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Dori: Eastside Catholic, where trophies are more important than values

Stock photo. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Was it rape? Was it consensual? There are conflicting accounts of some of the details of what happened on that April night in 2018 as four Eastside Catholic football players took turns sexually degrading a 16-year-old girl in a bed of a pickup truck as their buddies in front video-recorded it.

As Susannah Frame reported on KING-5, many of the details are indisputable. As the truck rolled through the streets of Medina, Hunts Point, and Clyde Hill, the boys (one of whom was 18 years old) had sex with the girl. The video recording was sent via Snapchat to a lot of their buddies at Eastside Catholic and other Eastside high schools. The police investigated the incident as an alleged gang rape. Frame reports at issue is whether the acts were consensual.

The girl says she was very drunk and was in no condition to give consent. The boys say the girl “wanted it.” Are we to believe that a 16-year-old girl wanted to have four football players treating her like a piece of garbage in the back of a pickup truck?

Here’s what I do know. I would be horrified if I had a son who treated a girl that way. It doesn’t matter if she was drunk. A decent boy would have just gotten the girl home safely, not be part of this lewd incident or the video recording.

That brings us to the way the administration and coaches at Eastside Catholic handled all of this. On the school’s website, under the category “Missions and Touchstones,” they have a quote from Pope John Paul II:

“The human spirit must be cultivated in such a way that there results a growth in its ability to wonder, to understand, to contemplate, to make personal judgments, and to develop a religious, moral and social sense.”

If the boys weren’t raised with the good sense to protect or at least walk away from degrading this girl, I would hope they would have coaches who would instill values and hold them accountable. That’s what great coaches do. It’s about much more than winning and losing.

When I coached in a public high school, I followed the same moral student code of conduct that most schools/coaches use. One of the rules was that if any of my players was at a gathering where alcohol or any other drug is present, they must immediately remove themselves from that gathering. If not, the consequence ranged from at least a 30-day suspension to being kicked off the team. That was merely for being in the presence of alcohol.

In this case, you had football players taking sexual turns with a 16-year-old girl, their buddies video recording it, and distributing the video to further degrade her. There is absolutely no way they would stay on the team if the program had the values they claim to have at their faith-based school. The girl today says she suffers from PTSD and, as KING-5 reported, had to be hospitalized for months.

My sources tell me the University of Washington did not recruit these local star players because they knew of this incident and didn’t want these kids to be part of their program.

One of the kids – who was not involved in the actual sex but allegedly was part of the video recording – got a scholarship to Stanford. This week, Stanford rescinded the offer and booted him out of their program before he even began as more details have been emerging.

Administrators and coaches at Eastside Catholic knew about the investigation. They apparently decided that winning was far more important than upholding the values they claim to have.

EC won the 2018 3A State Championship. After the season, their head coach resigned. Last year, with many of these same boys on the team, they captured the 2019 3A State title.

From the EC website, “There is no greater or more worthy challenge than educating and nurturing our students to become whole human beings. We use the principles embodied in our mission and touchstones to guide this sacred work.”

Those are all just words. At Eastside Catholic the only words that seem to truly matter are winning … winning … winning.

We don’t know if the girl was raped. We do know she was horribly degraded and no one stood up for her. This is about values. The star football players had to be protected at all costs. But, hey, they got a couple of trophies. I hope it was all worth it for Eastside Catholic.

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