White athletes sue Savannah State for bias

Four football players tell federal court predominantly black school discriminates

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ATLANTA - Four men have filed suit in federal court in Atlanta against Savannah State University and the Board of Regents alleging they were not offered football scholarships to the predominately black college because they are white.

Their suit that was filed Tuesday blames the regents for allowing the school to maintain racial segregation in admissions and hiring, noting that the percentage of non-black students has dropped from nearly 10 percent in 1999 to just 5 percent in 2008.

"Defendants' discrimination on the basis of race was for the purpose and had the effect of perpetuating segregation at SSU and excluded plaintiffs from participation in and denied plantifes the benefits of this federally funded educational program at SSU," states the suit.

The four say they were promised scholarships and had scheduled campus visits in January when the school fired football coach Robby Wells, who has his own reverse-discrimination suit pending against the school.

One of the four, Forrest Hill, is from Jonesboro, Ga.. The other three, Jacob Farmer, Andrew Cannon and Rico Arellano, are from out of state.

The suit claims that because Hill is from Georgia, it proves school officials were making excuses when they have said it didn't grant scholarships to the four because they weren't Georgia residents. Besides, black nonresidents have received football scholarships, according to the suit, which did not list any by name.

School officials have said Wells violated recruiting rules set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

"Under NCAA regulations, a player that has been talked to by a coach is not a recruit until the paperwork goes back to the university and the athletic director's office," said SSU attorney Joe Steffen in a May interview.

He said Wells could not have properly promised the four scholarships because he had not processed their paperwork.

"This was sort of a pattern of problems with Robby in the sense that we had compliance issues for a long time," Steffen said.

The school has more than a month to file a formal response to the lawsuit.

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OnlyinAgs1
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OnlyinAgs1 07/15/10 - 07:18 am
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I hope they win.

I hope they win.

LynxRHot
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LynxRHot 07/15/10 - 09:11 am
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It's high time that reverse

It's high time that reverse discrimination be addressed.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 07/15/10 - 09:37 am
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We will see it more and more

We will see it more and more of this and it is true and it is happening all over. I heard that the Health Department in Swainsboro had three positions open and the criteria for filling the postions were that the persons must be black and on the welfare program, the 3 women were hired at the same salary as others black and white that had been there for years. Tell me where that is right. Hirings and promotions etc. should be based on skills and education not color.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/15/10 - 09:45 am
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"Traditionally black"

"Traditionally black" colleges don't have any legal right to maintain that tradition.

In truth, I don't begrudge schools like Savannah State their desire to maintain their traditional identity one little bit. I actually think it's a very good thing because it supports the variety of cultural traditions and experiences that have always been part of America's cultural wealth.

If one segment of society is not allowed to maintain its tradition or exclusivity, or to celebrate its heritage publicly, then no other segment is allowed that either.

After all, affirmative action was ruled unconstitutional. If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander.

js_ee
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js_ee 07/15/10 - 10:38 am
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Who created the term "reverse

Who created the term "reverse disrimination"? Discrimination is discrimination, regardless of color! @stillamazed-while I disagree with the idea that the new hiree's "must" be black...hiring new employees at a pay rate that exceeds some existing employees occurs everyday, in every industry.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 07/15/10 - 11:37 am
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"If one segment of society is

"If one segment of society is not allowed to maintain its tradition or exclusivity, or to celebrate its heritage publicly, then no other segment is allowed that either."
-----------------------------
Really???? So former all white or all males institutions/establishments can go back and change. The lunch counters and buses and schools in the south can maintain their tradition of exclusion? And this school and others like it continue to be financed by ALL taxpayers. Wow.

john
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john 07/15/10 - 11:47 am
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as we are all finding out,

as we are all finding out, its not about equality, its about payback.

keeanzia
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keeanzia 07/15/10 - 12:46 pm
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I agree, what is reverse

I agree, what is reverse discrimination...no matter what you call it, it's wrong to discriminate against anyone because of color.

mattmesa
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mattmesa 07/15/10 - 12:59 pm
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I think the term "reverse

I think the term "reverse discrimination" is hilarious. It implies that there is only one type of discrimination in this world; white people discriminating against black people. Discrimination is discrimination and one would be hard pressed at this point when considering global issues to argue that the biggest source of discrimination is white people against black people.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/15/10 - 10:52 pm
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Way to obscure and distort,

Way to obscure and distort, Baron. Really. Good job. Maybe next time you can actually add something of value instead of throwing dust into the air.

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