Monthly Archives: February 2016

Hampton students attend Yale’s Black Solidarity Conference

(courtesy of Mayfield and Sharpp)

(courtesy of Mayfield and Sharpp)

Phillip Jackson | Web Editor

Discussing the differences of Historically Black Colleges and Predominantly White Institutions on social media is difficult. Traveling to Yale University, a school considered as one of the most prestigious institutions in the country to bring this discussion forward in front of at least 700 students, professors, and professionals as HBCU students can be even harder.

Yet two Hampton University students, Talia Sharpp and Alexis Mayfield, brought the conversation to the forefront in a different way. It was the 21st annual Black Solidarity conference and both Sharpp and Mayfield were the only two historically Black university students in attendance.

The conference was held was held from Thursday to Sunday, and included keynote speaker Elizabeth Alexander and a performance from rapper Mick Jenkins.

The workshop titled “HBCU vs PWIs: an unnecessary debate, necessary discussion,” was a chance to discuss the conflict of conversation on the topic in front of faces of Black students who attend predominantly white schools.

“It [the conference] was about student activism, but specifically about how the conversation can be very divisive,” said Mayfield, an English major from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “The goal was to point out that while we go to different schools and experience different cultures, it was to show that we both deal with oppressive cultures.”

The discussion on HBCUs and PWIs has always been a heated topic. It has grown amongst the annual discussions that can be seen on Twitter whether it focuses on living conditions, acceptance and graduation rates, campus demographics and social life.

More specifically, the conversation reaches new heights almost every year in Black Twitter.

Just a few months back in November when the University of Missouri football team decided to take a stand against racism at their school, Black Twitter began a hashtag #BlackOnCampus to express their distress.

The only problem is that every Black person does not attend a school with similar demographics.

The argument on HBCUs versus PWIs came about during a time where students were facing an uphill battle of being racially outnumbered on a campus feeling neglected in the school environment.

And if being the minority at an institution, battling racism and establishing a platform to make their voices heard was hard enough, the addition of a HBCU and PWI debate may have been the icing on the divisive cake.

Days later, Hampton University took steps to combat the social divide of Black students in college in support of students at the University of Missouri.

Being that the topic has been such a fiery discussion for a long period of time, it came as to no surprise that Sharpp and Mayfield’s workshop received as much people in attendance as it did.

But getting to the campus was the first obstacle. “Our flight was delayed 3 hours, it was kind of rough from the beginning,” Mayfield said. “Things didn’t go as planned.”

They went on to say that when they arrived they only had an hour to prepare for their workshop saying that “the room was packed and that people were already sitting on the floor and standing up around the room.”  The workshop had the highest number of attendees compared others, including “at least 100 people,” according to Mayfield and Sharpp unsurprisingly.

Although, being the only two students attending a historically Black college at the conference, both Mayfield and Sharpp felt an obligation to be an example of what a Black college can bring to a discussion.

They had two cases during their presentation. “We looked at the historical and vertical background by Audre Lorde,” Sharpp said.

Everyone in the room was not as receptive to what was being discussed, but it was expected. “It was kind of a general feeling [in the room] that HBCU students make them out as sellouts,” Sharpp said. “Because it’s such a tense conversation, it took them a while to get warmed up,” Mayfield added.

But overall the case studies and their focuses ended up being successful. “In response to the case study, students responded saying that other students of color are important also and need to be included in activism,” Sharpp remarked.

They included cases of police brutality on campuses of both historically Black and predominantly white colleges. One case included examples of police involved threats in killings at Jackson State University.

JSU faced at least two documented cases. One that resulted in a 1970 police involved killing of two students and the other about a student that was threatened with a shotgun in 2015.

The other case covered issues of police harassment and excessive force against students at Florida State.

Both Sharpp and Mayfield also added that when a current Seton Hall professor stated that if he had gone to a PWI, he would have been just been a high school teacher, but because he had gone to an HBCU he is now a college professor.

He was a Delaware State alum. Immediately after his remark, a student from Cornell University was offended.

“We had to find value in the conversation,” Mayfield said, and they did.

