Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn nsellyn@princeton.edu

For an alternative view of the seven-week rule, see President Tilghman's President's Page in February 26, 2003, issue.

May 14, 2003:
Hartofilis '03 v. Rumsfeld '54
A run-in with a picture frame sets up Tigers to lose Dartmouth game

By Nate Sellyn '04

We all know the Nassau Inn is a hotspot for trouble. Located right in the middle of Palmer Square, the Inn has many times borne witness to senseless acts of rage: vandalism, wine and cheese tastings, and investment banking presentations.

No experience could have prepared the Inn for the cataclysm that tore through it a few weeks ago, however. The April 22 issue of the Princeton Packet reports that senior Sean Hartofilis "allegedly punched and smashed a glass picture of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ['54]." Other, unconfirmed reports suggest that the photo was "doing some mean trash-talking, and totally using the chandelier to send off a wicked glare." In the end, the picture proved to be all talk, and Hartofilis got the better of it. He would have escaped, if it hadn't been for those darn kids... at American Express. He was traced and charged after his name was uncovered... on the credit card he used to pay the food bill, according to the newspaper.

Let's look at how Hartofilis, Princeton lacrosse's leading goal scorer this season, and Rumsfeld, who was undefeated as a senior on the wrestling team, match up: THE COMPETITORS

Donald Rumsfeld

Age: 70! The guy looks great.

Weight: Classified by the Pentagon

Height: Classified by the Pentagon

Reach: Global

Wearing: A suit

Record: Undefeated, recent massive victories in "lands afar"

Last opponent: Saddam Hussein

Major: Politics '54

Notable achievements: Promoting democracy in other nations through the use of any means necessary... Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient... proposed the Unified Command Plan... disestablished Space Command... attended Princeton University on academic and N.R.O.T.C. scholarships... has also served as White House chief of staff, U.S. ambassador to NATO, U.S. congressman and chief executive officer of two Fortune 500 companies

Catchphrase: "Hartofilis? That doesn't sound Iraqi."

Sean Hartofilis

Age: 21

Weight: 175 lbs.

Height: 6'0"

Reach: Longer with his lax stick

Wearing: Orange and black, plus a helmet

Record: 9-3, this season

Last opponent: Dartmouth for the team, Loyola for Hartofilis — he was suspended by the team for his actions with Rumsfeld's photo.

Major: Politics '03 — assuming nothing else goes wrong

Notable achievements: 12th all-time in goals scored at Princeton ... a preseason second-team All-America by Inside Lacrosse 2002 — a second-team All-Ivy selection... has scored 22 goals in nine career NCAA tournament games...owns a credit card

Catchphrase: "Harto angry! Harto smash!"

Hartofilis's outburst was a key factor in the Tigers' loss to Dartmouth — a loss that cost them an undisputed Ivy League title. Dartmouth won 13-6, so the upset was not a close one, and who knows if Hartofilis could have made up the difference.

Much has been made of the chemistry he produces with fellow star attack Ryan Boyle '04. Would Boyle have been better had Harto had been on the field beside him? The Tigers might have scored more, and they certainly would have been key in disrupting the Dartmouth backfield, probably costing the Big Green some offensive opportunities.

It is impossible to gauge the effect of Hartofilis not playing, but the P-Nut feels the conduct of one player off the field cost his team a game on it.

Well done to Coach Bill Tierney for suspending Hartofilis with full knowledge of what was at stake. He easily could have delayed the suspension, or punished Harto in another way. "Some day, when I finally leave here," Tierney told the Trenton Times after the incident, "I hope they'll remember the national championships we've won, the league championships, the All-Americas we produced, but mostly I hope they'll remember the kind of program we ran, the strict rules of conduct we set and the way we never compromised them. If I hadn't suspended Sean, it would have violated everything we've done. As soon as I finally was told about it, I took the immediate action. It hurts when you have to, but there is no alternative. Everyone knows the team rules." Coach T., you don't need to leave, I'm already impressed.

END NOTE: Some readers may remember Dana Pasternak, the J.V. tennis captain I interviewed earlier in the season. While Dana, for the most part, continued his poor performance, I'm happy to report that he was victorious in the final match of his Princeton career. Dana scored a difficult and hard fought victory — over a high school junior.


You can reach Nate at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU