Rap song ignites controversy


Published February 24, 2006

The athletic department is investigating a derogatory rap song about a female University student allegedly recorded by three Michigan football players.

Athletic department spokesman Bruce Madej has confirmed the investigation, but would not comment on who is suspected to be involved.

Juniors Jerome Jackson, Tyrone Jordan and Landon Smith are allegedly members of the group that recorded the song, according to several sources.

Madej said no players have been dismissed from the team.

"We will pursue all appropriate disciplinary action," he said.

Jackson refused to comment. Jordan and Smith could not be reached.

But friends of the players said the rap was created, in part, as a response to Xanga.com journal posts that some have construed as threats by the woman who is the song's subject. The friends said the song stemmed from personal conflicts between the two parties.

The song, titled "Measly Penny," was brought to the athletic department's attention sometime this week. The Michigan Daily has also obtained a copy of the rap, which alludes to threats against the female student.

The group calls itself the "Mean Team."

Jackson is a three-year letter winner for the team. He scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime against Iowa last October before recording his only career 100-yard rushing game, against Northwestern.

Smith has seen action in three games during his career at Michigan.

Jordan has played in one.

The University's Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which all students are expected to follow, prohibits "sexually harassing another person" and "stalking, or harassing another person."

A similar incident at the University of Miami grabbed national headlines last fall.

Miami suffered a blow to its reputation when a song surfaced by the 7th Floor Crew, which included several members of the 2004 Hurricane football team, along with at least one player still on the team.

The 7th Floor Crew's song contained multiple offensive comments about women and minorities, as well as references to group sex and other demeaning topics.

- Jack Herman and Karl Stampfl contributed to this report.