Though the comment stirred controversy in the already tension filled room, Black colleges are known for having a nurturing environment. “You need your network and you need your support system. At an HBCU, I’ve seen our network extend past the professors,” Mayfield responded. Although both enjoyed the conference entirely, the trip would not have been done if they did not go out their way to find it.

Both students paid for their flight and on-campus housing on Yale University’s campus, while other students were and are funded by their select schools to attend the conference every year. Every student who was funded was a student of a predominantly white institution according to Sharpp and Mayfield.

“What keeps us from attending these conferences is the funding of HBCUs. Every PWI was fully funded to go,” Mayfield said.

Sharpp also added, “I think it’s an important experience for student activists to be surrounded by others. Too often HBCU students get left out of these discussions where we need to have our voices heard.”

They received great a positive review of their workshop from the leaders of the conference. Both Sharpp and Mayfield look forward to attending the conference again and encourage Hampton University to provide an even stronger presence.


The plight of the male feminist



Alexis Weston | Contributing Writer

“We want to end gender inequality, and to do that we need everyone involved,” said Emma Watson during her 2014 speech to the United Nations. In this speech, she extended a formal invitation to all men to become a part of the feminist movement with her “HeForShe” campaign.

Her campaign asserts that we cannot end gender inequality without the help of men because inequality negatively affects men as well. They should make fighting for gender equality a priority in their everyday lives. This speech launched a social media campaign in which men posted photos of themselves holding up signs saying, “#HeForShe,” which was sometimes accompanied by a personal anecdote involving their experiences with feminism and observations of sexism.

Watson was hailed as a game changer for the modern day feminist movement for sparking male interest in something that men, historically, have not been particularly fond of. Considering that feminism still is not very popular in the United States, with Huffington Post reporting that 20 percent of Americans identify as feminists, 23 percent of all American women and 16 percent of all American men identifying as such, it seems as though the movement could use as many new minds as possible.

Dominique Conway, a sophomore, political science major from Murietta, California, proudly declared herself a feminist. When asked whether she thought men could be feminists she said, “Absolutely. I feel like it’s a very universal belief.” She continued on to say, “It just means you support equality in places where equality is not met or seen.”

Julian Boyd, a sophomore, computer science major Spotsylvania, Virginia and self-proclaimed male feminist, stated that he believes the place of men within the movement is, “just to be helpful and not hinder any progress. You have to spread what you know to other guys.” Freshman, biology major from Owings, Maryland, Taylor Burnett had a similar answer, stating that men should, “support the feminist movement for their wives, their daughters, their nieces and the people who come after them.”

In Brian Klocke’s article, “Roles of Men with Feminism and Feminist Theory,” he states that he thinks, “men can be pro-feminist and anti-sexist, I do not believe that we can be feminists in the strictest form of the word.” Klocke explains that men can not be feminists in the sense that women can because, “men, in this patriarchal system, cannot remove themselves from their power and privilege in relation to women.”

This is similar to the view that Malcolm X had on white people that attempted to be involved in the Civil Rights Movement (post-revelation). While he did not mind their support, he believed that they could not truly be involved because it was necessary for Black people to be the face, voice and hands of their movement.

It would be wrong to say that men can not be involved in and support feminism, in fact, men should be encouraged to do so. However, it’s very important to recognize that feminism is meant to be a space that uplifts women and makes their own voices heard. If feminists start modeling their beliefs after the ideas behind the “HeForShe” campaign, it would become a movement centered around men saving women, thus placing them in a paternalistic role rather than a supporting one. Jenika McCrayer and Jamie Utt said it best in their collaborative article, “Can Men be Feminists? And 9 Other FAQs We Often Get From Men.” They tell men not to, “worry too much about the label and just do the work.”

HBCU vs. PWI: A debate that needs to end

(getty images)

(getty images)

Kyla Wright | Contributing Writer

There used to be a time where African Americans were praised for attending college, no matter what university they chose. There is already pressure to choose the right major and being able to pay for school, but now choosing an HBCU or a PWI is added to the list. Simply attending college should be an accomplishment on its own; however, the never-ending debates on Twitter beg to differ. According to USA Today, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are defined as post-secondary schools that were established and accredited before 1964 and whose principal mission was and is the education of African-Americans.

