Step up to the line, USC. Now it's your turn.
There is a spotlight currently bathing the University of Southern California in a harsh atmosphere, and campus officials likely want nothing more than to see it turned off.
From all indications, that seems unlikely to happen. In fact, and given what one recent national media report states is the expectation that "dozens of lawsuits" are coming USC's way, the wattage will increase exponentially in coming months.
Here's what just happened: Six women collectively joined as plaintiffs filed litigation in a California state court, with their two lawsuits alleging that a campus gynecologist sexually abused them, sometimes multiple times and over many years.
That more litigation is on the way seems certain, given the doctor's 30-year former tenure at the university and hundreds of contacts that a school hotline has recently received from ex-students concerning his past behaviors.
School officials settled with Dr. George Tyndall last year, paying him an unspecified sum to terminate his employment. Prior to that, a number of female patients had complained about his demeanor, comments, exam procedures and additional matters they found disturbing.
And, tellingly, USC principals knew about that. In fact, the school has reportedly confirmed its knowledge of at least eight patient complaints spanning decades.
That admission could make for a seminal disclosure in court. It would certainly seem to make the school's official stance that it acted properly and was not complicit in Tyndall's alleged wrongdoing tenuous.
USC's provost says that, while school oversight concerning Tyndall failed, "claim of a cover-up is patently false."
Critics beg to differ. One legal advocate in the matter queries that, "If there wasn't a cover-up, why did you pay him a bunch of money in a settlement?"
We will keep readers apprised of material developments that occur in the litigation.