The Karen Owen list is another embarrassment for Duke sports. Of course, the Karen Owen list is hardly the biggest Duke sports scandal in recent years. However, when the school’s lacrosse team was embroiled in rape charges, the mere perception of having over-sexed, privileged athletes convicted them in the court of public opinion early on. Since then, the school has hoped for no more scandals, or at least no more humiliating antics that would bring up the past. Yet the Karen Owen list has provided some additional embarrassment, albeit a benign kind by comparison.
This wasn’t meant to be a serious expose, however, as it actually began as a joke. Duke senior Karen Owen wrote a satirical PowerPoint presentation for a few of her friends, regarding sexual experiences with athletes. She called it “An Education Beyond The Classroom: Excelling In The Field Of Academics Horizontal.”
The list consisted of 13 Duke athletes that she claimed to have sex with. She rated each of them in categories like “Physical Attractiveness,” “Size,” “Creativity,” “Aggressiveness” and “Talent,” among others. She even disclosed the identity of her subjects, not figuring that it would go beyond her friends.
Owen sent the list in May as a jokey senior thesis. Perhaps it is a surprise that it took this long for the PowerPoint to go viral, but it finally did this week. As such, the identities of the athletes have been redacted, and Duke is scrambling to contain another mini-scandal about sex and athletics.
Of course, the Owen scandal is hardly a big deal in the big picture – which Duke would know about better than most other schools. Still, ever since the presentation got online, it has become a viral sensation, which carries its own brand of infamy. The presentation’s creator is already feeling such infamy, and has already spoken out about it.
Owen told the website Jezebel that she never meant for her “study” to go viral. It was only meant to be shared among her friends, yet it was one of them who leaked the PowerPoint online. Like so many others, Owen was naïve enough to think that something embarrassing on her computer would not spread through the Internet.
Whether it’s nude photos, sex tapes, or studies about sexual partners, these items always find a way to leak after someone sends them. Even though the actual list of athletes has been redacted, there is more than enough detail about the sex acts to make it a viral sensation.
The egg on the faces of Duke and Owen serve as a cautionary tale – although past cautionary tales haven’t stopped stories like this from popping up. However, a PowerPoint presentation about sexual exploits is a new twist, at least.
Jezebel- “College Girl’s PowerPoint ‘F*** List’ Goes Viral”
USS Post- “Karen Owen List”