Predominately White Institutions (PWIs), on the other hand, are defined as schools of higher learning in which whites account for at least 50% enrollment. The big “debate” is based on which type of institution is better for the African American student.

“People who talk down on HBCU’s sound ignorant because they wouldn’t be able to get a higher education if it wasn’t for HBCU’s,” said Peyton Hundley, a biology pre-med major from Charlotte, North Carolina. According to the NY Daily News, prior to the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954, HBCU’s existed as federal inventions to offer black students opportunities to learn a basic skill or a trade. These institutions have now flourished with a plethora of undergraduate and graduate programs, some being the best in the country. It is hard to believe that institutions that have many benefits like Hampton University are known as the “Standard of Excellence,” yet are still considered limited because it is an HBCU.

Many students opt for black colleges because they attended predominantly white secondary schools, dealt with racism and discrimination and did not want to be subject to this mistreatment for their undergraduate education.

This past year, students of color at the University of Missouri, a known PWI, protested the racism experienced on the campus. The protests sparked conversations of understanding and opposition. Though there were many jokes and posts on Twitter and it is unlikely that the racism would have occurred at an HBCU, this does not mean that these students deserved this harassment. The message should have been one of encouragement and not that HBCU students should have been acting against them. Hampton University students stood in solidarity with the students at the University of Missouri a #HU4MIZZOU campaign.

“If you want to see what it’s like not living in the culture you may have grown up in , go for a PWI!,” said Cydney Rodgers, an athletic training major at the University of Michigan from Detroit. One benefit of PWIs is that they show students of color a more realistic picture of what the world and many of their future workplaces will look like compared to an HBCU. In addition, PWIs get a substantial amount of funding compared to HBCU’s. According to Essence Magazine, if the endowments of all 105 HBCU’s were added up, they’d still amount to less than 10% of Harvard University’s endowment, which at upward of $30 billion is the wealthiest of any college in the world.

On the other hand, many African American students steer away from PWI’s because they do not want to just be another number struggling to be seen and heard. Many African American students at PWIs took to Twitter during the University of Missouri incident with the trending topic, “#BlackOnCampus,” giving examples of issues they have had with being Black at a predominantly white school. A post from @novxvi on Twitter says, “Having to act like [stuff] doesn’t happen because you don’t want to be seen as that black student always ‘pulling the race card’ #BlackOnCampus.”

Whether you attend an HBCU or a PWI, be a part of the 42 percent of blacks that graduate from college and also help future college students do the same. College is difficult; there will be pros and cons to the institution of your choice and not every day will be enjoyable. The truth is, college is what you make it. It is up to the individual if they would like a more cultured experience with students who look like them and not anyone else’s decision. If a student would rather a campus with a wide variety of students then that’s their choice as well. At the end of the day, it is your college experience and it is about what you want – meaning that other people’s opinions are insignificant. Remember to praise your peers for getting into college instead of criticizing them on which one they go to; that should be the least of your concern.

State delays trials of officers in Gray case



Leondra Head | Local & World Editor

Two Baltimore police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case are opposing the state’s motion to delay their trials. Trials will be delayed until appellate courts decide whether another officer can be compelled to testify against them. Lawyers for Lieutenant Brian Rice and Officer Edward Nero filed responses Monday, February 8 in the Baltimore Circuit Court.

Baltimore prosecutors are asking for a delay pending the appeal of Judge Barry Williams’ decision denying the use of Officer William Porter’s testimony in the trials of three of six police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case until appellate courts decide if another officer is awaiting retrial on a related charges that can be compelled to testify against.

The state’s motion says Judge Williams overstepped his authority by inquiring into the state’s reasons for wanting to compel Porter’s testimony. The motion says that the law limits the court’s role in such matters to verifying that prosecutors have complied with certain procedural requirements. Lawyers from both side are barred from discussing the case with reporters.

The state is arguing that Judge Williams does not have the legal authority to determine who can be immunized. Williams previously ruled that Porter could be compelled by the state to testify in the trials of Officer Caesar Goodson and Sargent Alicia White. That ruling has been appealed and is set for oral arguments before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in March.

