Saturday, September 30, 2006

What's the Deal?

What's going on at Tusculum? When a few of the current men's soccer team decided to steal money from a fundraiser, what does the Athletic Director Ed Hoffmeyer do? He fires the coaches. No, we didn't make a typo. Here it is again. STUDENTS STEALING = COACHES BEING FIRED. Now, you're probably asking yourself "What about the players who actually stole the money?" This is where it gets good. No one has been charged with theft. They've still got their scholarships and are still in the school going about as if everything's just dandy. That's right. Nothing has happened to the actual thieves... nada, zero, zilch.

Confused? So were we until we started digging.

So what's this blog about? It's about telling you what's really going on. What we are asking is that you start asking some questions yourself. It's hard because when the college gives you answers like "No comment", what do you do? The college is there for the students, not the other way around. They're running it like a dictatorship. They think they've got free reign to do whatever they want and tell you nothing about it. We've inquired and they keep saying... "You don't know the whole story." The bottom line is that there needs to be change. The college needs to demonstrate the right values and ethics it preaches to its students.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What do Dr. Henry and P.T. Barnum have in common? They both think we're suckers.

I've been reading Dr. Henry's response to the ad in the Greeneville Sun by the alumni players and Coach C's subsequent response. I was thinking about this whole thing and then... Poof! It hit me square in the face. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to take you on a little journey. Please feel free to leave your comments to this article if you feel I am off base here. Ready to go?

When all of this starting to come about, I distinctly remember Dr. Henry stating that this incident has brought great shame to our school. Do you remember that? Yeah, you probably read it in the press release too. It reminds me of an old saying, 'You don't always know when you're being lied to, but you always know when you hear the truth'.

Let's examine these two almost identical incidents:

#1 The incident in 2004 (a completely different group of thieves) that involved the theft of somewhere around $17,000 was not handled properly by either BCG (Boston Culinary Group), the concession vendor or Tusculum was it? Whether that group in 2004 decided to return the money or not is irrelevant. Charges should have been filed, period. But they decided against it? Why? I mean, clearly BCG did not think it was a big issue because they had the authority to file felony charges and send a clear message to all schools that this better not happen. My personal opinion is that it was business as usual. Probably some real nice people at BCG and they probably said "Hey guys, just return the money... no harm, no foul." Of course, they got the money back. So, why didn't Tusculum expel those students in 2004? Well, I have a theory. They decided to sweep it all under the rug and not bring any outside attention to this untidy little mess. I mean, why bring any attention at all to it, right? In fact, it could hurt their image if something like this got out. Plus, it would most likely hurt the donations to the college. Let's not rattle the piggy bank. If you can clean up your back yard without anyone knowing about it, why not? Well, that's exactly what they did. The smart thing at that point would have been to create a framework of consequences for future actions should something like this happen again (See the blog below this one). But they didn't do that. Instead, because of personal reasons, Dr. Henry and Ed Hoffmeyer decided to keep that Ace in the coat pocket to use later. Sort of an insurance policy. I know, you're probably thinking I'm off my rocker (no pun intended Jason), but this is how we play the game of politics.

#2 The incident in 2006 again was a crime of grand theft. Again, BCG (good guys) decide not to press charges. Shame on you BCG, but we understand how business works. It's all about the money. Get it back, so why waste your time filing charges, getting involved in an investigation, being subpoenaed by prosecutors, testifying at trial (if there was one) and the bad publicity that you people aren't doing your job to secure the money? My understanding is that the cash is stuffed into drawers. Ever heard of a cash register and receipts? How about a supervisor to oversee the students? Nevertheless, still... shame on you. You're part of the problem too. Now let's look at what Tusculum does. This time, they fire the coaches because... you guessed it. It's brought great shame to the school. (Here's where it gets good, so fasten your seat belts.) Dr. Henry and Ed Hoffmeyer, maybe you can clarify this for me because I'm still confused. If no one knew about the 2004 incident and BCG wasn't willing to press charges in 2006, who would have known about anything if you hadn't done your press release? Exactly... no one. So, truthfully, you're trying to pull one over on us. It's okay to admit it, we can all see it. This incident could have been swept under the rug like 2004. Is it right to sweep something like this under the rug? Personally, I don't think it should be done regardless. But clearly Tusculum justified in 2004, so why not in 2006? What changed it for 2006 if no one would have know except for the same groups of people as in 2004. I mean, I never heard about the 2004 incident until Dr. Henry mentioned it. Did you? Clearly BCG wasn't going to say anything. I'm sure the coaches or the players weren't going to say anything. But, guess who does say something. If no one was going to talk about it, no one would know. If no one would know, how can it bring great shame to the school? I'll give you my two cents worth... Because of personal and philosophical differences with Coach C, Dr. Henry and Ed Hoffmeyer decide to use that Ace from 2004 and play it now, thus getting C out. Then, they probably told C that if there were any problems(because of them firing him) that they'd play that Ace to tarnish his reputation. Does this sound crazy to you? Or, does it sound likely? Look at the events and how they've played out. It seems pretty clear to me.

Also, I wanted to bring your attention to the ironic. If you look at the Greeneville Sun paper the day the article by Dr. Henry and Coach C came out, you'll notice the story of the Tusculum football player who got it trouble, but got a second chance and he's learned his lesson... blah, blah, blah. Funny how he messed up and was punished individually. I didn't see the football season canceled or the coaches fired. As a matter of fact, you've welcomed him back with open arms. Tusculum, are there double standards here or am I dreaming?

In closing, I want to clarify one more thing. Coach C is not simply a coach, he's an educator. He's given so much to so many people for almost 20 years at Tusculum that our references to him should denote his true role. He's help mold us in many ways. He's taught us to never give up, to believe in ourselves individually and collectively as a team. He's encouraged us and he's challenged us. He's given us the possibility that we can transcend our mental limitations. That those are limits we impose upon ourselves. Coach C is the type of educator that comes around vary rarely. And Coach, if you're reading this, we're still going to keep playing for you no matter what they try to throw... mud and all.

Here is a link to the article in the Greeneville Sun:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Can someone PLEASE explain this to me?!?

Why is that Catawba college has an athlete code of conduct and not Tusculum? Maybe it's there and I just can't find it. What I particularly like is that Catawba's code states; "... Further it is the policy of the Department of Athletics that any student-athlete charged with a felony crime will immediately be suspended from athletic participation and can only be eligible for reinstatement upon subsequent determination by the Director of Athletics. Criminal charges of less than a felony shall be reviewed by the Director of Athletics and handled on an individual basis." (The last time I checked, theft was a felony. Hmmm...) Funny how Catawba can have clear, intelligent framework in place yet Tusculum cannot. Why isn't there one? I mean, the college was founded in 1794, so you figure they've had plenty of time. Or, it could be that it does not exist to serve as a tool for political play by the administration. When there's no set policy, the administration can behave however they want to. The problem lies in the fact that the school is handling problems like this in a inconsistent manner. This is no way to run an organization, much less an institution of higher learning. Why were the police not involved considering this is a felony crime? I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure which students were working at Bristol that weekend and we certainly don't need the FBI crime lab for this. They could easily find out who actually stole the money. But what does Tusculum do? They fire the coaches and let the students stay in school, keep their scholarships and enjoy life. The example displayed by the college administration and particularly by Athletic Director Ed Hoffmeyer can only be categorized as negligent behavior. The school dug its own hole by not having a policy in place and then allowing someone like Mr. Hoffmeyer to behave in a manner which, in my opinion breaks the covenant the school has with the church. (Don't even get me started on that... maybe another post.) What's it going to be next? Maybe we can simply start recruiting student/athletes directly from prison next year. The full link to the Catawba Athlete Code of Conduct is here for your review:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Michael Josephson speaks at Tusculum College

"College athletics is treated as a business in the U.S.," Josephson said. Michael Josephson who is the Founder and CEO of Josephson Institute of Ethics, addressed the Opening Convocation of Tusculum College's 213th Academic Year.

We agree with Mr. Josephson. After the latest incident in which some members of Tusculum's soccer team commited an act of theft embarassing its coaches and the school, the Athletic Director decided to fire the coaches, which will save the school some money, cancel the soccer program which will save the school some money and best of all, allow all the students, including the guilty, to remain in school. This last decision will make the school some money.
So let's add it all up. Fire innocent coaches, savings of about $80,000, cancel soccer program which wil save the school another $100,000 and allow the students to remain on campus which the school will benefit about $100,000 if we consider the 11 or so players who actually commited a crime. Total deal = $280,000 for Tusculum.

Now lets consider the Ethically correct scenario; suspend/expell students, allow the program to continue and retain coaches who have been role models at the college, in their community, churches, etc.. and the outcome would be the complete opposite, Tusculum would be out $280,000. Mr. Josephson has our vote. He knows what he's talking about; it's all about business. "We don't have a kid problem, we have an adult problem," he said. "Kids do act different, but they are behaving the way we taught them to behave."

Regardless of theology, religions have a common focus on individuals being good, and there are common characteristics they emphasize that are also found among the tenets of CHARACTER COUNTS! - trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. "We secularized it because in such a diverse society as ours, we knew we had to," he said.
We can only hope that Tusculum's administration was present for Mr. Josephson's speech. Shortly after the speech which took place on Thursday, August 31st, Ed Hoffmeyer asked the Tusculum Men's soccer coaches to resign or else... we do have an adult problem, when they don't recognize such values as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Ed Hoffmeyer should re-evaluate his beliefs because quite honestly, I couldn't match his name to any of the afformentioned values.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Did you see this article in the paper?

Yes, we published this ad in the newspaper. We even posted our names at the bottom because we want the school to know who exactly was behind this. This was the first step in our response. We're not going away. We've got a lot more up our sleeves.

If you did catch it in the paper, let us know your thoughts by adding your comments to this post. Thanks.