Binghamton: “We’re Sorry,” Kinda

In an update to the case of SUNY Binghamton’s divisive athletic program, the Ithaca Journal reports that the university has issued an apology of sorts. In an email sent to the school, Binghamton President Lois DeFleur and Provost Mary Ann Swain said that:

Our move to Division I was motivated by a desire to galvanize the university and the surrounding community around the spirit that comes with a successful athletic program. Although it is now obvious that there were missteps in developing this program—and we intend to address them—we have also had a glimpse at the enthusiasm, school spirit and community pride that a competitive Division I athletic program can have.

We should continue to strive for this goal in a manner consistent with our academic mission.

As to what these missteps consisted of—like a point guard charged with selling cocaine, five students kicked off the basketball team for “unspecified misconduct,” Binghamton admitted academically unqualified students, professors instructed to give passing grades to no-show students—and how the university intends to address them, DeFleur and Swain were curiously silent.

So is anyone going to be disciplined for these missteps? Probably lot. There’s actually no one left to hold responsible for the problems that occurred during the school’s speedy move from Division III to Division I; the basketball coach is suspended on indefinite leave. The athletic director resigned. Even Lois DeFleur last month announced her intent to retire at the end of the academic year.

Meanwhile, the Binghamton athletic department merrily reported the basketball team’s 81 to 61 victory over University of Maryland, Baltimore County on February 21.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer