Joe Biden once told college coach he was ‘a punching bag’ — because a rival team burned his family’s home


Before entering politics, Vice President Joe Biden filled out a college application for a women’s lacrosse team. The application, which reached the manager of the Towson women’s lacrosse team, reads: “Are you prepared to put up with me???”

According to a Washington Post profile published on Thursday, the 6-foot-2 running back did just that with the Wildcats. During his two years playing for the university’s women’s team, 1988 and 1989, he says he was in several fights with his opponents. This year, he told a North Carolina audience he was hit so hard “they burned the house with my wife in it.” He was spending the night at a friend’s house, the post’s own account says, when the fire erupted.

“Just for the record,” Biden’s statement reads, “that wasn’t what happened.” In 1988, after he bruised his knee in a game against North Carolina, it was the Tar Heels who burned his family’s home. Biden’s statement reads, “But it’s important to remember that the times in our lives that we dwell on are only what we allow them to be.”

After a few weeks, the statement finishes, “Kathy and I finished picking up the ash from our chimney and taking it out to the garbage truck to remove the pile of ashes, cans and newspapers. And then we went back to work at our jobs. I started my job as a lawyer at the Eagleton Law Firm, and she started her job as an aide for a state senator in Washington, D.C.”

The Post is careful to note it is not known whether it was Biden’s vice presidential campaign who hit him with the original story. “It is difficult to imagine the vice president, then known as Joe Biden, who was known as Joe Biden at the time, informing his colleagues, colleagues who worked closely with him, of this and chose not to address it publicly at the time,” the article’s editor, David Ignatius, told the publication.

Some raised eyebrows at the vice president’s claims of a crushing loss to a rival squad, including Towson’s own women’s lacrosse coach, Erica Eckhart. Eckhart described Biden as a “punching bag” on a blog post she wrote in 2009.

“Being in a team, and a collegiate team, as vice president must take a toll on him. He has always been known as being aggressive, and he can often be abrasive,” Eckhart wrote, according to the Post. “I have been at Towson my entire ten years coaching there, and have seen the changes he has made in this school. I have never known him to disrespect anyone. Ever.”

Biden’s comments came during an emotional speech that he gave at a Washington, D.C., theater shortly after the state’s impending vote to legalize and recreational marijuana.

Read the full Post report here.

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