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Kathleen Neslon on Barnett and Janet Jackson

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  • Kathleen Neslon on Barnett and Janet Jackson

    From today's PD:

    Gary Barnett needs to learn from example set by Justin and Janet
    Kathleen Nelson
    02/20/2004


    Sports Columnist Kathleen Nelson


    Colorado football coach Gary Barnett could owe a debt to Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.

    When Timberlake tore Jackson's costume at halftime of the Super Bowl, a lot more than a handful of red satin was ripped apart. Instinctively, many in the audience seemed to realize Timberlake and Jackson had not only stretched but pushed through the outside of the envelope. In a cascade effect, disbelief turned to shock turned to embarrassment turned to anger. Janet and Justin forced the audience to question how we arrived at a point where exposure of a breastcould be considered, much less attempted, much less accomplished in front of 89 million onlookers.

    NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue found the display "offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing." Yet so much was crude and unacceptable about that show - Kid Rock in a flag poncho, Nelly grabbing his crotch - that his words rang hollow and many felt the national moral fiber was in shreds. The collective sense of shock and shame had not been so prevalent since the heyday of the Moral Majority.




    Earlier in Super Bowl week, news trickled out of Boulder of depositions in a federal lawsuit that told of Colorado football recruits attending strip clubs and sex parties.

    Perhaps feeding off the moral outrage and deciding to make political hay in an election year, politicians pressured university officials to look into the charges. The trickle became a stream became a flood. At last count, seven charges of sexual misconduct against the Colorado football team had come to light.

    Only the naive would say that Colorado athletes are alone in luring recruits with such methods. In the past decade, the NCAA, with little fanfare, placed programs at Alabama, Mississippi and Michigan State on probation for entertaining recruits with strippers. The Buffaloes, however, were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just a week before the story broke in Colorado, the top recruit at the University of Minnesota, Lydon Murtha, rescinded his oral commitment after members of the Gophers football took him to a strip club. If Murtha had waited a few days to announce his decision, we might be ready to skewer Gophers head coach Glen Mason instead of Barnett.

    Which isn't to say that Barnett or anyone else who allowed the situation at Colorado to get out of control shouldn't pay. Barnett's behavior has been abominable. He has issued more denials than the actor in Hamlet's play who forced Hamlet's mother to utter the line, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Barnett reached new depths of ignorance in responding to place kicker Katie Hnida's allegation of rape by calling her an "awful" player. Real classy, Coach. Consider yourself lucky to be on paid leave after that statement. Odds are, many of the problems at Colorado would have come to light anyway, though on a longer timetable. The reaction, however, wouldn't have been so vociferous if the nation's moral radar hadn't been so finely tuned.

    Barnett should take his next cue from Justin and Janet. Timberlake's initial "denial," blaming the overexposure on a wardrobe malfunction, satisfied no one. Somebody had pulled a fast one, and his denial wouldn't stand as the last word, even though he seems not to have been in on the scheme. What turned the tide on the publicity was Janet's admission of guilt and apology. Only then did the furor die down. Only then did the morality play in Boulder take center stage.

    University President Elizabeth Hoffman told the Denver Post that Barnett could save his job if he proves the football program is not hostile to women. Not likely. After all the accusations, followed by denials and crass remarks, Barnett would have too much ground to recover. He would be better advised to admit his role and leave town.

    Justin and Janet, in part, saw to that.
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    Couldn't they use the space Kathleen Nelson takes in the paper for more adertisement?

    It would be a better use of print.
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    • #3
      Some times columnist show that they wait to the last minute and try to throw something on paper just to meet a deadline.

      This had to be one of those times - no thought - no point - no logic at all in this column. I've seen much better stuff from the majority of posters here.
      Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

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