The Scarlet Project received the following unsolicited email from a man who claims to have been contacted by Fratmentv.com in 2006–the same website on which NU wrestlers Paul Donahoe and Kenny Jordan were recently discovered. This young man, who wishes to remain anonymous, describes his encounter with and reaction to his contact with Fratmentv.com below. For our purposes we will call this man “Joe”. ”Joe’s” story is posted below with his permission.
From “Joe”: My On-line Encounter with the ‘Fratmen’ website.
A college friend of mine who currently coaches wrestling at a prep school in New England just told me about the Husker wrestler Fratmen business. He remembered that I had been approached by Fratmen. So before everyone rushes to judgment on these guys, I would like recount for you my own encounter with the ‘Fratmen’ webmasters:
It was two and a half years ago. They sent me a message on MySpace, telling me that they thought I was very good looking and asking if I’d ever considered a modeling career. I looked at their MySpace page, and got an idea of the sort of ‘modeling’ to which they were referring. I told them that I probably wasn’t interested in posing naked, and definitely was not interested in doing anything sexual. I was straight, was planning on applying to medical school, and was afraid of it coming back to bite me in the butt at some point. They tried to put my concerns to rest. All of their models were straight, and none to date had had any problems with being spotted on-line by friends, family, etc, as the site’s patrons were mostly gay men who liked to watch straight athletes masturbate. They offered me $1,500 dollars, plus hotel and round trip airfare to Los Angeles.
I have to admit I was tempted. It was the middle of winter, I was stuck in northern New England, and an all-expense paid weekend in sunny LA alone sounded pretty sweet. The money would be nice, too. Maybe make a stop in Tahoe or Park City on the way home. So I told them I’d think about it. I mentioned it to a couple of friends who agreed they’d be tempted, too. We had a good laugh, and then I just forgot about it.
About two or three weeks later, I received a follow-up message from Fratmen. They wanted to know if I was still interested in modeling. They were very interested in me. They sweetened the pot: this time I think they were offering $2,500 (‘more than we’ve paid anyone else!’) They also added something along the lines of our site’s subscribers include lots of college girls. Several of our models report that they have become very popular with the ladies after appearing on Fratmen! I immediately recalled what they had previously said about their clientèle being primarily gay men, and pointed out this inconsistency in my reply. I never heard from them again.
The way I see it, there are three points that need to consider with regard to Kenny Jordan’s and Paul Donahoe’s misstep: 1) the Fratmen webmasters stalk web sites like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, etc. looking for athletic, good looking, impressionable college guys, 2) they make misrepresentations calculated both to lull potential models into a sense of false security regarding their privacy and to appeal to their egos, and 3) they are very persistent. I have no problem believing that these boys were duped as they claim to have been.
These guys did a stupid thing. They saw a little green, and their wallets got the better of their judgment. But college guys routinely do stupid things and let their judgment fly out the window. Spend some time at Dartmouth Winter Carnival and you will witness the allegedly Best and Brightest of them engaging in acts so spectacularly bone-headed as to make jerking off for a soft core porn site seem as harmless as making a mud pie! Seriously, these guys did not commit date-rape, nor were they involved in a vehicular homicide secondary to DWI. The way I see it, they are the principal victims here.
I never wrestled myself, but I have friends who did, saw how hard they trained, and can only imagine the level of dedication required of an athlete to compete in the sport at the Division I level. These two guys obviously love it: wrestling is their life. Perhaps they are so focused that they are naive in the ways of the world — and thus perfect targets for the predatory ‘rush’ of ‘Fratmen’.
Editor’s Note: The Scarlet Project has received numerous emails from readers who have indicated that images of Paul Donahoe have recently been removed from the Husker Wrestling Booster Club’s website, http://www.huskerwrestling.com. Photo albums removed include one entitled “Paul Donahoe, 2007 Champion”. One Scarlet Project reader commented “That’s more than a little Orwellian. If this had been a regular scandal and not a “gay wrestler” scandal, do you really think Nebraska would have not only kicked him off the team but tried to wipe out all visual images of him as well?”