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WHAT IS THE CITADEL?
Rick Reilly
September 14, 1992
Sir, it is a fortress of duty, a sentinel of responsibility, a bastion of antiquity, a towering bulwark of rigid discipline, instilling within us high ideals, honor, uprightness, loyalty, patriotism, obedience, initiative, leadership, professional knowledge and pride in achievement —from the school handbook
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September 14, 1992

What Is The Citadel?

Sir, it is a fortress of duty, a sentinel of responsibility, a bastion of antiquity, a towering bulwark of rigid discipline, instilling within us high ideals, honor, uprightness, loyalty, patriotism, obedience, initiative, leadership, professional knowledge and pride in achievement —from the school handbook

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"We're going to treat you the way we treat the rest of the niggers," the voice said.

Alewine tried to get past the cadet. He felt a hard right hand in the gut. Alewine swung wildly with his own right, smashed the cadet on the top of the head and ran. The next day he wound up in Charleston's Roper Hospital with severely bruised ribs and shortness of breath.

Three days later Brian Alewine stepped out of the Long Gray Line for good.

Loyalty

Around The Citadel the system is said to work. Don't you see? All the jocks and knobs who left, they never had the stuff it takes to be a whole man. The gate is always open. Only the wimps use it. Since nobody was expelled over any of these incidents, how could hazing have taken place? After all, if anybody had known about the hazing, the honor code would have obligated him to come forward, right?

Richard Varriale, last year's cadet regimental commander, the leading cadet on campus, says, "If somebody started poking me with a toothpick, I'd probably start laughing."

So Brozowski lied? And Davis? "No, I don't think they all lied," Varriale says. "I think they all exaggerated." And freshman football player Jess Fuller, who left claiming harassment and whose mother said she hadn't seen him that skinny since the ninth grade? And 1991 freshman soccer player Michael Lake, an outstanding student who left claiming hazing—the same Michael Lake who was once ordered not to cough in line even though he had bronchitis? "Lake was not well liked by his own teammates," says Varriale.

And Alewine? "Brian Alewine was not beaten," Lieutenant General Watts wrote in a letter to the editor of the Charleston Post and Courier, which published Alewine's account of his night of terror. "[He] was hit one time by an unknown cadet. No beating took place." Watts wrote that the athletes who left had all "decided they would prefer a different life-style."

There will be no outrage among Citadel alumni over the bloody and torturous year of 1991. Forging good men has always been a little messy, hasn't it? Besides, Citadel men are mostly skin and a haircut wrapped around loyalty. They can be counted on to put their wallets where their hearts are. They chipped in $27 million over four years in a recent fund-raising campaign. Not bad for a school that graduates only 500 cadets a year.

But not all graduates are so generous. Mike Montei, a former Citadel baseball star, believes "The Citadel shot itself in the foot" over the Alewine incident. And Conroy wrote recently, "When the jocks start leaving early, it means the corps is out of control." Even quarterback Douglas, the alltime leading rusher among Division I-AA quarterbacks, is worried. "We need more adult supervision around here," he says. "This place can be crazy."

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