A new book accusing Missouri’s athletic tutoring program of nurturing a sexually-charged environment was released to bookstores Tuesday.
“The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football” contains a chapter about former Missouri running back Derrick Washington’s 2010 sexual assault conviction. The victim was his tutor.
Chapter 12, entitled “The Tutor: Friends with benefits,” reveals details about the assault of Teresa Braeckel, who tutored Washington. Braeckel worked with Missouri’s Total Person Program, which provides tutoring to Missouri athletes.
The program declined The Maneater’s request for comment on the issue or the book, citing a Sept. 12 statement from Mizzou Athletics that called the book’s allegations “unfortunate”.
In the 20-page chapter, the book provides evidence that the environment around the program was “a hotbed for hooking up.”
“Girls who got into tutoring for the wrong reasons played along, flirting and dressing provocatively for tutoring sessions,” authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian wrote in the book.
Missouri’s tutoring environment was not unique, the book says, and similar programs exist at universities across the nation.
On June 18, 2010, Braeckel said she awoke to unwanted sexual contact with Washington, who was with her roommate Lauren Gavin before the assault.
Braeckel originally wanted to agree to a plea bargain instead of taking the case to court. If Washington pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual assault, he could play his senior season for Missouri and Braeckel would not have had to testify. Trial lawyer Christopher Slusher did not want any criminal charges on Washington’s record, even a misdemeanor, which could hurt Washington’s chances at getting into the NFL, the book said. The plea deal fell through.
Slusher declined comment to The Maneater on Tuesday without the consent of his client.
When Washington was formally charged with sexual assault Aug. 30, 2010, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel permanently suspended Washington from the football squad, per team policy that prohibits student-athletes charged with a felony from competing.
The book quotes Washington’s mother, Sarah, as saying that Pinkel fought with Missouri’s trustees and curators to keep Washington on the team.
Washington was convicted of felony sexual assault in 2011 and was sentenced to five years in prison. Because he was a first time offender, Washington was eligible to participate in an early release program after 120 days. He also had to register as a sex offender.
Last year, Washington played for the Tuskegee University football team in Alabama. He helped his team to a 10-1 record, rushing for 1,494 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Washington was not selected in the NFL Draft.
“The System’s” authors and publishers claim to have contacted the athletic department for comment and to inform the department the book and chapter would be released this week.
“Mizzou Athletics administration was not contacted by the book’s authors,” the athletic department said in its Sept. 12 statement.
Benedict claimed in an interview with the Columbia Tribune that he and Keteyian “reached out to everybody.”