VMI Cyber Corps

Alumni and Friends of VMI:

Cyber Corps Numbers: 446

New Athletic Director: The following article recently appeared in the Roanoke Times and provides details about the filling of the AD slot.

Thursday, April 23, 1998
VMI introduces new athletic director
Second time charm for White

VMI Hall of Famer Donny White lands the job that he wanted seven years ago.

By DANIEL UTHMAN
THE ROANOKE TIMES

   LEXINGTON -- This time was the right time.

    Seven years after Donny White applied to be the athletic director at
Virginia Military Institute, he got the job. White was introduced
Wednesday as the school's director of intercollegiate athletics.

    White, a VMI Hall of Famer, had been in the running in 1991 when VMI
hired Davis Babb. At the time, however, White had no administrative
experience.

    "Of course I was disappointed," White said. "But they did a favor
for me."

    The 55-year-old, instead, became the athletic director at Patrick
Henry High School in Ashland, where he oversaw 35 interscholastic sports
programs. White said the experience gave him confidence -- confidence
that was evident when he spoke Wednesday in the Ferebee Lounge.

    "I have the most credentials of any athletic director coming here in
the past 40 years when it comes to VMI athlete-related experiences,"
White said.

    A 1965 VMI graduate, White co-captained the football team in 1964
and was a three-time All-Southern Conference shortstop in baseball. He
coached football and baseball at the school for 15 years.

    White's history as a member of the VMI Corps of Cadets was important
because the school's athletic department in the next few years will be
in need of more financial support than ever before.

    Not only has VMI settled on a plan to upgrade all of its teams, it
will have to create facilities to accommodate a growing women's athletic
program. It will not be possible without a serious commitment from its
alumni base.

    "The first question from alumni whenever VMI is looking for a dean,
a coach or an athletic director is, "Did he go there?'" said Maj. Gen.
Josiah Bunting III, VMI's superintendent. "They really want to know
that.

    "If we could get an alumnus who had achieved and been successful in
various things, it would be a huge advantage," Bunting said.

    White and three other finalists -- interim athletic director Mike
Bozeman, Navy associate athletic director Steve Orsini and Syracuse
associate athletic director Dennis Helsel -- were interviewed Sunday and
Monday.

    Bozeman, a graduate of The Citadel, had been considered the leading
candidate, but the nine-time Southern Conference track and field coach
of the year didn't want to give up his coaching duties.

    Bunting had two 1-hour sessions with White and was attracted by
White's passion and analytical approach to the VMI situation. Bunting
said White's familiarity with the VMI spirit will be an asset to combat
the cynicism and skepticism that has crept into some of the school's
losing programs.

    In addition to rallying the mood on the post, White's main
responsibilities will include identifying the needs of coaches,
addressing facility concerns and increasing the rate of retention among
student-athletes.

    Although White will not officially begin his duties until July 1, he
wants to leave Patrick Henry and be at VMI full time within the next
three weeks.

    After waiting for the job most of this decade, a few more weeks
isn't bad.

    "I didn't know if I could do this job seven years ago," White said.
"Perhaps I'm not a candidate that a Richmond, William and Mary or
Appalachian State would consider, but I'm the right guy for this one."

Speaking of VMI Football...: Seems the next big fund raising campaign will be kicking off this summer/fall. I'm told a fund raising effort designed to raise money for the VMI football program will coincide with the fund raising efforts of the VMI foundation. If you remember, I passed along 17 recommendations offered by external counsultants re: improving VMI's football program. Many of those recommendations involved initiatives that would require pretty good chunks of money (i.e., scholarships, recruiting, housing assistance for coaches, etc.) I think we all know that the dining arrangements at VMI have changed (i.e., bringing back aspects of the buffett style arrangement). It appears that no decision has been made relative to the housing of 5th year senior football players (i.e., are they housed in barracks or outside of barracks). I'll pass along more info as I receive it).

VMI on MTV: I know that several folks saw VMI and The Citadel on MTV the other night. I think VMI came across looking pretty good. Reporting was even handed in most respects I think with the exception of the interview with George Wade. If you remember, he was the rat that quit earlier this year stating that he been hazed. MTV, in my opinion, did not do a very good job offering both sides of that story.

All in all the portion of the show relating to The Citadel was not very flattering. Again this is only my opinion.

They did mention SMI and featured the only lady on their board. I don't think she came across very well in the MTV interviews of her.

Honor Court Update: According to the Roanoke Times the trial of the 6 cadets fighting honor court charges has been held. The results of this trial are expected in the next day or so.

A Bunch of News: Yet another special thanks to Jim Gale '60 for keeping up with VMI news and passing along the following articles.
Saturday, May 02, 1998

Ex-student claims entrapment
'Drummed out,' ex-cadet sues VMI

An Arlington man was expelled after he had completed his final exams in
April 1996, just days before he was to graduate.

By MATT CHITTUM
THE ROANOKE TIMES

   A former Virginia Military Institute cadet who was kicked out of
school for cheating is suing the school for his diploma because he says
the school used a "self-confessed cheater" to entrap him.

