Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Success is sweet revenge.

Last year we reported on the injustice inflicted on college wrestlers Paul Donahoe and Kenny Jordan. Both men were thrown off the wrestling team at the University of Nebraska by a moralistic coach, Mark Manning. Their "crime" was that each had posed for nude photos for a website that specialized in male erotica.

Remember that both men were of legal age. Neither had hurt anyone. Coeds across the nation routinely pose for similar nude photos without any punishment being inflicted on them. But apparently because the coach saw this as "gay porn" a double-standard existed.

Sadly Jordan decided he was finished with wrestling. But Paul Donahoe wasn't going to let some antiquated throwback decide his future.

With the help of his former high school coach Donahoe transferred to a new school, Edinboro Universtiy and rejoined the wrestling team there. This year Donahoe is unbeaten (32-0) and is number one in the nation in his weight class.

Donahue is rightfully unapologetic. He says: "I didn't do anything illegal. I didn't hurt anyone. I don't think I did anything wrong. Who should I apologize to?"

Because Donahoe's photos were marketed to a gay audience it was perceived that he was gay. And he says one result was that he was the butt of many antigay jokes. His reply: "I'm not too concerned, They can talk about me all Hethey want, it doesn't matter. If a guy wants to be with a guy, who cares?" For the record, Donahoe is not gay.

More of Donahoe's story has come out as well. His parents divorced and finances became a major problem for him. He told the press: "I've basically been on my own since I was a freshman in high school." The wife of his high school coach, Jennifer Hall, said: "He's a great kid, but complicated. He'll do whatever it takes to survive." Donahue did the photo shoot and video because he needed the money. He was flown to LA and paid several thousand dollars for the shoot. He said, "What the heck? People do worse for money."

Donahoe criticized the double-standard at the University of Nebraska. He said:
I believe it was unfair for Nebraska to dismiss me from the team. For one, there's plenty of athletes throughout the University of Nebraska who have had DUIs and who have been in fights and are still playing. But I guess that's OK. Posing nude, I guess, is worse than someone drinking and driving and risking someone's life, in their eyes.
Fellow teammate Gregor Gillespie told the Boston Herald that when Donahoe first transferred a lot of people were speaking badly about him. "Right now, he's proving people wrong. He's had to switch coaches, schools, friends, that had to be a pain. He's heard people yelling stuff like 'homo,' but none of that bothers him, he just brushes that all off."

Donahoe says that lots of people left him encouraging words on his Myspace page. A year later he's number one in the nation. Yes, success is the sweetest revenge.

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