Paul Wilson: The Many Ways Sasha Menu Courey Got Let Down by Mizzou

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Sasha Menu Courey

If you follow Mizzou, you’d have to be living under a rock to have not heard about this story. Your well-coiffed Scribe is known by his devoted fans, “de3iples” and readers as a sports agnostic; meaning, if I’ve seen it, you’ve probably seen it.

But, in this series, I intend to bring you the REST of the story.

This hit the sports pages a day after fifth year senior, University of Michigan Wolverines kicker Brendan Gibbons had been expelled for violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy, stemming from an incident that occurred in November, 2009.

November 2009, people; what is it with you sports lovers?

“Title IX says that when someone knows something, there has to be an immediate investigation, and there’s a 60-day window to investigate it and come up with what happens,” said Katherine Redmond Brown, founder of National Coalition Against Violent Athletes. “This is four years.”

Author Jeff Benedict and professor, and Todd Crosset, a sociologist conducted a national study on sexual assault among male student-athletes. It examined 107 cases at 30 colleges and found that “male student-athletes make up three percent of a given school’s male population but were responsible for 19 percent of the reported sexual assaults on campus.”

It also found that very few of those cases were publicly reported, but let’s get back to our girl Sasha and how this applies to her.

In August of 2009, Courey arrived at the MU Campus. You can still find her on the Tigers Women’s Swimming and Diving bio page. She graduated from Toronto’s Michael Power St Joseph High School and was majoring in Psychology.

In the Fall of 2009, Courey earned a 4.0 GPA but was sidelined due to an NCAA eligibility issue. In February 2010, life as Sasha knew it would be forever changed.

Moye & Courey

Moye & Courey

She had been out drinking heavily with her friend, whom ESPN’s Outside the Lines identified as Gilbert Moye, and the pair had consensual sex. Moye came to Mizzou as one of the stars of the 2007 recruiting class. He was a quarterback at Diboll, Texas, High School, where he transferred, after Hurricane Rita leveled his old school.

What happened next in Courey’s world and her recollection of it becomes a jumbled mess, clouded by way too much alcohol.

But for now, let’s refer to the online chat transcript between her and a rape crisis counselor for her version of what happened;

“[We] were falling asleep & then i heard the [door] open & some other guy walked in & locked the door & i couldnt really see who it was & i never saw a face the whole time…. but i remember just sitting upright in bed at the sound of someone walking in.”

“& i just remember feeling really scared thinking that the two guys had planned this or something. so my first thought was figure out who this other person was in case so that if i needed the information i would have it later… the guy told me his name & then he pulled down his pants & put on a condom & just knew i was screwed …”

Courey said she first tried to call a friend, then her former boyfriend, Missouri football receiver Rolandis Woodland for help…… while it was happening.

“… I started to panick & as i still on the phone trying to reach one of them tears start going down & the guy just lift up my dress & next thing i knew he inserts from behind. by that point tears were falling more but i wasnt loud & didnt anything. and then i just snapped and kind pushed him away & yelled no! and then he just left.”

In her altered state, Courey believed she’d been raped by another football player.

However just before her death, she somehow came in possession of a cell phone video of the alleged rape which she sent to her then best friend, Woodland. The video shows three other men involved.

After the rape, Courey began a slow decline, sharing bits and pieces of her story with a rape crisis counselor, a campus therapist, a campus nurse, two doctors and, according to her journal, an athletic department administrator.

And where’s Moye in all this; the one who had the consensual sex with Courey before the other guests arrived? The same month as the alleged rape, February, 2010, The Bleacher Report ran this story;

“The crowd that is Missouri’s offensive backfield has become a little less dense. Running back Gilbert Moye has left the team and will transfer from the University upon completion of the current semester.”

Coincidence?

“Outside the Lines” chased Moye down and he initially agreed to an on-camera interview, but changed his mind, telling ESPN in a text:

“I’m concerned about myself. I would like to help as much as I can, but it was a really touchy subject and is still wearing on me now. Again I’m really sorry but I have nothin to gain from doing this.”

I’d agree, and my guess is, with this new investigation, the heat is about to get turned up on Moye and the unexpected party people.

pDSP1-16988656nmThe University of Missouri Board of Curators voted Wednesday night to hire outside, independent legal counsel to investigate how the university addressed the alleged rape. The counsel will report findings no later than April 11 at the curators’ next meeting in Rolla.

