Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday, 8/17/07's main point: Vaughn only attracts attention with lawsuit


If Kia Vaughn thought her reputation was tarnished back in April, she has no idea of the hit it will take now.

She'll be called greedy. She'll be labeled a money-seeking-"victim." And both just might be true.

Vaughn is a junior on the Rutgers women's basketball team. After the Scarlet Knights lost the national championship game to Tennessee in April, members of the team were infamously called "nappy-headed hos" by CBS Radio personality Don Imus.

Now Vaughn, despite not being singled out by Imus, is suing him. And, coincidence or not, she filed the suit on the same day Imus and CBS reached a settlement on his $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit.

This simply does not make any sense to me. After Imus' comments more than four months ago, there was an outpouring of support for the Scarlet Knights, which was only strengthened by an incredible press conference in which they made themselves out to be extremely intelligent, well-rounded people.

Nobody I know, or listened to, or saw on TV had anything negative to say about Vaughn or other members of the Scarlet Knights. Nobody. They clearly had made Imus look like an idiot while garnering great, positive publicity for their school at the same time.

And while Imus was fired from his post at CBS, the Rutgers players could go back to living their normal lives, right?

Apparently not. Vaughn doesn't want to let the issue slide. In April, team members even said they didn't necessarily want Imus fired. Now, on the day he settles with CBS, Vaughn sues?

The only real reason I can see for this course of action is money. There's a good chance, according to Mississippi College School of Law professor Michael McCann, that this case will be settled out of court, meaning Vaughn will likely be paid a lump sum from Imus.

But will it really be worth it? How will Vaughn be received by her teammates, who have likely tried to put the whole incident in their rear-view mirrors? Now how will the general public look at her?

Before this, I could only applaud the Scarlet Knights for being so classy and handling a difficult situation with grace. But now, I have to question Vaughn and her intentions.

We shouldn't be talking about the Rutgers women's basketball team right now unless we're forecasting its chances of returning to the national championship game. All this Don Imus baloney should be in the past, no longer an issue.

But because of Vaughn, it's not. Because of this lawsuit, Imus' name — the only name that was tarnished back in April — is back in the news for the wrong reason.

And Kia Vaughn will be viewed as more than just a student-athlete this fall on campus.

I hope, for her sake, that she handles the new attention sure to find her with as much grace and maturity as she and her teammates handled Imus' comments four-plus months ago.

Because this time she deserves any backlash she receives.

1 comment:

Tyler Hampton said...

I agree. I think that she should have just let the issue slide by, but no she is bringing it up again and causing people to think of her in a different light. She can very easily and single handedly bring negative publicity to a school that had nothing but great publicity until now.