September 29, 2009

Binghamton: A Zoo (UPDATE X3)

So, since our last post on Mr. Tiki Mayben, the Binghamton University basketball program has pretty much imploded into itself.

It's truly awful, not just for the school, but for the entire conference and honestly at this point I don't see how or even why Binghamton would continue with a men's basketball season this year - at this point, how is it worth it?

Let's rehash:

1. Miladin Kovacevic - the Serbian basketball player was kicked off the team prior to almost killing another Binghamton student. Apparently, according to one of our comments, a fight broke out over some girls in an off campus bar. Once the student fell to the ground several people kicked him leading to his injuries, not only Milo. Regardless, this led to the young man's coma. Milo fled the country. So began the long string of Binghamton University incidents.

2. Malik Alvin - my personal favorite from the Binghamton saga - Malik didn't want to spend money on condoms. He didn't even want to accept free condoms the school hands out. He wanted to make a scene. Maybe. Regardless, Malik attempted to steal a box of MAGNUM condoms from Wal-Mart. As he was sprinting out of Wal-Mart he barreled over a 66-year old woman, concussing her in the process. He later met the woman, apologized, and did some hardcore community service. No word on whether or not he used the stolen love gloves.

3. Sexual Harrasment in the Athletic Department - in early July a BU booster, Elizabeth Williams, sued the school's athletic department stating that Senior Associate Athletic Director Jason Siegel and Assistant Athletic Director for Development Chris Lewis tried to use her as a sexual "plaything" to ply big donors, and that university officials took punitive measures against her once she reported the alleged harassment. That just ain't cool. "Among Williams' allegations is a claim that before an alumni gathering in New York City early this year, Siegel instructed her to dress provocatively and use her sexuality as a 'business tactic.'"

4. Tiki Mayben - last week Tiki was arrested for possessing and selling cocaine. When he was arrested he had drugs on him. Apparently, Tiki sold cocaine twice in June 29. He paid $20,000 to be released from jail in Troy, NY and later pleaded not guilty to the charges. What has been buried in this was his arrest for marijuana possession just one week prior to the coke charges. For that he was supsended from the team (previously unreported ANYWHERE) and the thing that pushed it over the top was the coke.

5. Bye-bye, Binghamton Five - there hasn't been a reason given yet, but there are rumors. Let me tell you a little story - one of two "holy shit" moments of this off season for me. The first I already described was while I was sitting in my car outside the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. This incident came while I was sitting in a production truck at Yankee stadium.

I had been traveling from Boston to New York to work the Red Sox - Yankees game last Friday. I didn't have internet during any of my travels, but once I arrived in the production truck I checked to see what I had missed in regards to the Binghamton action. It was the second "holy shit" moment of my summer.

Self-proclaimed superstar, DJ Rivera, Malik Alvin, new transfer Corey Chanlder, Paul Crosby, and David Fine were all kicked off the team. No reason given.

What I've heard is that this particular incident has become a federal investigation because of credit card fraud.

No wonder they didn't schedule a Bracketbuster game this year.


Seen enough yet? It's pretty disgusting, isn't it? But this is what happens when so many questionable characters are 1. running the athletic department 2. recruiting 3. getting recruited. This is what happens.

When players, fans, coaches, media, anyone looks up in the Binghamton Events Center and sees the 2008-09 America East championship banner they will not think of the team that defied expectations last season. They'll think of the kids who threw away their opportunity. They won't think of their shots made, they'll think of the crimes committed. The season is tarnished forever and that is a shame. It really is.

When Binghamton comes to town in Boston I am not going to heckle their players. If they're still on the team they've done something right. However there are two men who will get no mercy. I will kick them repeatedly when they are down for what they've done to the school and to the conference. In my opinion these two men are mostly responsible for what has happened:

Athletic Director Joel Thirer and men's head basketball coach Kevin Broadus. They've let this thing blow up to what it is. When people hear "Binghamton" they don't first think America East championship. People first think "criminal activity."


Kevin Broadus took an avenue not many coaches take - he recruited troubled individuals with very questionable pasts. It was a shortcut to an America East championship. Was it worth it? And the AD allowed all of it to happen. Was it worth it?