The motion filed Friday, February 4 could postpone the trials of Lieutenant Brian Rice, Officer Garrett Miller and Officer Edward Nero for several months.

Nero, Miller and Rice are charged with assault, misconduct and reckless endangerment. Rice is the only officer charged with manslaughter. Nero is the second scheduled trial, starting February 22.

The motion is one of the latest developments in the state’s efforts to make Officer William Porter available to testify against all five officers in trials stemming from the April arrest of Gray, a 25 year-old black male who died from a broken neck during a ride in the back of a police van.

Porter is the only defendant who was present at Gray’s arrest. Prosecutors have said they need Porter’s testimony against Goodson and White and may need him to testify against Nero, Miller and Rice.

Porter’s manslaughter trial ended in a hung jury in December. His retrial is set to June 13. He is appealing the court order that would force him to testify under immunity against Goodson and White.

Prosecutors said last week they will appeal Circuit Judge Barry Williams’ January 20 ruling that Porter cannot be compelled to testify against Rice, Miller and Nero. Judge Williams said that he was not convinced the state needs Porter’s testimony. Instead, he agreed to delay those trials until after Porter’s retrial.

Alicia Harris, a freshman biology major from Richmond, Virginia thinks that the case should proceed as planned. “Freddie Gray deserves justice for his death. The case should not be delayed and the other officer should be allowed to testify. I personally believe the delaying of the case is postponing the justice that the Gray family deserves,” Harris said.

Chicago cop sues deceased teen’s family for $10 milllion

(ny daily news)

(ny daily news)

Leondra Head | Local & World Editor

The Chicago police officer who killed black unarmed college engineering student, Quintonio Legrier, filed a lawsuit against LeGrier’s family asking for $10 million for suffering extreme emotional distress.

LeGrier died from multiple gunshot wounds in the December 26 shooting. The neighbor of LeGrier, Bettie Jones was also killed. Chicago police described Jones as a victim who was accidentally struck and tragically killed.

The claim filed on Friday, February 5 by Officer Robert Raimo, alleges the 19-year-old assaulted him with a baseball bat and caused him to suffer trauma. The officer is seeking more than $10 million for “extreme emotional distress” from the LeGrier family.  This lawsuit provides the public with Railmo’s first explanation of what occurred.

The officer’s lawsuit says that LeGrier’s death was LeGrier’s fault and not his fault. The lawsuit states, “The fact that LeGrier’s actions had forced Officer Rialmo to end LeGrier’s life and to accidentally take the innocent life of Bettie Jones has caused, and will continue to cause Officer Rialmo to suffer extreme emotional trauma.”

In a statement on Facebook, Rialmo’s attorney Joel Brodsky said, “Rialmo is taken aback by the speed in which the family of Mr. LeGrier rushed to file a lawsuit. He wants to make the point that having a relative killed in an officer-involved shooting is not the same as winning the lottery.”

Brodsky admits to People Magazine that it is rare for police officers to sue the families of people they have killed in the line of duty, but defends his client’s right to claim damages.

The lawsuit provides the officer’s moment-by-moment explanation of the incident, stating that the teen swung a baseball bat at him twice, barely missing both times. Court documents say, “The officer had his gun holstered and backed up as he shouted orders for LeGrier to drop the bat. It was only after LeGrier continued to approach and ignored the officer’s commands that Rialmo opened fire.”

LeGrier’s father and his family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the shooting.  Basileios Foutris, an attorney for the LeGrier estate called the lawsuit “nonsense” and said Officer Rialmo’s account of what had happened was “pure fantasy” in a statement released to the public on Monday, February 8.

“It’s a new low for the Chicago Police Department,” Foutris said. “First you shoot them, then sue them. It’s outrageous. I can’t believe that this police officer has the temerity to turn around and sue the estate of the person he killed.”

Freshman, political science major, Joanna Smith from Baltimore said, “It is a growing epidemic that black males are getting killed by white police officers. LeGrier’s death is a tragedy for his family and Chicago’s Southside community. It is a shame that the officer is suing the family’s estate while the family is still grieving. ”

The shooting further strained relations between the Chicago Police Department and African-American residents as the Justice Department is reviews Chicago police practices.

