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Ten Worst College Sex Scandals of All Time

01.06.2012 10:34 AM

To paraphrase Sir Paul McCartney, sometimes this ever-changin’ world in which we’re livin’ makes you want to cry. Not the case anymore. Instead, college seems to have a new rep as a breeding ground for sexual activities historically viewed as "weird" or "illegal." And faculty members are getting in on the act just as much as students. But enough foreplay. Here, courtesy of the good folks over at Best Colleges Online are ...


ONE: The Penn State Scandal

Calling this story a "scandal" is like calling Hurricane Katrina "a rainy day." On November 4, 2011, a grand jury indicted former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on 40 counts of sex crimes against boys.

This well-respected man who founded a charity for children to receive "positive human contact" was in reality a (possible) child molester alleged to have sexually abused eight boys over 15 years, maybe even one from his own family. Already the charity’s president, the school president, and a revered football coach have been shown the door, and more heads are likely to roll.

TWO: Duke Lacrosse Scandal

This one had all the makings of a classic scandal: rich white kids rape black stripper at house party. The story was headline news for days in March, 2006. Crystal Gail Mangum, an African American student at UNC, accused three members of Duke’s lacrosse team of raping her at a house party. Overeager D.A. Mike Nifong saw a chance to make a name for himself, and had all three men indicted on rape charges. As we now know, Mangum had gotten busy with several dudes before the party, but fabricated the entire rape scenario. The players were cleared of all charges.

THREE: Bernie Fine

In a still-developing story, assistant coach Bernie Fine of Syracuse men’s basketball team has been accused by two former ball boys and a third man of sexually assaulting them when they were children. The scandal widened exponentially when it was revealed that for 10 years, police and ESPN sat on tapes of one of the victims discussing the assaults with Fine’s wife, in which she also admitted to watching Fine molest the victim and having sex herself with the victim. The biggest scandal of all: the statute of limitations may be up for convicting Fine.

FOUR: Colorado Football

One has to be specific when discussing sex scandals and Colorado’s football program. It could refer to the six rape allegations against football players from 2001 to 2004, one by the team’s female kicker. Or it could refer to the program’s continuous use of strippers, sex (consensual and possibly otherwise), drugs, and booze to lure (underage) prospects to the school, for which head coach Gary Barnett was suspended. The players beat the rape raps, but still, it’s probably a good idea to pour your own drink at any CU football parties.

FIVE: Mistress Jade

By day she was Lisa Chavez, English professor at the University of New Mexico. By night she was Mistress Jade, phone-sex dominatrix. The lines between the two positions blended as Chavez began to recommend her students also take jobs as phone-sex workers. When photos surfaced of Chavez and one of her students in sadomasochistic poses online, with Chavez offering to be a "biker b****, an imperious goddess or a stern teacher ready to punish unruly students," Chavez quit the sex job and retained her position at UNM, which decided she had not violated any school policy.

SIX: David Epstein

Is there anything more scandalous than incest? Columbia professor David Epstein was put on administrative leave after he was charged with a third-degree count of incest for sleeping with his 24-year-old daughter. The consensual relationship lasted three years. Oddly enough, his daughter has not been charged with a crime, prompting some to wonder why consensual incest isn’t considered a two-way street.

SEVEN: Rick Pitino

Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino had a one-night stand on a restaurant table in 2003 with Karen Sypher, a woman who would later become his equipment manager’s wife. When Sypher told Pitino she was pregnant, Pitino paid her $3,000 for "insurance," definitely not for the abortion she subsequently had. Eventually, Sypher tried to soak Pitino for $10 million or else she’d blow the story wide open. Instead, Pitino publicly confessed, and Sypher was charged with extortion. It wasn’t until then that she claimed Pitino had raped her, but officials weren’t buying it.

EIGHT: Methodist Hazing

Hazing usually involves copious amounts of alcohol consumption, but now and then in spills over into the sex scandal category. In 2002, five football players at Methodist College were disciplined by the school for holding a freshman player down, stripping him below the waist, spanking him and writing on his rear end with a Sharpie. Wide receiver Antonio Wilkerson literally took the Sharpie thing too far when he stuck it where the sun doesn’t shine.

NINE: J. Michael Bailey

To be fair, what human sexuality prof J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern did to get on this list was during an attendance-optional class where the students were forewarned about the graphic nature of what they would see. What they saw (and heard) was a naked woman on a stage brought to orgasm by a machine-powered saw with a phallus on the end. Understandably, scandal erupted. The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune covered it, and Northwestern’s president expressed regret for the incident.

TEN: Arthur Miller

It wasn’t Death of a Salesman, but death of a professor. Arthur Miller was a tenured science prof at the University of Iowa until he was rung up on four charges of bribery, specifically for offering women better grades for letting him see, fondle, or suck their breasts. The story took another scandalous turn when Miller went missing after being arrested, and police feared he had a rifle with him. In the end, both body and rifle were found in a park — Miller had committed suicide.

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