FIU touted Wittels' nomination for an ESPY award from ESPN earlier this year.
The women have identified themselves as being 17 years old and from the University of Arkansas. Two of the men involved are four years older than the women and baseball star Garrett Wittels is three years older.
Bloggers are especially dubious about Bahamian justice as a hearing on the case is not scheduled until April 18. This would be about one-month after the baseball season starts.
Wittels has a 56-game hitting streak going which is two short of the NCAA record.
The NCAA, responding to reporters’ questions, said it will not get involved in the decision of whether Wittels will be allowed to play while under charges of rape.
FIU officials have refused comment on the incident.
Bloggers wonder why it took the Miami Herald eight days (Dec. 28) to break the story. First story was in the Broward Palm Beach News Dec. 27 headlined, “Deeply Religious FIU Baseball Star Garrett Wittels Arrested on Rape Charges.”
The story quoted the Jerusalem Post as saying that Wittels carries a travel mezuzah and that before each game he kneels in the outfield and recites the Shema, the Jewish prayer declaring the unity of God. The travel mezuzah contains the prayer.
Wittels and Jonathan Oberti were arrested on charges of having sex with one of the women while Robert Rothschild is accused of having sex with both of them.
The Bahamian age of sexual consent is 16. It is 18 in Florida but a wrinkle in the law allows anyone under 23 years of age to have sex with partners who may be only 16 or 17.
Alcohol cannot be sold to those under 18 according to Bahamian law.
Bloggers are about evenly divided on the fate of Wittels, some saying his career is about over while others say he might be able to escape this youthful indiscretion if the right advice is forthcoming.
Our advice is that the three should face the press and the sooner the better. Institutions can stonewall all they want but they can’t stop the volcano of facts and opinion that is the web.
The fact that the three men took the women to their room after the women had been drinking and then engaged in sex with them, using five condoms, is plenty of circumstantial evidence. Sex should not be indulged in with women or anyone whose judgment is impaired by any drug.
Coverage by national media is slight at the moment but it could reach the firestorm that greeted the Duke lacrosse players three years ago after they had invited two strippers to entertain them at a party.
The strippers charged some of the athletes with improper sex but such charges were eventually dropped.