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L.A. Times scoops U-T on SDSU football rape case

Brutal gang rape allegations have gone unreported to public for months, Times says

The claim was that five players had raped a girl and left her bloodied and bruised at a party off campus.
The claim was that five players had raped a girl and left her bloodied and bruised at a party off campus.

Is an eye-popping scoop by the Los Angeles Times regarding allegations of gang rape involving five unnamed San Diego State University football players another sign that San Diego's hometown Union-Tribune is on the ropes?

Labeled a "Times Investigation," on the paper's website, the June 3 page-one dispatch begins "The reports to campus officials late last year revealed disturbing allegations about players from San Diego State University’s winning football team. Claims were rapidly spreading among the school’s athletes that five players had raped an unconscious girl and left her bloodied and bruised at a house party off campus."

"'I am very scared and worried that nothing is being done about this,' one student-athlete told university officials in a message sent through an anonymous reporting system, which was reviewed by the Times along with other internal campus records in the case.

"Now, more than seven months after the alleged Oct.16 incident, San Diego State officials have not launched an internal investigation or student disciplinary proceeding, both of which are intended in part to help protect students and employees from those found to have engaged in sexual misconduct. Nor have they alerted the campus that police are investigating a reported sexual assault involving students and provided information for potential witnesses to contact authorities."

"In interviews, Title IX and legal experts said it can be appropriate for schools to comply with police requests to delay investigations but that it was troubling that San Diego State has held off on taking action for nearly an entire academic year," the Times SDSU story says.

“The cops are not telling us a whole lot,” board member Jack McGrory told the Times.

Like the Times, the print version of the U-T ran the blockbuster story on its front page, though the paper did not identify the authors of the account as Los Angeles Times reporters until the bottom of the piece.

Both papers are owned by Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon Shiong, who has vowed to keep each independently operating, through fears are growing among some locals that he will ultimately fold San Diego, which often writes favorably about SDSU football, into the L.A. news operation.

"San Diego State football players got a glimpse of their new home Wednesday afternoon," the U-T reported April 6 regarding the university's Snapdragon Stadium under construction in Mission Valley. "And it was good."

"San Diego State players’ biggest takeaway is how close fans will be to the action on the field," said a headline.

Much of the paper's SDSU coverage over the past year or so has been devoted to hyping the football team's new stadium.

"Snapdragon Stadium update: Aztecs reach 10,000 season ticket sales," revealed a March 3 story, "Snapdragon Stadium update: Video boards promise vivid game-day experience," said a February 3 dispatch , and "Aztecs will debut Snapdragon Stadium with midday game on CBS," the paper reported May 25.

On the other hand, the U-T failed to cover a January 26, 2022 meeting of the California State University's board of trustees in which San Diego member Jack McGrory - a developer and champion of the takeover by SDSU of the old Qualcomm Stadium site - pushed successfully for legislation to exempt SDSU's new stadium from state liquor laws, despite the university's long history of alcohol abuse.

During the meeting, McGrory told his colleagues that an exemption regarding liquor company sponsorships would yield the university “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

According to the Times's SDSU rape story, the CSU board of trustees, including McGrory, have known about the case without doing anything to deal with the matter or make the allegations public.

"The university said it informed the chancellor’s office about the alleged rape and members of the CSU Board of Trustees were briefed about the incident, according to records and interviews," the Times report says.

"Trustee Jack McGrory, a San Diego State alumnus and former San Diego city manager, said he was satisfied with the university’s response, but he acknowledged that the case has dragged on for too long.

“'The cops are not telling us a whole lot,'” McGrory told the Times. 'It’s frustrating.'

"He said the university needed to reach out to police officials and try to resolve the matter.

“'Adela [de la Torre – SDSU president] and I need to have a discussion with the police chief,' McGrory said. 'We need to wrap this up.'"

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The claim was that five players had raped a girl and left her bloodied and bruised at a party off campus.
The claim was that five players had raped a girl and left her bloodied and bruised at a party off campus.

Is an eye-popping scoop by the Los Angeles Times regarding allegations of gang rape involving five unnamed San Diego State University football players another sign that San Diego's hometown Union-Tribune is on the ropes?

