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‘He certainly doesn’t owe me an apology,’ ret. Adm. McRaven says of USC president who plagiarized speech

Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, speaks during the Air Force Special Operations Command change of command ceremony on Hurlburt Field, Fla., July 3, 2014. Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel relinquished command to Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, making him the 10th AFSOC commander. (Senior Airman Christopher Calllaway/U.S. Air Force)

A top military official from whom University of South Carolina President Robert Caslen plagiarized a portion of his speech says no apology is necessary.

According to NBC News, retired Navy Admiral William McRaven said in a statement, “Bob Caslen is one of the finest and most honorable officers with whom I ever served. I was flattered that he thought my words were worth repeating and he certainly doesn’t owe me an apology.”

McRaven’s statement follows an apology from Caslen after the USC president plagiarized several sentences from McRaven in his Friday graduation speech. During that speech, Caslen also mistakenly referred to USC’s graduates as those from the “University of California.”

Since then, Caslen has faced a mixed bag of backlash calling for his resignation, but also high-profile figures defending him. Those calling for his resignation include S.C. state Sen. Dick Harpootlian, former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham and an online petition with more than 300 signatures. Those supporting Caslen include Gamecocks women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, outgoing USC provost William Tate, student body president Alex Harrell and more, The State previously reported.

Following the fiasco, Caslen verbally offered to resign, but it remains unclear whether he offered to resign to several board members or just the chair, Dorn Smith. The State has reached out to Smith for comment.


(c) 2021 The State

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