Also, late to the party, the Columbia Police Department is now involved, with Sgt. Joe Bernhard stating, “Our detectives will do the best they can with the investigation. It was not reported to us until now and we are almost four years behind.”

I’ve reached out to Courey’s friend, Woodland, now in St. Louis, by email.

I’m hoping he’ll share his thoughts in the next part of the story. One question being, was Courey already on unstable ground, emotionally, before all this happened?

Stay tuned for Part Two.

 

 

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49 Responses to Paul Wilson: The Many Ways Sasha Menu Courey Got Let Down by Mizzou

  1. chuck says:

    Important story Paul, nice start.

    “Author Jeff Benedict and professor, and Todd Crosset, a sociologist conducted a national study on sexual assault among male student-athletes. It examined 107 cases at 30 colleges and found that “male student-athletes make up three percent of a given school’s male population but were responsible for 19 percent of the reported sexual assaults on campus.”

    If anyone really looks into this subject, I beleive that you will come to the same conclusion that I did. The stats, as they are, are bad enough. The truth is, in my opinion, that the stats do not reflect the actual number of assualts, because this is a crime that is embarrassing and the victims exist in an atmosphere of intimidation. The actual numbers are much much higher.

    • the dude says:

      Yep, think of all the unreported events. Scary.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Thanks for the comment, Chuck, and I agree. I think 19% is way understated. These guys did their study in the 90’s; if done today, double that number would not be out of reason, is my guess.
        I can’t think of a story I’ve done more research on than this one, right down to medical intake sheets and her side of the story when it comes to her emotional well being, both before and after. She was a troubled girl and it only got worse, as you’ll see.

  2. chuck says:

    This guy is a great example of the power of college athletes and the program to shut down, delay and obfuscate the facts, and, to eventually make it go away.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/jurisprudence/2013/11/jameis_winston_the_sexual_assault_allegations_against_the_florida_state.html

    • the dude says:

      They should change their mascot name from the Seminoles to Rapists. Florida State Rapists has a nice ring to it and is more accurate.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      I started to use him as an example as well, since he was a trophy dude, but geebus, as I sorted through comparable comparisons, my entire first part could have been nothing but examples and I would never have gotten around to Sasha.

  3. Jim says:

    I’m always amazed by the stupidity of people who are in charge at institutions of higher education. They are supposed to be “smart”, right? After going through TWO incidents of sexual misconduct with a football player (Washington) and a basketball player (Dixon) and the negative press that came along with it, you would think administrators would be on high alert for any similar incidents. Even though many of the “facts” came to light after her death, there was a concerted effort to do absolutely nothing. MU didn’t need anyone’s permission to launch an investigation. Once all of the parties involved had moved on from the university (or died), it was out-of-sight….out-of-mind.

  4. hot harley says:

    Wilson….you need to read the universities response via mail about this
    …..apparently (and I’m going off recollection)….the girl talked with doctors/
    medical personel and they asked if she wanted an investigation and said no.
    There was something about her privacy rights that held everything up.
    look into that…the university had a full letter in response to the allegations
    from outside the lines.
    I do believe the girl committed suicide with 100 Tylenols…check on that too…
    because there were other problems involved in the young girls life.
    thanks….

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Harlis, I’ve got 100 pages of notes on this case, up to and including medical intake forms where she states her own condition in her words, various college forms and he whole background. Thats why this was “Part 1.” If theres anything out there I’ve not read, seen or looked into, including contacting her best friend, I dont know what it would be but feel free to pass it over the transom.
      I rarely dig into something without over doing the research side.

    • the dude says:

      And that is where the system totally failed her.
      When she makes the statement at the hospital that she was raped how does this not go to the proper authorities!??!?

  5. Jack Springer says:

    If you drink and do drugs (not mentioned but I would assume drugs were involved also) and run with a wild crowd in college — things are going to happen.

    In the end, no one made her kill herself.

    • the dude says:

      So, you are saying it was all her fault?

