Monday, March 05, 2007

Jeff Wagner: Marquette Fails on Warrior Legacy

Marquette alumnus and local talk show host Jeff Wagner maintains an intense interest in things that happen at this university.

Needless to say, he was not pleased upon hearing that a Marquette bureaucrat, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs James McMahon, told a Marquette student he could not wear an Indian headdress to this past Saturday’s game, and threatened the student with confiscation of the headdress and expulsion from the game if he wore it.

Wagner comments:
As an aside, I was very sorry that I didn’t have tickets to the game Saturday. While I’m a baseball hat guy myself, I would have been glad to have donned Mr. O’Connell’s headgear as a protest against small-minded bureaucrats. I’m not sure if I would have been tossed out but, trust me, I’m a little tougher to bully than an undergraduate student.

On the underlying issue though, let’s think the position of the University through. My question is a simple one: if the “headdress” was really so offensive, why did Marquette wait until the last game of the year to confront the student?

I think the real answer is, of course, that the “headdress” wasn’t offensive - but was instead potentially embarrassing to Marquette officials. Keep in mind, the last Saturday night’s game was nationally televised on ESPN. The ESPN GameDay broadcast originated from Milwaukee. The last thing that Marquette officials wanted was for the national announcers to revisit the whole “Warrior” flap on tv.

The ultimate irony of the story is that the 1977 Marquette NCAA championship team was honored Saurday night. That team was, of course, “the Warriors.”

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