Which perfectly sums up the lunacy of big time collegiate sports in the US.
Most of us know the story now, and it appears that plenty of administrators at Rutgers knew the full story in late November. An outside report was commissioned, but not to determine whether or not the coach and his methods represented a throwback to neanderthal times, but to ascertain whether or not this provided evidence of a hostile work environment:
The interviews and documents reveal a culture in which the university was far more concerned with protecting itself from legal action than with protecting its students from an abusive coach.
University officials focused on the technical issue of whether Mr. Rice had created a hostile work environment, a potential legal justification for his firing, while paying less attention to the larger question of whether Rutgers should employ an authority figure who hurled slurs at and physically provoked its students.
Without irony, the report concludes that while the coach was maybe perhaps if you squint just right, a teensy weensy bit demeaning, “Coach Rice’s conduct does not constitute a hostile work environment”.
It’s safe to say that even the report admits the environment was, at times, hostile. Hence, the focus is on the word “work”, and clearly these athletes are not working for the university. Which has a side benefit: once their scholarship is over, the universities are no longer responsible for any lingering health issues resulting from injuries encountered during their studies.