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Jack, later Im going to try to walk down that path, but before that, I’ll parrot what Dude asked; does she own this?
      Let me make this disclaimer now and again when I get into it a little deeper; NO GIRL “has it coming” and NO GIRL, I dont care if shes naked, asleep on the busiest street corner in town at 3:00am, “deserves” it. Thats just off the table in my book. No means no, taking advantage of someone is taking advantage of someone, I don’t care if you rape her and take the money out of her purse, she didnt “have it coming.”
      All that said, there is an equal, offsetting side of being responsible for your well being. As the old phrase goes, making good choices. I dont think, in that environment, when you know the kind of thuggery you are around, even if you choose to make those people your friends, WHY would you ever want to be so blasted you have no control over your own outcome, and worse yet, be so far gone you think you were raped by another player, when it fact it was three more?
      There’s totally an element of being responsible, not putting yourself in harms way, not availing yourself to that element of society, on purpose or on accident. Regardless, no, she didnt know deserve it, no matter how drunk she was.
      And, until I can get her friend to really open up about his side of the story, since he knows the Gil character, what was in this dudes head? This wasn’t a one night stand, they were in a relationship, not matter how you want to define it.
      You can’t imagine this went down any other way, but until I hear it myself, its still speculation, but dude must have coordinated it, alledgedly, with his team mates, telling them, she’ll be wasted, I’ll be done by 1:00am, come on over and take a turn! Where’s this guys soul reside? Thats the real question….

      • Jack Springer says:

        I’m saying that people have to take personal responsibility — don’t let yourself get into situations like she did. Her parents share part of that responsibility if they want to blame others for her death.

        I’m sorry she took her life — committing murder on yourself is a horrible crime — it hurts your family for the rest of their lives.

        If the guys actually raped her then they should be prosecuted.

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          You made three good points, above, in your comment. I’m 100% in agreement with you on those. Well stated.

  6. hot harley says:

    also….the university didn’t know until the girls emails were looked at.
    I’dlike to see what happened there.

  7. hot harley says:

    more information that might clear up the situation:
    Police in Columbia, Missouri, said on Monday they were investigating the case. Until last week, police had received no report of the alleged rape, a police statement said.

    The university previously said in a statement that officials first became aware of the rape allegations in late 2012 when reviewing a transcript of a crisis hotline chat between Menu Courey and a counselor.

    Those records were among thousands of pages of documents the university released to Menu Courey’s parents, Michael Menu and Lynn Courey, at their request, ESPN reported.

    The university asked her parents in a January 2013 letter for any information about people with knowledge of the incident, and if they wanted further investigation, but got no response, university officials said in a statement.

    Privacy laws barred health personnel from sharing the rape allegations at the time without Menu Courey’s permission, it said.

    Wolfe declined comment on the police investigation on Wednesday because it is in progress.

    as you see privacy laws kept the medical personal from saying anything…
    I think that’s where the problem may have been…did she want those people
    to say anything…apparently not!

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Harley, she didnt want Woodland to say anything, but there is proof in the journal that she talked to an athletics administrator about it, that part is known. They know who is was as well. I think, purely speculation on my part, when she finally did the medical intake form, seeking help, its in her writing that I’ll show later, after checking every box she could check concerning her current medical/emotional state, she then adds under “additional info”, “raped by a football player.” Thats after checking little boxes that said, depressed, guilt, can’t sleep, etc.
      There are a couple of ways she did do it right, among many she did wrong, where Title IX should have stepped in, but didn’t. I think in the end, its going to show the University did let her down.
      Part 2 will make that start to take shape…..

  8. hot harley says:

    yes…the girl was on unstable ground..her parents said she had a personality
    disorder and set up a charity fund (mentioned in the article)……read the
    information!

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Harlinator, think you know by now, I don’t jump into a topic without doing the homework. ESPN is the only group with more documentation than Ive collected on this over the past weeks.
      Thanks for you comments, it’s going to get interesting as it progresses. Part 2 is on Hearnes desk; Part 3 I’ll draft over the weekend.

  9. Libertarian says:

    Well girls, it just goes to show you, you cant trust ANYONE.

    ‘Just add alcohol’ has been a recipie for disaster in more situations han we will ever know.

  10. Orphan of the Road says:

    It is only the tip of the iceberg. While “student athletes” provide plenty of dough-re-mi to the schools they also have a financial incentive for keeping the lid on all sexual assaults and crime on campus. Despite The Cleary Act.

    Penn State is about to face charges which will bring more clarity to the Sandusky crimes as they have withheld reports about crime and sexual assault across the board.

    When you’ve got the chumps lining up and going tens of thousands of dollars into debt to receive a degree which will get you (maybe) a job as an assistant manager, you don’t want to scare them off by reporting your inability (0r is it lack of interest) to keep the students safe.

