Karen Owen Duke: The Latest From a Messy, Sexy Scandal

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2010

Karen Owen Duke: The Latest From a Messy, Sexy Scandal

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    Since last week, Karen Owen has been the topic of conversation in the Duke University community for her racy thesis in which she details her sexual experiences with the university's athletes.

    It's been a huge scandal and controversy. Inside you'll find some of the latest news from the scandal and a recap of what we already know.

Potential Book Deal

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    Jezebel, the gossip blog aimed at women, talked directly to Owen after the scandal, and was approached by a person at HarperCollins who wanted to get in touch with her about a book deal.

    The representative said Owen was the female Tucker Max, whose sense of self-empowerment the representative admires.

    Yeah, that's what I think of when I think of Tucker Max, "self-empowered." I think that it's probably the last thing I'd call him.

Potential Movie Deal

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    Deadspin, the sports website, was also contacted about getting in touch with Karen Owen. They are the producers of "Friday" and one of the classics of American cinema, "You Got Served."

    They'd love to turn it into a film, and honestly there's a great market for it already. It's called pornography. Everyone's looking to make a buck. Classy.

Possible Talent Agency

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    William Morris Endeavor approached Deadspin about contacting Owen because they thought that her thesis was "genius."

    Yep, because nothing says genius like sleeping around and writing about it for your friends. Yep, that's right up there with Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb.

Players and Families Upset

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    Once the entire list went up on Deadspin, it did so with players' names included, so everyone knew who exactly was a part of this twisted joke.

    After that, e-mails and calls started rolling in from the athletes and their families asking for the names to be taken down. People are worried it's going to cost them their jobs, and I don't blame them. If I worked so hard to get something and then this joke goes and ruins it, I'd be furious.

    I hope that Karen Owen has apologized personally to all of those guys.

Alumni Worried

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    One alumnus told Deadspin that his friends are having a hard time following this latest scandal as it brings back some events from their past.

    "...most of them played on men/women lax teams, and this brings back very bad memories...enforces the whole out-of-control sex scene at Duke..."

    This list could be unleashing a huge can of worms.

Recap: History

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    The entire thesis was supposed to be a joke that Owen typed up. It was supposed to have been kept among her friends.

    It details all of the Duke athletes who she slept with, and all the details that came along with it. Plenty of them are embarrassing and insulting, and she ranked each athlete on their abilities in that department. In it, she refers to them by their number, which is just insulting and dehumanizing.

    When I was reading it, I was stunned that this was actually real and not a big joke.

Recap: The List

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    The list features 13 athletes through a bunch of different sports programs at Duke. Each athlete is broken down with intense, disturbing detail.

    There's an introduction to each, followed by sections entitled "Memorable Moments," "Pros," and "Cons."

    I'm sure you'd be so thrilled to see that if you're the parents of one of the athletes, or better yet, of Owen herself. Nothing like having the whole world know that your daughter sleeps around. Not that the parents of the athletes should be any less embarrassed.

Recap: Evaluation Process.

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    According to the thesis, each athlete was evaluated on a couple of categories that helped put together their final score and, by proxy, their ranking.

    The categories are physical attractiveness, size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment, athletic ability, and bonus.

    I'm glad that she was with these men for their charming personalities.

Recap: Acknowledgments

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    Owen added acknowledgments at the end of her thesis, saying she'd like to thank her "specimens," which is always a classy way to refer to someone with whom you've shared a bed.

    She also thanked alcohol and local bars, and not to mention one of the athletes, who helped inspire her thesis. I know this was supposed to be a big joke, but who takes the time to put something that detailed together?

Recap: Embarrasment

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    Owen did an interview with Jezebel where she talked about the thesis and its contents and expressed regret for it.

    "I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned in that."

    No, of course you wouldn't hurt them intentionally. You just mocked some of them in the document, and it made its way into the public domain where everyone can read it. But you wouldn't do it intentionally, though, would you?

    Give me a break.