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Posted at 9:14 PM ET, 05/10/2010

U-Va. slaying: Not about athletes or privilege

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Victoria K. Weiler
Fairfax Station


The killing of Yeardley Love at the University of Virginia has devastated so many families, friends and communities across the Washington- 9Baltimore area and in Charlottesville. By all accounts, Ms. Love was a wonderful young woman, beloved by everyone who knew her. This case is heartbreaking for Ms. Love’s family as well as for the family of George Huguely, who is accused of killing her. Their lives will be forever altered.

But I do not agree with Ruth Marcus [“Privilege unchecked in the U-Va. case?,” op-ed, May 7] that the question has to be asked: “Is it something about athletes? Something about entitled college athletes? Something about lacrosse?” Nor does it have to do with living a life of privilege, or with George Huguely’s friends, teammates or coaches not addressing his “problems.” In situations involving domestic violence, not even restraining orders are effective. Also, thousands of college students (not just student-athletes) across the country are cited for underage drinking and rarely are linked to killings.

It seems incorrect to make this tragic case about any of these other things. This type of violence occurs across all groups — rich and poor — across all ethnic groups and among groups other than college athletes. Recently, there have seen similar cases at Virginia Tech and Yale involving students killing students. In both cases, the students involved were not athletes or privileged. These type of killings are so terrible in and of themselves and know no boundaries; whatever the causes are, they appear to be unrelated to economic status, a particular upbringing or a particular sport.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | May 10, 2010; 9:14 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, crime  
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Comments

Would it make a difference that Mrs Weiler’s son is a member of the football team at U.Va?

Yes, and Matt’s Republican parents run a copy shop business, of all things. How ’bout some full disclosure, Washington Post?

Again and again: it’s no wonder Republicans, ever convinced of themselves, and deeply rooted in ignoring the real world, never want to draw any meaning, or any lessons, from anything.

Posted by: SydneyP | May 11, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with SydneyP. If lacrosse is to blame for this crime then what is the explanation when a non-lacrosse player or non-athlete commits a domestic violence homicide? You'd have to show me that if George Huguley hadn't been a lacrosse player he wouldn't have committed this homicide and I don't buy that. It looks like he had some serious issues that had nothing to do with his lacrosse game.

Posted by: Caroline85 | May 11, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Ms. Weiler and completely disagree with SydneyP. What does this blog or the UVA tragedy have to do with politics??! When you can't attack an argument, attack the person making the argument.

A tactic as facile, old and tired as attacking socio-economic status.

Posted by: FGG2 | May 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

They were both drunk and high on coke.

Posted by: landon06 | May 11, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

In the interest of accuracy, the recent death of a Yale graduate student was allegedly at the hands of an employee, not another student. He stands trial later this year.

Posted by: MBerphig79 | May 12, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

This is such a tragedy and my heart goes out to Yeardley Love’s family and friends. I am in full agreement that dating violence occurs across all races, age groups and economic statuses. It’s also important to note that a key factor in this incident (and in many incidents like this) is impaired judgment due to alcohol abuse.

As both a mother and the Regional Director of Student Assistance Programs at Caron Treatment Centers (a nonprofit addiction treatment center), I think it’s critical for parents to engage in discussions with their children about what it means to be in a healthy relationship. Parents need to empower their children to make healthy decisions and surround themselves with healthy friends.

Regardless of where you live, or how much money you make – your children also need to understand the dangers of underage drinking and how abusing alcohol can lead to other unhealthy and dangerous behaviors.

I recently wrote a post about this topic on Caron’s blog. Please feel free to read the post and weigh-in with your opinion: http://caronchitchat.org/under-the-influence/

Conversations like the ones happening here will help to educate all of us and hopefully tragedies like this can be prevented.

Tammy Granger
Caron Treatment Centers
@CaronTreatment
www.caron.org

Posted by: Recovery1 | May 12, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Being a "red carpet" star athlete DOES coincide with domestic violence or harassment in some cases.

Ben Rothlisberger is by no means an anomaly. And the aggression against women can start during the high school years.

In the Phoebe Prince tragedy (15-year-old Phoebe committed suicide after relentless harassment), the star football captain at South Hadley H.S., Sean Mulveyhill, allegedly harassed Phoebe after they stopped dating.

Then, he ENCOURAGED (per the District Attorney) his female friends to taunt Phoebe.

It may be wishful fantasy to conclude that being a star athlete (with enabled "red carpet" entitlement) is a weak or non-factor in DV or harassment.

YALE UNIVERSITY MURDER
The accused killer was a lab technician. Annie Le, the victim, was a grad student.

Posted by: CitizenOfWorld | May 13, 2010 2:42 AM | Report abuse

We all have seen in the news crimes of passion. We have seen murders committed by everyone,those who play sports, those who don't, the rich, poor, black, white etc. Unfortunately, there may always be people like George Huguely around. Those who cannot accept an end of a relationship and they turn angry and violent even if some were not that way before. What needs to be addressed on college campuses is the honor code and reasons for immediate expulsion from school. Kids get kicked out for cheating, stealing etc..not for beatings or violence. Why not? Haven't we seen enough.

Posted by: JBucha2511 | May 15, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

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