    • the dude says:

      And this is why we do not follow big collegiate sports anymore in our household, too much money and corruption. I do still follow wrasslin’ because there is a lot less money involved and a decent amount of their athletes actually obtain degrees.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Orphan, Dude, totally agree. I’ve never had a vested interest in sports at any phase of my life, and the older I get, it looks like an increasing waste of time!
        Then, when you look at the collegiate wood chipper it becomes, operating at the expense of anything else good and descent, if you don’t walk away with a sore spot in the pit of your stomach, the machine wins.

        • Orphan of the Road says:

          Sports can teach a young person many important things they will need to succeed in life. How to work with others to accomplish a goal, how to work through adversity in life, the importance of team work.

          But it can also shield a person with superior hand-to-eye-coordination from the reality of life. To give them a horribly distorted image of their greatness. It can make a young man or woman a monster too.

          As a hs football player our principal gave us passes to get out of class/school whenever we want to go somewhere.

          Until the day our eligibility was up and then we forgotten. His first words when you asked for something was are you playing football next year.

  11. chuck says:

    This is a CNN report on test scores and the athletes brought in. It is very interesting and be sure to read about the Tar Heels at the University of North Carolina.

    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/01/us/college-scores/index.html

    • chuck says:

      Now read this–

      http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/10068823/ex-north-carolina-tar-heels-professor-charged-no-show-class

      American institutions of higher learning, have sold out and sold out hard for college athletics.

      • Orphan of the Road says:

        Worse than that, chuck.

        As Zappa said, we’re only in it for the money.

        • chuck says:

          Here is a question, tangential to Paul’s article Orphan, is there a straight line reference from college athletics to the ruinous cost of an education for American college students?

          • Orphan of the Road says:

            Of course. The successful programs make the money for the program and not the university.

            The wanna-be programs have to spend so much they cut the true student-athlete programs to prop up their football programs.

            But the cost is also heavily impacted by their getting a cut from the tuition loans.

            Looking at Northwestern players forming a union to be pivotal turning point in the glaring hypocrisy of amateur athletics.

            Student-athlete was concocted in 1964 by the NCAA to fend off workman comp claims.

            The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 1953 that a football player at the University of Denver was an “employee” within the context of the Colorado workers’ compensation statute.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        I have a son in law who got his Masters at one of the esteemed, local institutions. He said he sickened the students to be limping along with out of date everything in the engineering department, while staring out the window at the sports money machine and all the dollars that rolled in there, while they were struggling to piece together a Masters level degree.

  12. Stomper says:

    Great piece, as usual Paul. I’ve got a few thoughts, some of which have already been sort of touched on and some not so much.

    The obvious one is that colleges have a different set of standards for their premier athletes as they need to protect their money machine. I first saw this in college when it became clear that the basketball players recruited really didn’t have to attend all their classes and got A’s and B’s for doing no work at all. The athletic dept. had people on staff whose job it was to help with class work, chaperone, even bail them out if they crossed the law. I got that. Not really fair but we all loved seeing our team in the post season.

    What really opened my eyes was when my son, now almost 30, started participating in youth sports ( soccer, wrestling, baseball, basketball, and football) when he started elementary school. I helped coach a few of the teams and got involved as a volunteer board member in a couple of the leagues. That let me see teams and coaches up close and personal. Even when the kids were only in 2nd grade or so, the “competitive” coaches would identify the best athletes and create a different set of rules for those kids. Their parents were usually complicit in the behavior. Hell, it was an ego boost for them as well and even they developed a sense of entitlement. Lots of competitive adults living vicariously through their kids. An average kid might miss a practice or not fully participate and it would cost him playing time on game day. Not the same for the star QB or home run hitter. They could miss practice, misbehave, whatever, and on game day they never came out of the game. Adults were already creating a sense of entitlement with those kids. Because he was bigger, faster, stronger, whatever than his teammates, he had his own set of rules and he could get away with behavior that the rest of the kids could not. The kid that was talented enough to get a D-1 scholarship has this preferred treatment from coaches and peripheral adults all throughout their life. We get upset with the college athlete who commits reprehensible acts but it’s the adults that let this young person get away with starting 10-15 years earlier that are really to blame. That kid got preferential treatment all the way through. It’s all he has ever known. He can do just about whatever he wants and never faces consequences. The youth coach that wants to go undefeated and the parents that love getting treated special because their kid is a premier athlete are not doing that young person any favors. All they are focused on is the immediate gratification that winning provides.

