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Wilkes University Taking Back Cosby’s Degree

WILKES-BARRE — Leaders at Wilkes University have decided to yank an honorary degree from Bill Cosby as the famed comedian continues to battle rape allegat...
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WILKES-BARRE -- Leaders at Wilkes University have decided to yank an honorary degree from Bill Cosby as the famed comedian continues to battle rape allegations.

It's the first time an honorary degree has been rescinded in the school's history.

Students at the university have some strong opinions about that.

In 2004, Wilkes gave Cosby an honorary doctorate for his commitment to education and entertainment, social and civil justice. That same year, Cosby performed his stand-up comedy act at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre and spoke at Wilkes University's graduation ceremonies. Since then, the famous comedian, television, and stand-up star has become embroiled in controversy.

More than 50 women have accused him of rape. Some say he drugged them and sexually assaulted them.

In court papers made public this summer, Cosby admitted to behavior that Wilkes University officials call "contrary to the values" of the school, so the board of trustees recently voted to take back that degree.

"I watched his TV shows growing up, so I enjoyed watching him as a kid and now knowing that as a young adult, it kind of grosses me out, too. And it's sad for the women involved,” said Morgan DeAngelo, a Wilkes University student who agreed with the decision to pull the honorary degree. "I feel that Wilkes had every right to take it away because they are the ones who did give it to him and what he did wasn't right in any way," she continued.

"I feel like it depends on when he committed those crimes and stuff because if he didn't commit the crimes in '04, then he deserves what he got. He got the award for you know, what he did besides that. Shouldn't focus on all the bad things. There's good things he did too," said John Malley, another student.