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J U N E 6 -12 , 2 0 18 | W E E K LY I N P R I N T | O U D A I LY. C O M


For 103 years, the student voice of the University of Oklahoma

TIME'S UP AT OU Professor emeritus accused of sexual harasssment by former students


Trigger warning: this story contains descriptions of sexual harassment and violence


hose who spent time with John Scamehorn remember one consistent behavior: he was always taking pictures. “He was at every event with a camera — I was kind of told, you know, he’s a donor. He gives money, and that’s why he’s on campus, and he’s harmless and just loves the arts. Theater people are really opening, and we’re the kind of people that don’t turn others away.

I think he took advantage of that, and that was how he was able to be around. I thought this was a lonely person looking for community.” This is how one former OU arts student, who asked to remain anonymous, remembers her first experience with Scamehorn, an OU professor emeritus, who this week has been accused of sexual harassment by at least four former OU arts students during his time

involved with the OU’s Weitzenhoffer School of Arts as a donor. When she first got to know Scamehorn, he was obsessed with taking pictures at OU arts events. Gabrielle Reyes, another former OU drama student, said she also had similar experiences with Scamehorn, who previously served as a professor of chemical engineering at OU since the 1980s. “He would always be at every opening night.

He would always be front row center, and he would always be there to take pictures of us. At first, I loved it because these photos were the ones I was using to share on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter,” Reyes said. “These were my cherished moments — a celebration with my best friends and my new friends. He would always be taking photos, and we never saw anything wrong with it at the time.”

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• June 6-12, 2018

TIME’S UP Continued from Page One

But, in February 2016, Reyes said a friend who worked for Scamehorn discovered a large file of photoshopped images of numerous women from OU’s school of drama and said the pictures depicted OU students’ faces photoshopped onto bodies of people in “disturbing” positions. Reyes said the pictures haunt her, and she has issues getting them out of her head. University press secretary Matt Epting told The Daily in a statement on June 4 that the university severed employment ties with Scamehorn in February 2016, but that he still retains the title of OU professor emeritus and has access to benefits afforded to any other university retiree. Epting would not say why employment ties were severed with Scamehorn in 2016. Scamehorn, who The Daily has left two voicemails for and received no response, was scheduled to speak at an academic symposium in the Oklahoma Memorial Union on June 6 but withdrew from participation. Darryl Cox, an adjunct professor in the Helmerich School of Drama, was an a s s o c i a t e p ro d u c e r o n S ca m e h o r n ’s f i l m “ Pa x Masculina.” “Pax Masculina” is a film set in a dystopian world where men have complete control over women,

but a group of women rebel against the patriarchal government. During production of the movie, Cox usually saw Scamehorn holding a personal camcorder and would separately film fight scenes involving the female leads, which Cox said he found odd. Cox and other workers on the film eventually confronted Scamehorn about the plot of the film, as Cox said they believed the original script focused too much on a “fetish” Scamehorn appeared to have for women being hanged. “He was very upset at me because I, as associate producer, was kind of the ‘actors advocate’ on the set, and I stated the actresses, when they were on the rigs, could only be up there for five minutes because I knew he was itching to show a lot of long footage of the actresses — of the characters slowly strangulating,” Cox said. “I was not going to let that happen, so I said they could only be up there for five minutes at a time. He was very upset with me for doing that.” Cox said the first script had to be rewritten by the film’s director. Cox said he remembered a confrontation with Scamehorn while filming the hanging scenes since Scamehorn was angry the girls would not actually feel pressure around their necks during the filming. Th e w o ma n w h o m e t Scamehorn during her time at OU said Scamehorn once cornered her on the North

Oval to ask her questions about a play she had recently starred in involving nudity and depicting a rape scene. Scamehorn told her he thought the rape scene was “not violent enough” and asked the woman if her father came to see the show and how he felt about seeing her partially nude. The woman also said Scamehorn messaged her privately on Facebook some time later and commented that she played “a perfect rape victim.” “I was angry, and I was really sickened because it was clear that was something he got pleasure from watching,” the woman said. “That was not the purpose of the scene. It was such a perversion of everything about it, and the fact that he sent that to me in a private message at all was disgusting.” The anonymous woman said she felt alone and cornered that day on the North Oval when she was approached by Scamehorn. Cox said Scamehorn is calculating and makes sure to only act inappropriately in front of young girls and not in front of others. “You’ll hear a lot of people saying they didn’t personally see him do anything. I want you to note that almost all of the people who say that are men, and I want to point out that of course men didn’t see him do anything — he didn’t want us to see him doing anything specific in the realm of sexual harassment,” Cox


