Civil Discourse Now

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Outrage in SEC: Roy Moore can't coach football, but maybe he can be a Senator

   There was outrage. Few understood how an individual, who had been included in conversations about allegations of child molesting, could be placed in such an office, the responsibilities of which are so great. Also, he would represent the State. Finally, there was the impact, perhaps requiring decades to repair, that could occur if the guy held that office for any appreciable amount of time.
   The state is not Alabama, but Tennessee.  The person is not Roy Moore, but Greg Schiano, a defensive coordinator at Ohio State. The job is not United States Senator, but head foot ball coach at the University of Tennessee.
   There are differences between the situatioins of Moore and Mr. Schiano. Moore has been accused by several women of sexual misconduct when they were young and Moore was in his 30s—i.e., they said he “did” something. Mr. Schiano was alleged, by a former grad assistant at Penn state to have told another grad assistant that he was shocked at having seen Penn State’s then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, in 2001, in a shower with a boy in an otherwise deserted locker room. Mr. Schiano was said to have reported the matter to Penn state officials. So somebody told somebody who told somebody else what Schiano had told him happened.
   Another difference is the job in question. The University of Alabama and the University of Tennessee are in the Southeastern Conference. In college football the SEC is strong. In the southeastern part of the country SEC football plays a dominant part of culture.
   At the University of Tennessee, Mr. Schiano had been close to being offered the job of head coach. UT withdrew from negotiations in the face of fan backlash.
   Tennessee is a fairly “red” state. Both United States Senators and seven of nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives are Republican. In Alabama, both Senators are GOP—one seat is up for a special election on December 12—and six out of seven House seats are “red”.
   Perhaps one should not paint with too broad of a brush these two States, except that the Republican Party has an agenda that includes both, as well the other 48, States.
   If circumstances were reversed, and Nick Saban had announced he was resigning at season’s end, maybe the people of Alabama would give Mr. Schiano a chance. At worst, according to the double-hearsay of a grad student, he had seen and reported something.
   For some reason, I do not think so. If the people of Alabama prefer an alleged child molester to a Democrat for the Senate, they will vote that way. If they do not, and their State’s voting machines can be hacked, Putin will make the decision for them. But my god—no one in her or his right mind would entrust an SEC football program to someone who possibly saw something, reported it, and failed to follow up after University officials failed to act.
   People in the SEC, after all, have their priorities.

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