The shooting came as Chicago officials were in hot water for what critics have called a popular culture of “shoot first and ask questions later.”

Supreme Court Justice Scalia dies at 79

chapman.0830 - 08/29/05 - A Supreme Court headed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has questions for Chapman University Law School professor John Eastman as he and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer argue the 1905 ''Lochner v. State of New York'' case during a re-enactment Monday afternoon at Chapman University. (Credit: Mark Avery/Orange County Register/ZUMA Press)

chapman.0830 – 08/29/05 – A Supreme Court headed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has questions for Chapman University Law School professor John Eastman as he and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer argue the 1905 ”Lochner v. State of New York” case during a re-enactment Monday afternoon at Chapman University. (Credit: Mark Avery/Orange County Register/ZUMA Press)

Leondra Head | Local & World Editor

Justice Antonin Scalia, who during three decades on the Supreme Court strengthened conservative jurisprudence and revived a focus on the Constitution’s original meaning, was found dead at 79 on Saturday, February 12. Scalia spent his final hours in the Cibolo Creek Ranch Hotel in Shafter, Texas. Flags at the Supreme Court are lowered in honor of his death.

The night before he died, there were no signs that anything was wrong. Sources said he had dinner at the exclusive West Texas ranch and excused himself at around 9 p.m. When he did not show up for an 8 a.m. excursion, John Poindexter, owner of the Cibolo Creek, started to get worried. “I had not seen him, and everyone else was up. I knocked loudly,” Poindexter told the Los Angeles Times.

Poindexter called a hospital and an official apparently said it would be impossible to resuscitate Scalia. The U.S. Marshals Service was called and then that “set into motion hours of intense discussions about how to navigate the protocols associated with the death of a Supreme Court justice outside the Washington area.” Scalia died of natural causes.

Scalia was appointed as a Supreme Court Justice at in 1986 by former President Ronald Reagan. Justice Scalia wrote landmark rulings and overturned expectations for pending rulings on gun rights, affirmative action, abortion, criminal law and free speech, and dissented, sometimes furiously, from landmark decisions expanding gay rights, reining in the death penalty and affirming abortion rights. In 2008, he wrote a landmark 5-4 ruling striking down Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns in an opinion that for the first time said the Second Amendment confers gun ownership rights in the home.

“He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement for the court. “His passing is a great loss to the court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”

President Obama said Sunday that the 79-year-old Reagan appointee was “one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the Supreme Court.”

While tributes poured in from across the political spectrum, politicians in Washington immediately began thinking of Justice Scalia’s successor. “I plan to fulfill my constitutional duties to nominate a successor in due time,” Mr. Obama said, calling on the Senate to “fulfill its responsibility” to give his choice a fair hearing and vote.

Political experts and analysts suggest President Obama’s nomination will most likely be Loretta Lynch. Tom Goldstein, who runs the influential SCOTUSblog, believes Lynch is the leading contender. Lynch is a “very serious possibility,” Goldstein wrote. “The fact that Lynch was vetted so recently for attorney general also makes it practical for the president to nominate her in relatively short order.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, fearing that whomever Obama picks will tip the ideological balance of the nation’s highest court to the left, has already made it clear that he believes next president should be responsible for appointing a justice.

He declares that the seat should be vacant until January saying, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore a vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” GOP presidential candidates, including Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio, have made similar statements.

On the court, his loss breaks the narrow 5-4 conservative majority that has held for decades, one reinforced 10 years ago when the second of two George W. Bush appointees was confirmed. The prospects for dramatic conservative victories on a range of controversial issues immediately diminished, as a 4-4 split on the court would leave standing lower court rulings conservatives hoped to overturn.

#BlackHistoryMonth: Robertson joins legends

(nba daily)

(nba daily)

Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

When you are selected in a draft that includes Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, it’s easy to be forgotten unless you do something to stand out.

6-3, 185 lb. guard Alvin Robertson was picked seventh overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1984, an impressive feat for the University of Arkansas product.

