University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely attacked a sleeping teammate last year, leaving his face bruised, after hearing that the player had kissed Yeardley Love, a student Huguely had dated, according to three former U-Va. lacrosse players with knowledge of the incident.Okay, stop right there. Huguely attacked a sleeping--and therefore completely defenseless--teammate and the attack was serious enough to leave that teammate's faced bruised. That's a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, but was it reported to law enforcement authorities? Apparently not. Well, what--if any--action was taken by UVA to deal with someone disturbed enough to attack a sleeping, defenseless victim?
U-Va. lacrosse Coach Dom Starsia quickly learned of the February 2009 incident and disciplined the two players, although both played in games that week, according to the former players, who spoke on condition of anonymity, and records of the games.Wait, what the hell? The UVA lacrosse coach knew about this attack and disciplined BOTH of the players? Since when is the consensual kissing of a single woman above the age of consent equivalent to attacking and beating a sleeping and defenseless victim? Was Yeardley sleeping and defenseless when Huguely broke down the door of her bedroom?
School officials have said they were not informed of prior violence by Huguely, a 22-year-old senior from Chevy Chase who was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder in Love's slaying. It is unclear whether Starsia told his superiors about the attack.
It appears to me that Coach Starsia substituted his judgement for the judgement of qualified law enforcement authorities and possibly mental health workers. Would Yeardley Love still be alive today if Coach Starsia had reported the incident to law enforcement? If George W. Huguely had been expelled from UVA for this February 2009 incident, would Yeardley Love still be with us?
There's no way we can know the answers to these questions--they are going to be folded in with the anger and regret we as a society feel over this tragedy. But the fact that Coach Starsia knew of the February 2009 attack and covered it up, giving Huguely a slap on the wrist punishment, suggests that he and the administration of UVA bear a measure of responsibility.
Read the complete Washington Post article here.