As an old politician told me years ago, the newspaper has more ink than I have blood. I can’t win. Nevertheless, I want to set the story straight.
Attorney Neal Lourie called me a few months ago expressing concern about the campus police targeting athletes and harassing students.
I set up a meeting with university trustees Mark Buyck, Gene Warr, myself and trustee-elect Egerton Burroughs. Mr. Lourie spent two to three hours talking about issues with our campus police. He also quoted a SLED agent who had worked with the campus police and who had firsthand knowledge of the issues. After the meeting, trustee Buyck called the SLED agent and confirmed what Mr. Lourie had said.
The next day I called the university Board of Trustees office and requested we have Mr. Lourie present this information to our full Board of Trustees. The university administration said this would not be appropriate. The Board of Trustees office scheduled a meeting in Florence, including university officials, the chief of campus police, trustee Buyck, trustee Warr and myself. Chairman of the board Herbert Adams was also present with the administration. This meeting raised concerns of improprieties by our campus police toward our athletes and other students. We left the meeting thinking these concerns would be addressed, including interviews with Mr. Lourie and the SLED agent. My understanding is that Mr. Lourie was contacted.
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However, very little was done. So I called the Board of Trustees office and told them I had contacted a very prominent federal judge asking him if he could conduct a nonbiased investigation. The judge contacted trustee Buyck and he (Buyck) informed the Board of Trustees office that he had discussed this matter with the judge. By this time it was apparent that this would go nowhere. I became very frustrated. I was contacted by GamecockCentral, which I was not very familiar with. I had no idea that my words would take a life of their own.
USC officials contacted the SLED agent the day after my comments were made public. Mr. Lourie and the SLED agent were prepared to come to the Board of Trustees meeting Friday if those issues were brought up. However, this was not discussed at the meeting.
I have never contacted any of our coaches about this matter. Other trustees have expressed that student families have contacted them about similar matters.
Even though everything I said was factual, I did not realize the impact this would have. I would never do or say anything that I thought would hurt my Carolina.