Over the course of his 16 year professional basketball career, Robertson was a four-time NBA All-Star, an all-NBA Second Team selection, a two-time All-Defensive First Team selection and led the league in steals three times, among other accolades.

Most basketball fans know that a “triple double” is when a player earns double digits in three statistical categories in a game and that some players accomplish this multiple times in one season.

But Robertson accomplished  something that has been only been done twice since 1986.

On this day in history, Robertson led the Spurs to a 120-114 win over the Phoenix Suns and finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals. Only Robertson and two of the three other players to do this did so without an overtime.

1986 was his best year as the 23-year-old set the NBA ablaze in his second season, winning the Most Improved Player and the Defensive Player of the Year Awards and being named to the all-NBA Second Team.

Although he never won a championship, Robertson made history that year by becoming the first guard to earn a “quadruple-double”.

Robertson retired in 2000 and, to date, has not been named to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

HU Tennis gears up for 2016 season



Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

The Hampton University tennis program is set to begin the 2016 season on February 19 when the men take on James Madison University in Newport News, Virginia at the Centre Court Racquet Club at 7 p.m.

The following day, the women will play Delaware State in Dover, Delaware at 3 p.m.

Prior to the start of the season, the conference’s head tennis coaches and sports information directors released their preseason rankings and decided that the Lady Pirates would finish fourth in the northern divsion.

On the men’s side, Hampton earned two first-place votes but came in second in the northern division behind Morgan State, who had 14 first-place votes.

In September, both teams competed in their first tune-up event of the year at the annual HBCU Championships after a two-year hiatus.

The Pirates finished fourth and the Lady Pirates finished in third, with Kristina Titova, a freshman from Novosibirsk, Russia, winning the singles title after defeating top competition from Howard University, Xavier University, Bethune-Cookman University and Shaw University.

The men will next play the University of Richmond in Norfolk, Virginia on the 21 at 7 p.m. and the women will take on James Madison in the Norfolk, Virginia on February 27 at 6 p.m.

Hampton Women’s Track dominates MEAC Indoor Championship



Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

On February 13, the team was able to extend their dominance at the MEAC Indoor Championship, winning their sixth straight title at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Director of Track & Field Maurice Pierce told that he felt “this championship right here was a combination of a serious group effort, and [senior Ce’aira Brown] was the knockout punch.”

Brown had another spectacular showing, adding to her illustrious Hampton career that includes several First Team All-MEAC selections, and took home Most Outstanding Runner honors.

The Philadelphia native shattered both a school and a MEAC record she owns. The two events were the mile run, where she broke her school record by almost five seconds, and the 800-meter run that saw her beat her MEAC record by nearly three seconds.

In addition to these victories, Brown won the 3,000-meter run in a season-best 10:06.42, and was the anchor on the distance medley relay squad that won first place.

One of her relay teammates, freshman Tiara Robinson, was part of another first place relay race win in the 4×400-meter relay.

Drama following Manning to the end

(usa today)

(usa today)

Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

After his historic win at Super Bowl 50 on February 7 to earn his second championship ring, quarterback Peyton Manning appeared to have one foot out of the door of the NFL as most thought he would ride off peacefully into the sunset. But Dr. Jamie Naughright, former Director of Health & Wellness for the Men’s Athletic Program at the University of Tennessee, has temporarily put that seemingly storybook ending on hold.

On February 13, New York Daily News reporter Shaun King published a recently released 74-page court document filed in 2003 in a February 2016 article, entitled “Peyton Manning’s squeaky-clean image was built on lies.”

The documents cast a negative shadow on the future Hall of Famer’s otherwise clean public image and brought to light a case everyone thought was gone.

To make matters worse, four days prior, six unnamed women filed a Title IX lawsuit against the University of Tennessee, citing numerous “violations by the school, an adjudication process heinously biased against victims, and a pattern of sexual assault by male athletes,” according to an article on The article also highlights that the suit outlines that university and its leaders fostered “a toxic culture that enables sexual assault and allows its perpetrators go unpunished.”