Professor emeritus John Scamehorn. Scamehorn has been accused of sexual harassment by at least four former OU students.

said. “He was very clever. He would always back off when confronted about misogynistic behavior. I feel very confident that these women that are reporting this are absolutely to be believed.” In February 2016, the same month the university severed ties with Scamehorn for undisclosed reasons, when Scamehorn’s photoshopped images were discovered, Reyes was deeply upset and didn’t know what to do, and she felt she would not be

heard by officials within the school of arts. “I was so disturbed — the day that I found out, I cried, and I called my sister, parents and anybody who would listen to me and not think I was crazy for being freaked the f--- out,” Reyes said. “Because I felt so taken advantage of just by being at the school and being in those shows that I prided myself so highly on, those that my parents would come to.” But now, as more people

lend their support and tell stories of Scamehorn’s actions on Facebook and other social media outlets, Reyes said she has no reason to be silent on the issue. “I just want to speak my truth, and I have an incredible life — I have no need to hold my tongue. I have the success I need. I don’t need to be silent.” Nick Hazelrigg


THE TIMELINE OF JOHN SCAMEHORN AT OU Scamehorn first hired at OU as assistant professor of chemical engineering.

July 1981

Granted accademic tenure by the OU Board of Regents.

May 1987

Scamehorn’s retirement announced at regents meeting, named George Lynn Cross Research Professor Emeritus of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering.

May 2007

University severs employment ties with Scamehorn; he retains title of professor emeritus.

February 2016


June 6-12, 2018 •


Associate provost leaves OU

Mark Morvant accepts new position at Tarleton NICK HAZELRIGG @nickhazelrigg

An OU administrator and senior fellow of OU’s Dunham residential college will be leaving the university to accept a position as associate vice president at Tarleton State University. Mark Morvant, who has worked at OU since 2006, has been an associate provost at OU since 2014. Morvant said he accepted

the position at Tarleton, his alma matter, to be closer to his parents. “It’s everybody’s dream job to get to work at the university they grew up around,” Morvant said. Morvant received his doctorate at OU in the 1990s and said he has witnessed the changes the university experienced under President David Boren’s tenure. “The campus looks completely different from when I first got here,” Morvant said. “The future of the university is extraordinarily bright.” Morvant said the university will have a lot of strong opportunities during James

Gallogly’s administration and that he doesn’t expect OU to change that drastically. He also expects Dunham to continue to see success under whoever would take his place as senior fellow. “I have no idea who its going to be, but it should be somebody who cares about students and listens to them,” Morvant said. Morvant said OU will always be home for him and that he wanted to tell the OU community “Boomer Sooner” one last time before he left. Nick Hazelrigg


Associate Provost Mark Morvant talks with a reporter May 15.


Mural memorializes late, local musician

Original artwork piece honors Norman native MORGAN MISSEL @tomahawkmissel

A Norman native and musician who passed away last year in Oregon has been memorialized with a larger-than-lifesized mural on the side of Buchanan Bicycles on Campus Corner. The mural of Boyd Littell, a well-known name in the Norman music scene, was started May 14 by Eunice “Nissy” Carter, with only the finishing touches being added now. Carter said she was simply trying to process her own grief when she painted the original piece,

not knowing that sharing it on social media would lead to the mural of Littell, who was part of multiple bands and worked as an accompanist for the OU School of Dance. Carter posted a photo to Facebook of her painting of Littell along with some other artwork she had completed, and the Littell piece received a lot of attention from admirers and fellow musicians. “It just kind of blew up from there on social media. There were a lot of calls for turning it into a mural on Campus Corner,” Carter said. “So (Tobias Schiele) set up a GoFundMe to kind of fund it, and within a month, our goal was met.” Tobias Schiele, friend of both Carter and Littell, was inspired by the picture

and approached Buchanan Bicycles about the mural. He got permission to paint the wall and asked Carter to recreate her image. Carter said she hopes the mural reminds Littell’s loved ones how much he was loved by the community. Along with his name and birth and death dates, there will be a plaque placed next to the mural with more information about Littell’s life. There will be a dedication ceremony for the mural at 7:30 p.m. on July 15 at Buchanan Bicycles on 561 Buchanan Ave. in Norman. “This will be kind of a way let people get to know who he was and his legacy,” Carter said. Morgan Missel



