Letter to the editor: URI’s treatment of the Football Team

(This is in response to the article https://rhodycigar.com/2015/10/10/two-football-players-arrested-for-fighting/. The information on what President Dooley has said about this situation comes from the article http://ripr.org/post/uri-president-david-dooley-campus-violence.)

Dear Editor,

        Broken noses. Fractured jaw. Fractured arm. These are just a few of the injuries sustained by Chi Phi brothers after members of the URI football team came into their house and began to assault whoever they saw. Of those injured, three had to be hospitalized.

This situation does not shock me in any way. On campus, there are members of the football team who are known to be violent. This is not a new thing, and most people on this campus are well aware of that. I would like to state that I am not suggesting every single student on the football team is violent by any means. I have met plenty who are not, but this incident should shed light on a bigger problem here on campus.

President Dooley defended the football team even after two players were formally charged with assault. He explained that he felt the football program is viewed very strongly in community service and players are seen as leaders on campus. I am a senior at the University of Rhode Island and I would never look to a member of the URI football team for leadership. I also believe that it’s a requirement for the players to participate in community service events to boost their image. If they do not attend I’m sure they’re reprimanded, it’s not always a personal choice for them. It’s all just a ruse.

Dooley added that URI would be conducting an investigation to determine whether disciplinary action is needed. I do not understand why disciplinary action wouldn’t be needed in this situation. If these were any other students besides athletes then they would already be packing their bags to head home. This is just another example of an imbalance of fairness between treatment of student-athletes and “regular” students. We all pay either the same amount of money to attend this university or athletes pay less because they’re awarded scholarships. Are you telling me that you can keep a scholarship at this university after violently assaulting other students? That money could be going to fixing the other problems with this university or helping a student who is more in need pay for schooling.

The fact that President Dooley is defending this attack is despicable. Not only does this make his precious football team look bad, it makes the whole university look bad. That includes a “regular” student like me. President Dooley should be apologizing not only to the surrounding community but also to the students who attend URI.

All players involved with that situation should be expelled. Showing favoritism for one type of student over another is not fair. Not only does the handling of this situation show how student-athletes are receiving preferential treatment at this school, but also something needs to be done about violence on campus. President Dooley, you need to get your priorities in tact. Your precious football team is far from that.


        Ali C. , senior at the University of Rhode Island


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