The Tennessean reported that one of the 10 athletes cited in the lawsuit was Manning, who was a star QB for UT’s football team. The lawsuit cited the 20-year-old situation with Manning to provide a good example for the behavior the lawsuit is seeking to have penalized.

The incident that prompted Naughright, whose last name was Whited at the time, to file the suit on August 27, 1996 allegedly took place on February 29, 1996. Naughright alleges that Manning intentionally placed his lower extremities on her head while he sat on a trainer’s table as she was examining his foot for a stress fracture.

“I reported this to my supervisor, who referred to it as ‘merely a prank,’ and no action was taken in regard to this until after I formally complained. I have been on medical leave ever since this incident occurred,” said Naughright in her employment discrimination complaint.

It may seem like the incident with Manning was a random occurrence but that is not the case. In 1989, the then 20-year-old Naughright was transferred to the men’s athletic programs, becoming one of the first women to work in the program, after interning for a year with the women.

For three years, she was subjected to verbal harassment from her boss, associate trainer Mike Rollo and other staff members.

In spite of this, Naughright persevered and even successfully instituted policies prohibiting offensive language and eventually trained students on how to be professional.

In the fall of 1994, during Manning’s freshman year, he and Naughright got involved in a situation so damaging that his counsel requested it be sealed and censored from the permanent record. This encounter would set the tone for the relationship between the two moving forward.

The university investigated the 1996 case and concluded that she was not discriminated against and was not subjected to any unwelcome sexual interaction that created a hostile work environment. It was also determined that the act committed by Manning was directed at a teammate as a “mooning” prank and “not sexual in nature or directed at Ms. Whited; and therefore was not sexual harassment”.

King also wrote that Rollo created the story that painted the picture of Manning mooning fellow-student athlete Malcolm Saxon, who lost his eligibility as a result of the drama. In 2002, Saxon adamantly denied the story, however, in an affidavit.

King’s article also notes that Naughright was asked by two staff members, one of which was Rollo, if she would consider blaming the entire incident on another student-athlete, specifically a black one. She refused.

On August 13, 1997, Naughright signed a confidentiality agreement and reached a settlement with the school and “received $300,000 and several items of UT championship paraphernalia in exchange for accepting termination of her employment and maintaining confidentiality,” as cited in a February 2016 Sports Illustrated article.

In her remaining time at the university, King wrote, Manning, on two separate occasions, deliberately reenacted the assault on others to terrorize Naughright. He also allegedly called her a “b*tch” in front of other athletes after snatching a marker from her hand and throwing it across the room.

When she finally left, she vowed to put the Manning controversy behind her and was hired as an assistant professor and program director of the Athletic Education Training Program at Florida Southern College.

She was able to expertly serve there for more than three years but, in what was perhaps an effort to cover the tracks should anything ever be uncovered, the Mannings, Peyton and his father, ex-NFL QB Archie, decided to make their presence known in her life again. Upon returning from a trip with students, she was welcomed by a manilla envelope in her office that had “Dr. Vulgar Mouth Whited” printed on the front and contained a copy of the family’s book, “The Mannings” inside.

In it, the father and son, along with ghost writer John Underwood, slandered her name and ruined her strong perception in the program and, upon her supervisor reading the copy, she was once again let go.

This was the second time Naughright had her life and career impacted by the famous family for no reason and decided that she would sue all of the writers and the publishing company, HarperCollins, for defamation.

The Mannings sought to prove that Naughright was “trashy”, had poor character, spoke poorly and was promiscuous with black student-athletes during the trial. They felt it would strengthen their case that she was a liar and that Peyton did not do what she claimed.

Despite a strong case, full of testimonials from former student-athletes and people who worked close with Naughright who all said nothing but positive things about her, both parties settled on undisclosed terms in 2003.

In the wake of Manning’s HGH scandal, which is another story in itself, many have begun to question the sincerity of the promoting genius’ clean public image.

It remains to be seen what effect this has, if any, on Manning’s life as he prepares to possibly hang up his cleats.

One thing that is for sure, however, and that is that there is no doubt that the renewed interest in the case will spark debates from the barbershop to ESPN to UT’s campus, where Manning has made many donations.