Mural by Eunice “Nissy” Carter of late cyclist Boyd Littell June 4. Littell was a Norman native and musician who died last October.



• June 6-12, 2018

Norman University North Park project runs into opposition

OU professors voice various economic, cultural concerns

Several OU professors have spoken out against the University North Park project online and in person, despite the development’s status as a largely-OU Foundation endeavor. Stephen Ellis, Cynthia Rogers and Ben Alpers have frequented city council meetings and Norman Facebook groups to express their opposition to the proposed entertainment district, citing lack of economic viability and potential loss of Norman’s cultural identity. Ellis, an OU philosophy professor who also studies economic psychology, has been a key voice in the resident movement to subdue the UNP project. He posts nearly every day in the Norman Ward 4 Facebook group, stating his frustration with the project and his argument that the project isn’t viable. Ellis said his main problem with the project is that studies show developments like the UNP arena usually don’t work. In 2014, Ellis co-wrote a paper for the Arizona Law Review about the negative effects of economic development incentives in municipalities. “Despite their widespread use, the efficiency of economic development incentives has not been substantiat-

ed,” Ellis’s paper states. Ellis also said the OU Foundation’s request for public money to fund the project is a red flag to its possible economic implausibility. “If (the project) takes a subsidy, it’s probably not a money-maker to begin with,” Ellis said. The OU Foundation has recently denied a group of Norman residents’ open-record request. Ellis said he wasn’t in the group who requested the measure, but he fully supports transparency. The UNP project reports from the past year have been publicized, but the negotiations between the city and foundation haven’t been, Ellis said. He said he wants to know who promised who what. “What ends up being politically feasible depends a lot on deals that are (made) behind-the-scenes,” Ellis said. Rogers, an OU economics professor, has also been a driving force in UNP’s resident opposition. She, like her husband, Ellis, attends city council functions and posts nearly every day in the Facebook group. She released a study last week with her own financial projections for the UNP project.

Rogers also co-wrote the Arizona Law Review paper on economic development incentives. She, like Ellis, said projects like UNP don’t usually work. “I’m against public money going into privately owned stuff,” Rogers said. “And I don’t think sales tax TIFs make any sort of sense.” Rogers said she has a problem with mixing public money with tax increment finance districts (TIFs) that use sales tax instead of property tax. Rogers said the project could be more economically viable if the sales tax TIF were removed. Alpers, an OU history professor, also actively opposes the UNP project. Alpers said in a Facebook post May 24 that he wouldn’t support any council member who votes to continue the UNP project. Alpers, Rogers and Ellis have all said they fear Norman will lose its identity if the development project is seen through. “Why do we want to make Norman MORE like everywhere else?” Rogers wrote in a Facebook post May 28. Ellis said while his primary concerns are economic, he also doesn’t want to see Norman’s center of gravity move away from the university and

June 6-12, 2018 •

the area around it. “YES UNP folks claim to love Norman, but they seem to have zero faith in Norman as it exists,” Ellis wrote in a Facebook post the same day as Rogers. Rogers said every city must find its niche and build on it, not detract from it, and Alpers said Norman’s niche is the theater, art and museums available through OU — all assets that separate Norman from other cities. “Those are natural cultural advantages we have that no one else has,” Alpers said. Alpers said he wants to see the city of Norman better represent its residents. He said the city council must realize that the OU Foundation and the city are separate entities with separate interests. “The OU Foundation has an asset, and they want to use that asset as best they can use (it),” Alpers said at a city council study session May 29. “That’s great. That’s their job. The job of the city is to ask itself, ‘Is this the best way to spend $100 million?’”



“No Arena” sign in protest of the newly planned area for The University North Park June 5.

