Friday, December 6, 2013

the last book I ever read (The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, excerpt five)

from The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian:

The jury acquitted Mathis and Rashada on all counts.

Mathis’s criminal lawyer, Jere Reneer, said, “I’ve never felt prouder to be a lawyer.”

Outside the courtroom, Mathis’s grandmother cried and shouted: “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!”

Brown was devastated. After leaving the courthouse, she collapsed and started sobbing. “They raped me. They raped me. They raped me.” She had to be carried to the car. Over the ensuing months, she became a recluse and gained seventy-five pounds.

The verdict stung Kelly, too. Despite her long career, she had never tried a case against college football players. She saw things in the BYU case that were completely foreign to her. “There was something obviously very different about prosecuting football players,” she said. “The football dynamic was an undercurrent to everything we did. And it was ultimately football that had a very big influence on the jury.”

After the courtroom cleared out, three jurors were still around. Kelly cornered them and asked why they had acquitted. “The jury said they had suffered enough,” Kelly said. “They lost their scholarships. They were kicked off the team.”

Kelly said it was the most bizarre thing she’d ever heard—the idea that the players had been sufficiently punished when they lost their opportunity to play football. “That’s the power of college football,” she said.

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