Hiding In Plain Sight

UPDATE: This post has been edited and updated to reflect the addition of the letter the University of Kansas sent Daisy Tackett.

I’ve written about Daisy before.

The story was bad enough as that. But then a second teammate came forward, joined her lawsuit, and went public. Nowadays, I not only #StandWithDaisy, but also with Sarah McClure.

But even more recent developments than that have forced my hands to the keyboard again. You see, the player accused of rape has been exposed. Not by Daisy. Not by Sarah. But by two articles – one in the Kansas City Star, and another in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star.

Both papers name Jordan Goldenberg, who would’ve been a junior walk-on long snapper at KU this year. Instead, he was expelled.

Now, that would’ve been the end of the story – expulsion and anonymity for a guy who is accused of raping two women. However, Goldenberg inexplicably decided to enroll as a freshman at Indiana State University, and walk on as a long snapper again. And that apparently, along with a few other stars that aligned to point reporters who had already been sleuthing for a potential accused, was enough to expose him.

I don’t know what drives someone to risk it all for a game where, by all accounts, he usually rode the bench, even for Kansas.  Jordan Goldenberg was willing to eschew several years of college to enroll as a freshman, just to bypass any background checks, if I had to guess – for reasons you’ll see below, so he could walk-on again. I’m not even sure, and maybe it will come out in ensuing weeks, how one bypasses the NCAA Clearinghouse to do what he did. By all accounts, having been a redshirt freshman at KU, he would’ve been in his junior year of eligibility in football.

He could’ve gone on to ISU as a student and quietly finished his schooling. But football was king, so he made himself vulnerable to discovery by going for a walk-on spot there. And now, everyone in the world knows that Jordan Goldenberg stands accused of being a serial rapist.

Sarah McClure’s father, James McClure, shared her formal letter from the university today that explained the hearing and expulsion of Goldenberg on his website. According to this letter, Goldenberg sought a swift resolution and agreed to expulsion, a notation on his transcript that would alert other schools about the situation, a 10-year ban from being on the KU campus, and that he would have no contact with Sarah.

The letter, which was signed by Vice Provost for Student Affairs Tammara Durham, said in part:

“On October 19, 2015, the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA) was made aware by KU Public Safety that you reported to them that Mr. Goldenberg had (redacted). You agreed to participate in an investigation by IOA, which concluded on March 2, 2016. IOA found that the preponderance of the evidence supported that Mr. Goldenberg had violated the university’s Sexual Harassment Policy when (redacted). Futher, IOA recommended that if this was the only finding against Mr. Goldenberg, its recommendation would be that he be placed on disciplinary probation, attend education sessions around sexual harassment and consent and that he be banned from the Jayhawker Towers. However, because this was IOA’s second finding against Mr. Goldenberg, they recommended he permanently be expelled from the university. I understand that you also expressed to IOA a desire for Mr. Goldenberg to be expelled.”

Daisy’s letter was released today in a Kansas City Star story. It’s even more damning.

In it, the University said that after an investigation that concluded on February 23, it found that “Mr. Goldenberg engaged in non-consensual sex with you.”

See? Damning. Prevaricating, but damning. Non-consensual sex is rape.

It should be noted that the Goldenberg family has vehemently denied the allegations in the press.

“We are in complete shock to see how easy it is to transfer to another school and begin playing football,” James McClure said.

As usual, I will say this: The conversations about consent and bodily autonomy start much younger than you think. Ask your children for hugs and kisses, don’t demand them or take them, and teach them to do the same.Teach them to ask for permission breach other people’s personal space. Continue the conversations to deeper places as they mature. Don’t let your child – boy or girl – leave for college without talking about consent, rape, and what to do if you see something, even if you’ve already had that conversation (and seriously, you should’ve already had that conversation) many times.

And if you’ve been raped, and don’t think anyone will believe you, I will. Always. And there are far more people than you think that will believe you. And if you need to talk, I’m available.

 

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