Final report causes flood of emotion

Liz Bogut

After an eight-month examination of more than 50,000 documents and 150 people, University administrators somberly faced the public in what has been called one of the worst academic scandals.
Some did so stoically, while others addressed the frenzied media with voices shaking in anger and sorrow.
But all administrators shared a sense of deep regret that the men’s basketball scandal had come so far.
Friday’s most emotional moments were during University men’s athletics director Mark Dienhart’s resignation that morning.
“This has damaged beyond repair the people I love most,” Dienhart told a room full of news-hungry media Friday morning.
Behind the press, Dienhart’s family and supporters watched quietly, some wiping tearful eyes.
Dienhart angrily said he felt “fundamentally betrayed.”
“I was betrayed by Alonzo Newby and by the players implicated,” he said, adding that if the report was accurate, Haskins had also repeatedly lied to him. He also said he regretted trusting many of his colleagues.
Dienhart said he was sorry to leave behind a University that his family had grown up around and a program in which he took great pride.
That afternoon, University President Mark Yudof’s brow glistened with sweat as he addressed an anxious crowd of more than 150 people.
“I apologize for what has happened,” Yudof said. “I regret we’ve brought shame and embarrassment upon the University for which you’ve demonstrated such loyalty.”
Along with his apology, Yudof emphasized the difficult decisions he had to make during the investigation.
Yudof also expressed anger and betrayal in statements concerning Haskins, saying that in light of the report, he knows he was lied to.
Regent Patricia Spence stood faithfully at Yudof’s side, expressing sentiments of sorrow and regret.
“This is a sad day,” she said. “The cheating and the breakdown in institutional control … have brought dishonor to our great University.”
Spence went on to say the board apologizes to the citizens of Minnesota, and trust needs to be rebuilt.
But one former University employee said the “sun would come up” after this gray day for the University.
Former academic tutor Jan Gangelhoff quietly warded off character attacks from the media with attorney Jim Lord at her side.
“Yes, I lied to protect myself,” Gangelhoff said, referring to previous testimony about her involvement in academic fraud.
Gangelhoff defended her actions, saying Haskins built a “wall” around the basketball “family,” and nothing would ever get out.
But members of the media remained skeptical of her stance.
At the end of the day, the scandal’s damage was obvious.
Administrators were left feeling betrayed, remorseful and sad, and an entire line of command — from former men’s basketball coach Clem Haskins to McKinley Boston, vice president of student development and athletics — had been excised from the University.
Liz Bogut welcomes comments at [email protected] She also can be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3225.