Giancarlo Navas/ Staff Writer
The alleged sexual harassment by first year Head Coach of the women’s basketball team Marlin Chinn speaks to the system of indentured servitude that is college athletics.
Cloaked in a veil of education is an oppressive system that feasts on the defenseless and emboldens the powerful. senior forward Destini Feagin may have been a victim of not only sexual assault, but of the culture of college athletics.
At the top, we have the coach, all powerful and in total control. Beneath him are the players, succumbing to the will of the all-powerful, a construct the builders of this country fought tooth and nail to change.
The players are at the mercy of someone else’s morality and assuming the allegations of sexual harassment are true, Feagin was under the control of a man who lacked any.
Chinn was allegedly pursuing a sexual relationship with Feagin. Feagin was quoted in the Miami Herald describing how Chinn would talk to her.
“Commenting on my looks, my body, frame, my breasts, my behind. The way I smile. He would go into detail what his sexual thoughts were.”
Feagin went on to say how alone and cornered she felt by the situation.
“I felt powerless. I felt like I couldn’t tell anybody because he would use basketball against me. And he knew how much I wanted to play.”
College athletics strikes again. The labor has none of the power and is at the whim of someone who does. A coach is allegedly sexually harassing a player on road trips and in practice and the result is that the player feels like they cannot speak up.
The players are trapped by this construction of college athletics, that if they did speak up they would take away what was precious to them.
But here America is giving programming like the NCAA National Championship game and March Madness record ratings. The rights to broadcast the March Madness tournament sold for 10 billion dollars, the GDP of Haiti was under 9 billion in 2015.
America is feeding this machine of fake amateurism as some of its employees are not only not paid, but sexually harassed by their bosses.
Feagin was suspended prior to her filing a complaint against Chinn because she borrowed a teammates Panther bucks card to buy food because hers was depleted, a NCAA violation.
So the institution in place to protect student-athletes not only employed a man who is accused of sexual harassment of a student athlete but has more money than a small country and still won’t help their athletes eat when they are hungry without suspending them because they are tainting the purity of college athletics.
Last week 16 Tennessee coaches were at a press conference amid their own sexual harassment scandal and instead of questioning their culture of unfairness, misogyny and tyranny they stood pat and refused to look in a mirror. They stuck to their guns like the good foot soldiers they are and continued to give power to the machine.
Why wouldn’t they? The coaches are the ones who benefit most from it. Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban has his mansion paid for by the university in addition to his seven million dollar salary.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has a private jet paid for by Michigan in addition to his seven million dollar salary. Saban fled the pros because suddenly the power paradigm shifted to the players and he became a punchline in Miami.
Harbaugh? He could not get along with his players or management and had to go to a system where people couldn’t disagree with him because he was the one in charge.
Bully the players into taking no pay. Bully the players into being silent about sexual harassment because they feel they can’t speak up against the dictator.
Chinn has been suspended by the University while they investigate the matter, it is unclear if Chinn is on paid leave or not.
Despite being suspended Chinn coached in the senior game Saturday, Feb. 27, against the FAU Owls.
“To me, it appeared like they were trying to brush it under the rug,” Joi Nicholson, Feagin’s mother, said. “They didn’t want to talk about it. They just seemed like they didn’t want any part of it. As if they were in not disbelief, but denial.”
FIU did not announce the suspension of Chinn until two hours after the Miami Herald broke the story, reactionary as always. Nothing was done until the public became aware of this despite the reports saying that Feagin has reported the incident much before.
We continue to feed this machine of college athletics, in the name of nobility and purity, even though it’s anything but.