The Occidental Weekly article “Title IX complaint filed on behalf of football team, alleging anti-male bias in athletics department” published Oct. 18 misrepresents the situation that triggered the filing of the complaint, the stance of the football team and the extent to which the players were involved in the filing.
The complaint — which a vast majority of the team had no knowledge of until long after the filing — was received with mixed feelings from the players. The article does not make it clear enough that the vast majority of the team was not behind the Title IX complaint.
The article frames the complaint as a result of the football team’s poor equipment and canceled season, when this is simply not true. The truth is that the complaint was filed only as a result of the team being horribly mistreated by the Athletic Director during a series of meetings regarding the cancellation of our first game and the aftermath of those meetings. It cites an anonymous alumnus claiming several of players yelled an expletive at the Athletic Director when the cancellation was first announced.
This is untrue and unsubstantiated. First, no alumnus attended the meeting, only the players, coaches, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), Dean of Students and the Athletic Director. Second, no expletive was yelled at the Athletic Director. When the cancellation was announced, the team got emotional and common expletives of frustration and despair were yelled, but none that could be characterized as attacking anyone in particular within the room.
We invite anyone doubtful of our side of the story to ask any of the neutral parties in the room (the CDO or Dean) if a player called the Athletic Director anything outside of her name or title. We would also like to clarify that we did nothing more than grill the Athletic Director for answers as other Occidental students and student groups have done in similar situations in the past. We have chosen not to discuss the actions of the Athletic Director during that meeting, the one following it or the aftermath of the meetings out of fear of retaliation.
Please, take the time to find a player and ask them about the truth of the situation we have all suffered through in the last month. We have repeatedly attempted to get help but have received no form of assistance. No one will listen to us. We feel trapped.
Although we have graciously received support from students who know the full story, the administration refuses to acknowledge that we have been mistreated, and we have yet to reach a resolution with the Athletic Director. This is what drove an anonymous party to file the Title IX complaint — a move that the majority of the team did not think was the correct course of action at the time.
And to anyone with any remaining doubt about our conduct in the meeting: please consider the ways in which an administrator who mistreated students would benefit from a rumor describing how the students had actually mistreated them.
Jack McNally, Sam Feingold-Gardner, Nick Demarco, Connor Saludares, Jackson Caudle, Sean Crotty, Travis Swanson, Nathan Gray, Harrison Wakefield, Josh Greaves, JT Tinsley, Luke Savoie, Josh Yee, Carlton O’Neal, Eamon McNeil. Matt Trusiak, Joey Garza, Kazim Apaydin and Kevin Hurh