NDSU President Dean Bresciani Sends Campus Email Defending Handling Of Petition Scandal
NDSU President Dean Bresciani, who has refused to comment to the media about his university’s handling of charges against 10 NDSU football players over nearly 25,000 forged petition signatures, sent out the campus-wide email below earlier today. In it Bresciani defends the university’s handling of the situation, blaming “media reports” which haven’t covered the university’s actions.
Which is ridiculous. As I mentioned, Bresciani himself has told reporters that he doesn’t want to comment on “interdepartmental issues.” Word from the athletics department, coming from Director Gene Taylor and football coach Craig Bohl, is that there will eventually be discipline, but they won’t be clear on what that discipline is and they they’ve ruled out suspensions for the players from games.
If there is a perception that these players are getting away scott-free, that’s because NDSU’s leadership up to and including Bresciani is creating that impression with their actions.
Bresciani mentions federal privacy laws protecting students, but this is a regular cop-out used by the university (often dubbed Non-Disclosure State University by reporters in the region) to muddy the waters when they don’t want to talk about an issue. The names of the students involved are well-known, and a matter of public record. Discipline handed out to other NDSU players has been disclosed by the university.
It appears as though Mr. Bresciani is now wanting to suggest that whatever discipline is eventually handed out to these players (and perhaps linebacker Travis Beck as well who plead guilty yesterday to underage drinking in a plea agreement that allowed charges for resisting arrest to be dropped) will be done privately. Which is ridiculous.
The public deserves to know how the criminal actions of these players will be handled.
This smacks of cover up, defensive on the part of school administrators who are clearly feeling the heat.
In the context of a football player at another North Dakota school being dismissed from his team because he’s gay, the preferential treatment the NDSU football players are getting sticks out like a sore thumb. And Bresciani knows it.
Tags: dean bresciani, NDSU, ndsu bison, North Dakota News, north dakota state university, travis beck
From: NDSU Student Official List [NDSU-STUDENT-OFFICIAL@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU] on behalf of Pederson, Barbara [Barbara.Pederson@NDSU.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:32 PM
Subject: message from President Bresciani
Dear Campus Community,
Recent events and media portrayals of these events have left many on our campus with understandable questions. Given that, I would like to offer some clarification of University disciplinary policies that I think you will find helpful.
In addition to civil or criminal penalties, students who are charged with a crime are subject to a campus disciplinary process, which is conducted through the Dean of Student Life office as outlined in the code of student conduct, http://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/studentlife/StudentCode.pdf.
To reiterate directly from the code: “When students commit acts that are also violations of community, state or federal laws, on or off campus, those students will be subject to the same civil and/or criminal penalties as any other citizen in addition to campus resolution. Campus resolution of such acts may proceed before, during or after the civil or criminal proceedings have concluded.”
Students involved in co-curricular activities also are subject to disciplinary review and sanctions by their organizations.
The criminal, civil, University and organizational processes may and often do overlap. We take seriously our responsibility to cooperate with external investigations, and at times prioritize that step. We also balance that with consistent application of our own student disciplinary procedures.
In the case of recent situations I referenced above, the University immediately and completely cooperated with investigating authorities. Our doing so reduced what would have been months of effort on their part to a matter of days.
Unfortunately, though, because the University process has not been widely reported, some have perceived that the University is not taking action, or not acting quickly, which is not the case. We must carefully observe federal student privacy laws, and for campus administrators, including me, who have a role in the student discipline process, it is inappropriate to become directly involved in or comment on situations under review. I can appreciate that for people not involved in the process that all can be misinterpreted as a lack of action by the University.
As I have said many times, NDSU is committed to an environment of good stewardship, and please be assured, we are working within our policies to address disciplinary matters.
Dean L. Bresciani, President