    Looking forward to Part Two.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Thanks, as usual, Stomper. Part 2 is on my editors desk; as soon as he’s done jacking around in the big city, you’ll see it!
      Aren’t we past due for a drink?

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Saw the same things, Stomper.

      I remember reading how Joe Namath and another ‘Bama player got arrested. Joe told him, don’t worrry because when Coach comes to get me I won’t go if he doesn’t take you too.

      Bear came out and took the kid back to campus and left Joe sitting there all night.

      • the dude says:

        Sounds like Bear knew even then about ‘Broadway Joe’.

        • Orphan of the Road says:

          I see it different. I see a coach making a statement to a player he really liked and trying to send a message. Joe says it took him by surprise and hurt him at the time.

          Buddy Ryan was another coach who looked beyond his players football skills. He cut Chris Carr because of the mess his personal life had become (unreported by the Philadelphia or national press) to send a message that actions have consequences despite exceptional hand-to-eye coordination.

          All that boy can do is catch touchdowns was Ryan’s comments when he cut him.

  13. Jack Springer says:

    At least we all know that nothing like this has ever happened at KU.

  14. hot harley says:

    surprisingly…as the head mu alumni here on kcc…I never heard anything about
    thisuntil your story.
    seems really odd…but you’re right…rape is a terrible terrible crime…
    but there’s so much ambiguiuty and prior health problems with the
    supposed victim that it seems crazy.
    if theres a video of the event…that’s even worse….but what can be done
    now that its years after the supposed crime besides go after mu who said
    they knew nothing about it when it happened.
    obviously someone let the ball drop and didn’t get the information
    at the right time.
    and did you do any personal interviews of anyone in this story or is this
    all just taken from paperwork?

  15. hot harley says:

    Wilson: Just read the espn story about this girl.
    seems that most of your stories so far a merely cut and past from the espn
    story otl.
    If we want that you could have just cut and pasted the entire article that
    appears on their site.
    I thought you wanted to be an investigative reporter which would have
    meant you interview people one on one..you travel to the university to discuss
    what happened…you get your own information about the case and you
    get exclusive information that otl does not mention.
    Instead all the quotes are taken from otl…all the information is stuff
    we could get if you just posted the original story.
    We can all make up our own opinions of what happened…we can all
    pull up the story on espn….but sorry dude…you’re the “cut and paste”
    guy on here…nothing new from what the otl story said….
    I fail to see the rest of the story…..as they say ‘NOTHING NEW HERE”……
    I am a j school grad…and learned real journalistic style although
    I never use it….and your story lacks anything original or
    worthy of being a true “investigative” story.
    your friend
    Harley

    • Harley:

      I like your tenacity. Once word of advice from one J-school grad to another:

      SETTLE THE FUCK DOWN.

      Man, we can’t understand you when you’re all heated and rambling for 1,500 words and avoiding periods and whatever.

      Just… breathe.

      We love you, but not enough to ignore your verbal violence, son.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        EPIC

      • hot harley says:

        I’m not upset lefty…but this story and its sequels is based on
        a bunch of faulty information. The girl didn’t want to press
        charges…she had a history of mental disorders and
        she never reported it to the police.
        So what paul “woodward” has is a bunch of rehashed
        info from espn and a missing tape.
        that’s it!
        theres nothing more to this story right now.
        And for those who fault “big money athletics” that’s what
        keeps these schools going.
        as far as this story…it should read ‘DEAD END” because
        no one has identified the administrator…there are laws
        in effect that make it unlawful to make some of these
        items public and there’s no witnesses/evidence/just a
        bunch of mumbo jumbo on espn and a bunch of cut and
        paste from paul “woodward” about the case.
        as they say…”nothing new here! move on!!!!”

        • admin says:

          It’s comforting to know that such objectivity comes from a die hard Mizzou sports buff

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          Harley, where’s the “faulty” info? Id like some specifics on that one. I gathered everything that had been said and presented it as such.
          As for your “nothing new here” observation, you hold yourself out as “all things Mizzou” yet, you admitted you hadn’t heard of the story till you read it here.
          If I got ahead of YOU on a story that involves MU, well, Paul Woodwards day is complete.
          And for that, I thank you.

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