clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

An Unfair Treatment

A lot of times at Duke, or maybe we should say when people talk about Duke,
perspective gets warped. That's what happens when a program hits a certain
level. That happened at Indiana with Knight, and it always happens with Alabama
football. We're not talking about the fans, because we think Duke fans are a
very different breed, and to a large extent are actually better when Duke
struggles. Not fair weather fans, in other words.

What we're talking about is the general perception of a program.

So when something happens like the so-called Jason Williams incident, which
was truly incidental, it sometimes gets blown out of proportion. Again, to
recap, what happened was this: after a game full of trash talking and aggressive
behavior, Duke had a large lead with under 10 seconds left. B.C.'s Kenny
Walls decided to guard Williams very aggressively. Williams pump-faked several
times, and Walls, objecting, shoved him into the announcer's table. If
Walls had let the clock run out, it would have been almost completely unnoticed.
So: after a game of talking smack, a B.C. player shoves Williams, and Williams
is blamed and excoriated for taunting. No mention is made of B.C.'s behavior at
all. Apparently, in the popular mind, "taunting" trumps physical
violence. Makes no sense to us, but that seems to be the logic.

To a large extent, we're unsympathetic - in the sense that if you're at Duke,
you're going to get that kind of attention. It's like Chris Duhon getting
a citation on Halloween for having a beer. A college freshman having a
beer. We're shocked! Shocked! Who ever heard of such a thing? But he plays
basketball at Duke; he's going to stand out in a crowd full of typical college

But nonetheless, considering the bizarre amount of interest that Jason's
incident got, and the endless laments about the End of Sportsmanship, you'd
think the disgraceful
witnessed in South
Bend this weekend
would have received more attention than it did.

You'd have thought wrong.

In case you missed it, and you might have since it wasn't talked about very
much, West Virginia's Chris Moss:

  • stepped on Jere Macura's face for a technical
  • got called for another technical
  • screamed at his coach
  • spit on two Notre Dame cheerleaders
  • gave the referees the finger
  • knocked over some barricades on the way out

West Virginia coach Gale Catlett says he's a good kid who's mom is dying and
he's having a hard time. You'd have to be a heel to not feel empathy for that,
but at the same time, people lose loved ones all the time and they don't behave
like this.

We're waiting for more moral outrage, for letters saying that West Virginia
is a disgrace, maybe some discussion of tattoos, for something, anything, to show us that the reactions are consistent. But we're not holding our breath, either, because it seems
increasingly evident that the outrage is selective.