George Washington University officials insist a scholarship offer to a 17-year-old student is not related to her sexual assault by a basketball player the college is recruiting.
“We want to emphasize that the university’s decision is based solely on the particular circumstances relating to this young woman’s academic potential, and is in no way related to or contingent upon any other recruiting situation currently being pursued by the university,” Bob Chernak, the university’s vice president for student services, said Saturday in The Washington Post.
“Her courage and resilience have made a deep impression on administrators who have come to believe she represents qualities that everyone can admire - scholarship, fortitude and the ability to rise above adversity,” he added.
The girl, whose name has not been made public, agreed Thursday to drop an $11 million civil suit against Richie Parker, 19, a New York City basketball star and her former classmate, said her attorney, Michael S. Feldman.
The decision came after Parker, a 6-foot-5 guard, called her to apologize and agreed to share with her any basketball earnings or sign another financial deal if he doesn’t play professionally.
The girl, who was valedictorian of her junior high school class, will be a high school junior this fall.
The school and her lawyer said the scholarship offer was conditional upon her meeting the university’s regular admissions requirements.
As for the $100,000 scholarship, Feldman said, “She plans to accept it. She doesn’t come from a wealthy family and I think a private university is best for her.”
Parker pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of felony sexual abuse after the January 1994 incident at Harlem’s Manhattan Center High School for Science and Mathematics.
The girl was 15 at the time.
Parker was sentenced to five years of supervised probation.