And to not know about some of the things going on in the team? How can you not know your starting point guard has an issue with cocaine? How do you not realize that some of your players are spending more money than they might have (still a rumor)? How do you let players with terrible track records mess up over and over again and expect a change?

On top of all this, the way the school has handled every issue is completely contradictory. They'll say one thing and do another. They'll report one incident and then completely blow off another saying it's not their policy to report things.

New York Times writer Pete Thamel was dead on. He first questioned the ethics and integrity of the school and program back in February. Did anyone know he wasn't actually acting on his own bias and that he was actually so extremely correct?

Quite honestly, I'm sick and tired of this school and how they've gone about doing business in the conference.

The BU Hoops blog summed up most of my feelings pretty well in their piece on the topic:

Everybody else in the conference knew Broadus was taking shortcuts in building his program. So screw him. There's no being torn about how to treat Binghamton when we play them. These assholes are the defending champs. Their dirtbag coach brings in questionable character guys as a shortcut to win. And their fans were incredible d-bags about it. They loved Broadus when he was winning games with these guys. Now they reap what Broadus sowed. Frankly I'm embarrassed our school is associated with them. No mercy.
Love the honesty, fellas. Love it.

There are some people in Binghamton who are lightening the mood. Kind of. The Binghamton Zoo! As some of you may or may not know the Binghamton fan section is called the Zoo, which I find ironic already. Beyond that Joel Thirer referred to the situation saying, "
truthfully, if I'm the president? Who's running the zoo?" A big no-no. This prompted the Binghamton Zoo's (wait, they have a zoo there?) manager to send this message:

Comparison insults zoo
September 29, 2009

I am tired of hearing that blight on Binghamton University, the men's basketball team, being referred to as a "zoo." The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park has just received re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the industry's governing authority. We achieved this status by being in the top 10 percent of all the zoos in the country.

Our animal care, safety, employees and educational and service standards are set high and met accordingly. Not one of our tigers has been arrested with cocaine. No otter knocks over old ladies to shoplift condoms. Our bear doesn't have temper tantrums and storm off his exhibit. You won't find any of our lemurs busted for smoking pot. So, please, stop insulting zoos by comparing those criminals to us.

Amanda J. Padwa
Business Manager
Binghamton Zoo
Obviously a tiger can't do coke! It has no thumbs!

This made a headline/separate write-up from Deadspin. You know, that's never good. My personal favorite quote by them:

Because Binghamton's basketball team is comprised of many African-Americans, Thirer's zoo imagery dances dangerously close to casual racism


I'm exhausted from all this. Really. Also, a bit disgusted, and pretty ready for Binghamton to come to Boston.

And seriously, if you're trying to defend this program or school - stop. Why would you? This is as wretched as it gets on this level and in no way has anything they've done been close to respectable much less defensible.

If you're Binghamton here's what I think you do: clear all the people out of Vestal, burn it to the ground, and start over. Your school and reputation are so f-ing f-ed.

UPDATE: I wish swine flu upon everyone making decisions at Binghamton.

Something I forgot to include in the infractions at Binghamton was the texting-in-class/grade changing incident.

Professor Sally Dear -- yes, the one who alleged last year that she was pressured to change her grading standards in support of the basketball team -- has been notified that she will be non-renewed for the spring semester.

Dear also noted that the players constantly texted in class (honestly though, who doesn't), but the thing that sent it over the top was how administration asked her to change her standards.

Now she's gone. She was a tenured professor and possibly because she didn't change grades she lost her job.

Go off yourself, Binghamton.


UPDATE: AD Thirer has resigned from his position, only to take a new one in the Provost's office. Wonderful. Now just waiting on Broadus, however, part of me wants him to stay just so there is an America East punching bag to have my way with.

UPDATE: They reinstated Sally Dear, the fired Bing professor. ASS-BACKWARDS in New York.

1 comment:

Alec said...

the injuries were solely caused by the ruthless actions of the bing player. brian, the victim, is my cousin