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Penn State Isn't the Only University That's Been Harboring a Scandal

By       Message Roger Shuler       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 11/16/11

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Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

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A chorus of outrage has been spreading across the country in the wake of news reports about the attempted cover-up of child sexual abuse at Penn State. But Penn State is not the only university that has been providing cover for a football-related scandal.

In fact, I have reported extensively on a scandal right here in our backyard, at the University of Alabama, and it has drawn mostly a collective shrug of the shoulders from the public. Where is the outrage about that? Does a scandal have to involve children and sex to get the public's attention?

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Paul Bryant Jr., the son of Hall of Fame coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and UA's best-known football booster, has clear ties to a federal insurance-fraud case that netted a 15-year prison sentence for a Philadelphia lawyer/entrepreneur named Allen W. Stewart. One of Bryant's companies, Alabama Reassurance, was implicated in at least nine counts of the Stewart indictment.

Has Bryant been shunned or kept at a distance by the U of A? Not exactly. In fact, he pretty much runs the place, from his perch as president pro tempore of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. ESPN calls Bryant one of the most powerful boosters in college athletics.

How can we put this in perspective? A man who was linked to an insurance-fraud scheme that was estimated at $15 million now rules over a board that makes decisions about millions of taxpayer dollars. I would use the old "fox guarding the hen house" analogy here, but that would be an insult to foxes. After all, we can assume that not all foxes have caused mayhem in hen houses. But there can be no doubt about Bryant's ties to insurance fraud; they are spelled out in documents that we have published multiple times here at Legal Schnauzer. (You can view the primary document, from U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, at the end of this post.)

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Is the public really outraged about the notion of wrongdoing and cover-ups on university campuses or is it just entranced by the sordid nature of the grand-jury report from Penn State?

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)

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