Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is anyone else sick of hearing about Binghamton?

First, Emanuel Mayben was kicked out of school. Then, five more of his teammates got the boot. And yesterday, news came out that the Binghamton Zoo was offended by the comments made by AD Joel Thirer referring to the basketball team as a "zoo".

And now, it seems as if the university is not yet done cleaning house.

Sally Dear, an adjunct lecturer who has taught Human Development at the school for 11 years, was fired Tuesday. The school says she was let go due to “uncertain fiscal environment” and “strategic reprioritization of resources across the university.”

As you might imagine, Dear disagrees. From The Quad:

"I'm being fired for being ethical," Dear said. "I have no doubt about that whatsoever."

Seven Binghamton men's basketball players majored in human development last year, and Dear said she believed some of them received preferential treatment.

"They know that people have been covering up for the athletes and not holding them to the same standard for other students," Dear said. "They know that athletes who are not passing classes have been given independent studies to carry them through.
Not making sense to you?

Take a look at this article by Pete Thamel of the NYT from back in February in which Dear provided some pretty inflammatory accusations:
Sally Dear, an adjunct lecturer at Binghamton, said that her experience last semester with three men's basketball players in her Human Development 304 class had frustrated her to tears. They were a continual nuisance, she said, missing classes and appointments, or arriving late and leaving early. Dear, who has a strict attendance policy, also said Broadus once showed up to check that the players were in class, something that had never happened in her 10 years of teaching.

Dear said she stopped teaching numerous times because of their disruptive behavior. When she caught one player text-messaging during class, she recalled, he said he was receiving a message from his coach.

"All I know is the aptitude and the attitude that are displayed in the classroom," Dear said. "I would have preferred to see a more academically prepared and serious student."

Dear would not reveal the players' names or grades, citing privacy rules. Under Dear's policy, students are dropped a full grade after three absences. After the players missed three of her classes, Ed Scott, the associate athletic director for student services, questioned her right to drop their grades.

Dear was unhappy that their playing schedule had not been made available to her at the start of the semester so they could plan for the absences.

"I felt pressure to cut them breaks that weren't available to other students," she said, adding that Scott sent e-mail messages and called relentlessly to question her grading policy.

"That was uncomfortable and inappropriate," she said. "My expectations were called into question, and I was being essentially asked to bend the rules or overlook them or not apply things equally."
That's not the end of it. Binghamton AD Joel Thirer resigned today. As Pat Forde tweeted, maybe Thamel should help Thirer pack up the things in his office.

Players putting students into comas and selling coke, AD's resigning, ex-professors lashing out at the school, and zookeepers writing letters to the press trashing the university? And this is supposed to be the cream of the SUNY system?

Could head coach Kevin Broadus be next?

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