Drew Hutchinson



The land that could potentially be used for the University North Park entertainment district in northern Norman.



An info-graphic comparing two studies, one from Robert Dauffenbach and from Cynthia Rogers, that attempt to project the financial ramifications of the University North Park.



• June 6-12, 2018

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June 6-12, 2018 •


Parker leaves lasting legacy

Despite loss, senior pitcher finishes historic career CHARLENE AINSWORTH @charleneyvette1

Following a sweep t h ro u g h re g i o n a l s a n d super regionals to give the Sooners an undefeated season at home (30-0), many wondered whether this was coach Patty Gasso’s most complete team. But after pitching seven scoreless innings and striking out nine in the Sooners’ 9-0 win over Arkansas, one question remained: whether Paige Parker is the best p i t c h e r i n O k l a h o m a’s history. Parker had an immediate impact on the team, starting in all 58 games, with 32 of her starts coming on the mound. She led the Big 12 in ERA (1.65) and wins (28), leading her to be named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Three years later, Parker has only gotten better, capping her senior season as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and the No. 6 pick in the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Draft to the USSSA Pride, just to name a few of her many accomplishments. “She’s been the face of our program since she stepped on it,” coach Patty Gasso said. “She kind of grabbed t h e t o rc h f ro m Ke i l a n i (Ricketts) and said, ‘I’ll take it from here,’ and she’s done a great job. Gets better every year, which is hard to do from a pitching standpoint. She’s had her ups and downs, but she always

bounces back, and she’s always very good on the big stage.” The left-hander from Independence, Missouri, also got her first taste of the postseason with the Sooners that season, sweeping through the Norman Regional before exiting the tournament with a super-regional loss to Alabama. That postseason is now a distant memory as Parker prepares for her third WCWS appearance with eight world series wins under her belt, more than some programs have won. In many ways, Parker has grown to be a dominant force atop college softball, an undeniable talent that opposing teams can’t ignore, making it even harder to top a Sooners team that has seen no lack of offensive power. In the rare occasion that Parker suffers a loss — just three this season — she quickly regroups, sending her team on another winning stretch. One of Parker’s losses in the 2018 season came at the hands of No. 1 seed Oregon, a 5-0 loss that ended the Sooners’ 30-game win streak. With a possibility of a rematch against the Ducks in the world series, Oregon coach Mike White marveled at Parker’s abilities and the luxuries that come with having such an elite pitcher. “O bviously as a head coach, you want consistency out of your pitcher, and she’s consistency,” White said. “She’s a model of it. She always wants the ball. She wants to get out there. She’s a competitor, and that’s what you’ve got to be.” Parker easily gained the respect of teams across the country, but none more

meaningful than the respect she has garnered among her teammates. Fellow senior Lea Wodach has been with Parker the whole way, witnessing first-hand the efficiency and power of Oklahoma’s star pitcher. “She’s just a competitor, and she’s a big-time player,” Wodach said. “When the stage rises, and the game elevates and the meaning of it elevates, she elevates with it, and it’s awesome to see that. I’m really glad she’s on our team.” One of Parker’s greatest assets is her dominant play in the postseason, leading the Sooners to back-toback national championships in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Parker started in 5-of6 world series games, all complete games, and held opponents to 11 runs — including a 3-0 shutout win in eight innings over Alabama, who had ended the Sooners’ season a year earlier in the super regionals. With the championship series against Auburn tied 1-1, Parker did what she did best — held the Tigers to one run and struck out five, leading her to be named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player. She would do it all over again in 2017, moving into fourth place on the Sooners’ alltime wins record (92). With a .86 ERA heading into the Sooners’ WCWS game against Washington, Parker began her last climb up the S ooners’ record books, moving into second in school history in wins (121) and strikeouts (943), trailing only behind Keilani Ricketts, who had 133 wins and 1,605 strikeouts. On the verge of a t h i rd -s t ra i g ht nat i o na l


Senior left handed pitcher Paige Parker begins to pitch the ball in the first game of the NCAA Women’s College World Series May 31.

