lace the dunderheads responsible for this mess with some of his saltiest language.

Because McGill simply doesn´t get it. Seriously, what does it take for this university to understand how very, very wrong this was? A police investigation? A mass arrest of the football team?

Wednesday, a day after finally, grudgingly deciding to cancel the balance of the football season with a demolition at the hands of the powerful Laval Rouge et Or looming this weekend, a McGill publicist was on the phone complaining that in Monday´s column I said the victim was sodomized instead of saying that he claimed he was sodomized.

The publicist was presumably more polite, but her attitude reminds me of McGill sports publicist Earl Zukerman, who phoned me at home around 10 p.m. the evening before The Gazette ran my first column on the subject.

I had tried to reach Zukerman earlier in the day to ask whether he had any evidence to contradict the 18-year-old victim´s version of the story, which was that among other things he had been sodomized by a broom on the McGill squash courts during the cruel, brutal hazing of rookie night.

Other than insisting over and over that it did not happen, Zukerman had no evidence. His approach was to attack our reporter, the prize-winning investigative journalist William Marsden. When I tried to point out that the issue was not Marsden but the behaviour of the veterans on the Redmen football team, Zukerman bellowed at me for 20 minutes without listening to a word I had to say.

A month later, the university is still in Zukerman mode, worrying about the wrong things, hoping to sweep the rest of it under the carpet by cancelling two meaningless football games while retaining the coaching staff and saying that all the offending players are free to return to the playing field next season.

Given that McGill was already out of the playoffs and that the Redmen faced another humiliation at the hands of the Rouge et Or this weekend, the cancellation was a pointless, toothless act, especially when it is accompanied by the university trying to put a better spin on things by trying to convince us that actual sodomy did not quite take place.

I am flabbergasted. Seriously, utterly flabbergasted.

McGill admits that an entire night of horrors took place on its campus -- but never mind all that, let´s worry instead about the precise location of said broom in relation to said bottom on the night in question. We´re going to sit here and argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin while those responsible for this come back to play and coach football next year?
McGill says its investigation did not prove that the victim was actually sodomized with the broom. Perhaps -- but from the wording of the statement, it did not prove he was not sodomized with the broom.

What McGill doesn´t get, however, is that what precisely happened with that broom does not matter.

The victim told our reporter it happened. Everyone now knows that rookie players had been threatened with "Dr. Broom" for days or weeks before rookie night. The rookies certainly were made to think it was going to happen to them. Finally, the incident culminated in a broom or brooms being placed at or near this portion of the victim´s anatomy.

Knowing all that, is what happened on the McGill squash courts any less revolting if the broom did not penetrate the victim?

The more important question is why McGill believes that it can bring this coaching staff and most of these players back next season.

Since the people at McGill apparently have to be led by the hand through the simplest of thought processes, we will try to write this in language even a McGill academic could understand:

Chuck McMann and his staff? They have to go. Period.

The veteran players responsible for this horrific episode? They cannot return to play football for McGill again. Ever. Not next week, not next month, not in 2008.

Here´s the truth: the cowards are the veteran players. The cowards are the other rookie victims who allowed the veterans to intimidate them so they would not come forward. The only courageous person in this entire sorry mess -- and this statement emphatically includes the entire administration of McGill -- is that young player.

I doubt very much that he will ever play football again, but I will tell you this much: If it´s third down and 20 and my team is trailing by six points in the dying seconds of a football game, the player I want on the field is the one who will not submit meekly to brutal hazing.

I want the young man who is not afraid of his peers, who will not be intimidated by older players, who has demonstrated that brand of moral courage which is so much more rare than physical courage.

(in reply to: McGill just doesn't get it!)
McGill is good at Medicine, not sports, and everything else at McGill has fallen compared to their rivals. It´s similiar to how Montreal has fallen behind Toronto in being Canada´s leading city over the last few decades. Montreal is still a great city and a fun place with two great universities: Concordia and McGill.
(in reply to: McGill just doesn't get it!)
its tuition. This freeze is killing Quebec Universities.

UofT is killing Mcgill right now. Pretty sad.

(in reply to: McGill just doesn't get it!)
Dr. Broom rules!
Dr. Broom
(in reply to: McGill just doesn't get it!)
LOL Dr.Broom is the man on campus at Mcgill.


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