Labeled a "Times Investigation," on the paper's website, the June 3 page-one dispatch begins "The reports to campus officials late last year revealed disturbing allegations about players from San Diego State University’s winning football team. Claims were rapidly spreading among the school’s athletes that five players had raped an unconscious girl and left her bloodied and bruised at a house party off campus."

"'I am very scared and worried that nothing is being done about this,' one student-athlete told university officials in a message sent through an anonymous reporting system, which was reviewed by the Times along with other internal campus records in the case.

"Now, more than seven months after the alleged Oct.16 incident, San Diego State officials have not launched an internal investigation or student disciplinary proceeding, both of which are intended in part to help protect students and employees from those found to have engaged in sexual misconduct. Nor have they alerted the campus that police are investigating a reported sexual assault involving students and provided information for potential witnesses to contact authorities."

"In interviews, Title IX and legal experts said it can be appropriate for schools to comply with police requests to delay investigations but that it was troubling that San Diego State has held off on taking action for nearly an entire academic year," the Times SDSU story says.

“The cops are not telling us a whole lot,” board member Jack McGrory told the Times.

Like the Times, the print version of the U-T ran the blockbuster story on its front page, though the paper did not identify the authors of the account as Los Angeles Times reporters until the bottom of the piece.

Both papers are owned by Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon Shiong, who has vowed to keep each independently operating, through fears are growing among some locals that he will ultimately fold San Diego, which often writes favorably about SDSU football, into the L.A. news operation.

"San Diego State football players got a glimpse of their new home Wednesday afternoon," the U-T reported April 6 regarding the university's Snapdragon Stadium under construction in Mission Valley. "And it was good."

"San Diego State players’ biggest takeaway is how close fans will be to the action on the field," said a headline.

Much of the paper's SDSU coverage over the past year or so has been devoted to hyping the football team's new stadium.

"Snapdragon Stadium update: Aztecs reach 10,000 season ticket sales," revealed a March 3 story, "Snapdragon Stadium update: Video boards promise vivid game-day experience," said a February 3 dispatch , and "Aztecs will debut Snapdragon Stadium with midday game on CBS," the paper reported May 25.

On the other hand, the U-T failed to cover a January 26, 2022 meeting of the California State University's board of trustees in which San Diego member Jack McGrory - a developer and champion of the takeover by SDSU of the old Qualcomm Stadium site - pushed successfully for legislation to exempt SDSU's new stadium from state liquor laws, despite the university's long history of alcohol abuse.

During the meeting, McGrory told his colleagues that an exemption regarding liquor company sponsorships would yield the university “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

According to the Times's SDSU rape story, the CSU board of trustees, including McGrory, have known about the case without doing anything to deal with the matter or make the allegations public.

"The university said it informed the chancellor’s office about the alleged rape and members of the CSU Board of Trustees were briefed about the incident, according to records and interviews," the Times report says.

"Trustee Jack McGrory, a San Diego State alumnus and former San Diego city manager, said he was satisfied with the university’s response, but he acknowledged that the case has dragged on for too long.

“'The cops are not telling us a whole lot,'” McGrory told the Times. 'It’s frustrating.'

"He said the university needed to reach out to police officials and try to resolve the matter.

“'Adela [de la Torre – SDSU president] and I need to have a discussion with the police chief,' McGrory said. 'We need to wrap this up.'"

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A U-T climate of SDSU cheerleading complicity sent this story to the Los Angeles Times for due-diligence reporting? Unusual, but a good idea and maybe part of LAT scrutiny of irregularities at other California State campuses. Customary stonewalling of local press by SDSU President Adela De La Torre to avoid hot water? Commonplace. Allegations of gang rape by party-hearty SDSU football players? No surprise there either. But I was amazed by the Godfatherly tone taken by fixer/mover-and-shaker, SDSU alum and Board chairman Jack McGrory about what appears to be a cover-up on his watch. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when McGrory meets with SDPD Chief Nisleit and "Adela" to "wrap this up." A personal note about SDSU's iffy quality of life, even pre-Pandemic: I met a lovely girl a few years ago who'd entered SDSU in August as an enthusiastic freshman resident in an SDSU dorm. By Thanksgiving break, she'd felt compelled to move out to avoid routine, extreme, anti-social dorm behaviors and to live more safely and quietly with a local friend of her family..That's pathetic.

June 3, 2022

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