championship and her final games as a Sooner, Parker was focused on enjoying the experience. Only one team had been able to accomplish three consecutive championships (UCLA), but to Parker, focusing on the numbers only complicated and added pressure to a moment that she will never forget. “The entire year just kind of (has been) taking in every moment, soaking in every moment I have with my teammates and just enjoying every moment,” Parker said. “Go out and give it my all every pitch and do whatever I can to help my team win.” Although the opportunity to win a national championship has gone, Parker proved once again that she gives her team the best chance to win,

cementing her legacy in the minds of fans and her coaches. Though the Sooners opened the world series with a 2-0 loss to Washington, she was called upon twice to keep them in the game. Her performance in Saturday’s doubleheader — pitching two complete shutouts — saved the Sooners from an early elimination, giving them another shot at a national title. Oklahoma would eventually be sent home in a second loss to Washington (30). Parker had a strong performance, but the Sooners’ lack of offense would bring their season to a close. Still though, Gasso was so impressed with her performance that she took the time to let everyone know just

how special Parker’s career had been, ending her career with 10 World Series wins. “To be honest right now, Paige Parker is the best pitcher in Oklahoma histor y,” Gasso said. “And that is because she has won not only two National Championships … she’s done some unbelievable things. So has Keilani, no doubt about it. But when people recognize pitchers in this game, they recognize the strikeouts and they don’t recognize so much the craftiness and the will and the guts, and what Paige Parker did yesterday was something I don’t know that you’ll see again.” Charlene Ainsworth




June 6-12, 2018

Murray to play football this fall Despite high draft selection, OU star remains comitted KEGAN RENEAU @keganreneau

Oklahoma sophomore outfielder Kyler Murray was the first Sooner to be taken in the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft, selected with the No. 9 pick by the Oakland Athletics on Monday night. Despite numerous reports that he would sign a contract with the Athletics and play football this fall, fans and others were skeptical due to the lucrative $4,761,500 signing bonus the No. 9 slot was valued at. Football coach Lincoln Riley has said on multiple occasions

that he “expected” Murray to be joining the team in the fall. Murray has since broken his silence and calmed the mood, confirming to ESPN’s Jake Trotter and other reporters on a conference call that he will be back to play football for the Sooners this fall. The two-sport star juggled spring football and baseball this spring, and recorded a .296 batting average with 10 home runs, 13 doubles and 47 RBI. Now, Murray heads to the football field with a baseball contract to negotiate and a quarterback battle with redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall. Kegan Reneau



Kyler Murray plays on the OU baseball and football team. Murray spent April 14 playing in the spring football game and starting in the baseball game against Texas.

Sooners’ season comes to abrupt ending

After promising start, OU stuggles to advance onward KEGAN RENEAU @keganreneau

Oklahoma was in the driver’s seat of the Tallahassee Regional after starting 2-0, but its season came to an end after losing to Mississippi State a second time, 8-1. Unlike Sunday, the Sooners (38-25) got the scoring started. After sopho m o re d e s i g n a t e d h i tter Brady Lindsly got on base after a mishandled dropped third strike and a walk to junior first baseman Thomas Hughes, senior Kyle Mendenhall moved both runners into scoring

position. Freshman catcher Justin Mitchell hit an RBI groundout to score Lindsly, and they took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Mississippi State’s pitching staff would only allow that run the entire game and got plenty of run support. Freshman southpaw Levi Prater provided four and two-third innings in his start, only allowing two runs on three hits — then Mississippi State got going on the Oklahoma bullpen. The Bulldogs (35-26) scored one run in the fifth and one in the eighth before a four-run explosion in the ninth. They scored 31 runs over 27 innings against Oklahoma in the Ta l l a h a s s e e R e g i o n a l ,

plaguing the Sooners hopes of advancing to a super regional. The Sooners advanced to the regionals for the second straight year, their first under coach Skip Johnson, with many ups and downs along the way. Beginning Big 12 play with a 8-0 record, its best start to conference play since 1984, Oklahoma planted itself atop the Big 12 and the NCAA , peaking in rankings at No. 11. The Sooners would go on to drop four of their last five conference series to end the season as a No. 4 seed in the Big 12 (14-10). Kegan Reneau



Sooner baseball players stand in the outfield for the national anthem May 4.

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June 6 12, 2018  

June 6 12, 2018