   In return, the other cadet avoided a trial himself and received
favorable class grades he didn't earn, the suit filed in U.S. District
Court in Roanoke alleges.

   Brian Benken of Arlington was "drummed out" after he had completed
his final exams in April 1996, just days before he was to graduate.
Besides his diploma, he is asking that the cheating conviction be
expunged from his record and that he be reimbursed $40,000 for the Air
Force ROTC scholarship he lost as a result.

   The suit, filed just three days before the two-year statute of
limitations on it ran out, is the second challenge to the VMI Honor
Court in the last month. Six cadets allegedly involved in a series of
beatings have claimed their constitutional rights were violated by an
Honor Court investigation.

   Friday night, an Honor Court jury was deliberating in that case. A
verdict was expected late Friday or today.

   Two of the attorneys representing three of those cadets also are
representing Benken. Katherine Londos and John Cooley could not be
reached for comment.

   Benken was a senior when two Honor Court prosecutors, Joshua Keesal
and Christopher Gorman, decided to sniff out alleged "good guys" --
cadets who tolerate violations of the honor code, the suit alleges.

   The code reads: "A cadet does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate
those who do." The only penalty is expulsion.

   Benken claims that a cadet named Jeffrey Mozgala of Vienna confessed
to cheating but to avoid prosecution, agreed to entrap Benken in a
cheating scam.

   Mozgala testified to the Honor Court that he had helped Benken
complete a physics lab project, and that Benken had turned in the
project as his own work, according to the suit.

   In reality, the suit says, Mozgala or someone else stole the computer
disk Benken's work was on and altered it to look as if Benken had
borrowed some of his work from Mozgala.

   Benken was approximately the 31st cadet expelled from VMI that year
for honor violations, the suit claims.

   Honor violations typically number fewer than 10 in a year.

   Two Air Force officers, who reviewed the case because Benken was in
line to receive an Air Force commission, concluded the proceeding was "a
tragic miscarriage of justice."

   The central charge that the work Benken turned in was not his own was
never substantiated, one of the officers found.

   The whole affair was an "unprofessional trial scene" that included
improper rulings by the Honor Court judge, a cadet, the other officer
wrote.

   The judge refused to allow Benken's attorney to question prosecution
witnesses and submit certain evidence about the lab project, the suit
claims.

   The judge also did not allow Benken's attorney to cross-examine
Mozgala about his own admitted violation of the honor system, thereby
depriving Benken of the opportunity to discredit the primary witness
against him, the suit says.

   Before the trial took place, the Honor Court adviser ordered
Mozgala's physics professor to change his grade on the laboratory
assignments in question from "zero" to a higher grade in return for his
cooperation, according to the suit.

   Other allegations include that Mozgala admitted he destroyed his own
work for the lab assignment after Benken's attorney's requested a copy
of it; that the jury in the case was hand-picked by the Honor Court and
its faculty advisers; that the prosecutors destroyed a witness'
statement and obtained a new one; and that the prosecutors wrote witness
statements and made witnesses copy them over in their own hand and sign
them.

   A VMI spokesman declined comment because VMI has not been served with
the suit.
-------
Print Edition
Metro Articles
Front Page Articles

Prosecutor Named in VMI Case
Friday, March 27, 1998; Page B07

A judge in Rockbridge County, Va., has appointed a special prosecutor to
review the case of a former Virginia Military Institute cadet who
alleges that he and five other freshmen were assaulted regularly with a
belt by seniors at the school last fall.

The former cadet, George Wade Jr., 20, of Henrico County, Va., had
criticized the decision of Rockbridge Commonwealth's Attorney Gordon
Saunders not to bring charges in the case.

At Wade's request, Saunders asked Circuit Court Judge George Honts III
to appoint a special prosecutor and the judge selected Buena Vista
attorney Michael S. Irvine.

Saunders, whose father taught at VMI for more than 40 years, said he
wanted to avoid any perception that he was biased in favor of the
school.

Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
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TAPS

With regret, I pass along this msg I received from Jim Greathead:

Jim,
We got a call this am from Marjorie Carver (in Wash. DC) that her husband George had a massive heart attack and died last night (I think).
George was my roomie Rat & 3rd, before he dropped out for family reasons. I don't know all the details of his history after VMI, but I do know he was with the Capitol Police Dept. (the Congress version of Secret Service) for many years, retiring from Personnel Dept. after a stroke maybe 10 years ago. I did see he and Marjorie in DC back in late 80's for dinner at O Club Ft. Meyer? along with Jack Cary before he died. I know George always regretted not finishing VMI.
Anyway, just thought I'd let you know of his death.

Jim Greathead

The Institute Report: The VMI Public Relations Office publishes a newsletter entitled The Institute Report. I've been receiving this for some time and just assumed all alumni receive it. However, I have learned that this is not the case. I guess I receive it since I'm a chapter rep to the Alumni Board. Actually there is some information in this publication that I will share with the Cyber Corps.

Well, that's it for this week.

Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75

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