Another school year, another college sex scandal. They are as routine as freshman move-in day and autumn leaves changing color. Like a grade point average, college sex scandals have varying degrees of salaciousness and moral turpitude. In 2011, the Penn State scandal dominated national headlines and was called “the biggest scandal in college sports history.” While most college sex scandals don’t compare to the charges of abuse and cover-up leveled against Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State athletic department, all sorts of shocking, extra-curricular activities rock college campuses -from brutal hazing rituals and date rapes to Girls Gone Wild and students sleeping with teachers in return for better grades. Some college sex scandals gain national exposure, stirring controversy and debate, while others bring criminal charges. Here are 7 of the most salacious college sex scandals.
7. Sex on the Rooftop: University of Southern California
In 2011, numerous photos of a man and woman having sex on the rooftop of USC’s Waite Phillips Hall went viral. Whether or not the couple knew their sexcapade was being photographed is up for debate, but a top official on the board for fraternities at USC was quick to respond to the controversy. The Daily Trojan, which broke the story, quoted Council President Pat Lauer as saying “the group was appalled by the actions associated with the individual in the pictures, and will work tirelessly to reverse the negative stereotypes such an action has perpetuated.” It turns out the male member in question was part of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He was suspended for lewd conduct “unbecoming of a Kappa Sigma and a gentleman.”
6. John Gechter: Grove City College
Grove City College is a Christian liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. In 2009, 22-year-old John Gechter caused a scandal at the conservative ivory tower when another student saw his pictures on a homosexual X-rated site. Gechter was suspended for “exhibiting behavior that was contrary to the values of the school.” College representatives went on to say, “Clearly something happened since he’s been here for four years that led him down this unfortunate path. We want to get him out of that type of life.” The Grove City College handbook states that “premarital sex, heterosexual or homosexual, or any other such conduct that violates historical Christian standards” is cause for disciplinary action. Gechter claimed he appeared in gay adult videos in order to pay tuition. After threatening legal action, he was able to graduate from the college. There’s no word on whether or not the student surfing homosexual X-rated sites was suspended for violating “historical Christian standards.
5. Mistress Jade: University of New Mexico
Lisa Chavez was an English professor at the University of New Mexico. In 2007, she was having trouble making mortgage payments and took a job moonlighting as a phone-sex dominatrix at People Exchanging Power. Known as Mistress Jade, the advertisement on the company’s website read: “Do you want a biker bit*h, an imperious goddess, or a stern teacher ready to punish unruly students?”
Photos surfaced of Ms. Chavez and one of her students in sadomasochistic poses with vulgar captions. It was initially believed that Ms. Chavez was recommending her students to work as phone sex operators, but it was later revealed that the student was already working at People Exchanging Power and had run into her teacher at the service, where they agreed to pose for photographs. The University of New Mexico concluded that Ms. Chavez did not violate school policy. She quit the $40 per hour sex job and retained her position as an English professor.
4. The Fu*ksaw Seminar: Northwestern University
In 2011, students in Professor J. Michael Bailey’s Human Sexuality class got an eyeful when the controversial teacher arranged an optional, after-class live orgasm show. During the presentation, which was meant to explore a female’s reaction during climax while using an electric sex toy called a Fuc*saw. Needless to say, the demonstration led to several parental complaints and the Human Sexuality course was axed –was it the live climax that caused the controversy or the vulgar name of the sex toy? According to The Chicago Tribune, Northwestern University said, “courses in human sexuality are offered in a variety of academic departments in other universities, and Northwestern is reviewing how such a course best fits into the University’s curriculum.”
3. The Arizona State University Cheerleading Scandal
In 2008, a series of naughty photos circulated showing six ASU cheerleaders posing in their underwear at a party. The pictures were tame -more late-night slumber party than XXX rated -but the University threatened to cut the cheerleading program entirely. In fact, the “underwear debacle” came on the heels of a far more salacious scandal involving a former ASU cheerleader, which is the real reason why administration considered axing the program.
Courtney Cox was a member of ASU’s cheerleading squad as a freshman, but she later dropped out, moved to California, and began a career in adult films. Courtney Cox, who took on the stage name Courtney Simpson, appeared in an adult film –Gina Lynn’s Double Dutch -wearing the ASU cheerleading uniform. If that wasn’t controversial enough, she was also featured on the film’s box cover in the cheerleading uniform.
2. The Duke Lacrosse Scandal
Underage drinking, sexual misconduct, and bad-boy behavior –the Duke lacrosse scandal put the power of the elite under the microscope. Duke was known for its “work hard, play hard” attitude, and specifically for its wild off-campus parties. However, in 2006 that came to an end when an African-American stripper hired to perform at an off-campus party alleged that three white members of the Duke lacrosse team had raped her. The three athletes were arrested, but each maintained their innocence. Prosecutors ordered 46 members of the team to submit to DNA test, but the tests failed to connect them to the rape, leading the credibility of the accuser to be brought into question. The North Carolina Attorney General eventually dismissed the case due to lack of evidence. The rape scenario was entirely fabricated.
The national headlines (“Rich White Kids Rape Black Stripper”) and fallout from the criminal case led to the disbarment of lead prosecutor, Mike Nifong. It’s believed he was overzealous in arresting the boys and only trying to make a name for himself through widespread national exposure. Mike Pressler, the Duke lacrosse coach, was forced to resign, and Duke President Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the season. Several members of the lacrosse team eventually filed suit against the university. In the novel The Price of Silence, investigative reporter William D. Cohan describes the Duke lacrosse scandal as “what happens when the most combustible forces in American culture -unbridled ambition, intellectual elitism, athletic prowess, aggressive sexual behavior, racial bias, and absolute prosecutorial authority—collide and then explode on a powerful university campus, in the justice system, and in the media.”
1. Miriam Weeks: Otherwise Known as Belle Knox, Adult Actress
In 2014, Miriam Weeks, a 19-year old freshman and women’s studies and sociology major at Duke University, was revealed to be adult actress Belle Knox. According to The Duke Chronicle, classmate Thomas Bagley outed her at a fraternity rush event. In the Rolling Stone article, The Blue Devil in Miss Belle Knox: Meet the Duke P*rn Star Miriam Weeks, the freshman is described as “paying her way through college by getting frisky on film.” Duke costs $60,000 a year, and Miriam Weeks has appeared in roughy 35 X-rated scenes since November 2013.
This isn’t the first time a woman has engaged in extracurricular activities to pay her way through college, but the fact that Weeks attends a prestigious school like Duke University scandalizes people. Since the outing, the media frenzy surrounding her has been non-stop. According to Rolling Stone, celebrity therapist Dr. Drew told Weeks that if he were her father, he would be “chompin’ down on a cyanide capsule,” while Howard Stern simply asked: “Are you wearing any underwear, or no.”