The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today’s winner is University of South Florida vice president, Dr. Abdul Rao. He gets the award for the following

A University of South Florida vice president who makes $384,280 annually is being investigated on charges he stole a $100 mountain bike.

Dr. Abdul Rao was captured on surveillance video Monday night with a man he says is semi-homeless and does odd jobs for him.

In the video, uploaded on YouTube, the pair approach the loading dock at the Johnnie B. Byrd Alzheimer’s Center & Research Institute in a van. They get out and look over some parked bikes.

Rao’s companion takes one bike for a very short test ride and rejects it. He settles on another one, and walks it down a ramp.

The minivan drives away.

The bike belonged to a graduate student at the Byrd Institute, Rao later learned.

Rao called his actions a “terrible lapse in judgment,” but maintained in an interview with the Times that he was only trying to help a person down on his luck — “just one of those guys who can’t get off the poverty bubble,” Rao said.

Here’s the You tube video

It isn’t Rao’s right to take away the property to give it to another. His excuse is lame. This guy supposedly holds a doctorate. In what? Bicycle theft and stupidity?

How about the person Rao was helping?

Victor Waiters, 45, said he’ll take the fall. He’s the handyman Rao said used the bike.


Rao came to know Waiters through a friend shortly after arriving in Tampa in 2006.

Waiters, who has a Miami address, has been arrested 29 times since 1988, including 2005 convictions for cocaine possession and resisting an officer, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show.

He said he travels regularly to Tampa to do handyman work for several people.

Rao hangs out with the nicest of people, doesn’t he. Couldn’t he just have bought Waiters a new or used bicycle?

The Tampa Tribune supplies this little tidbit about Rao-

Rao was hired at the USF Health Sciences Center in 2005. He is an Oxford-educated transplant immunologist who has overseen millions in research grants. Before coming to USF he was vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at the Middle Tennessee State University.

I wonder if he is been giving away any of that money he oversees. In the meantime I name University of South Florida vice president, Dr. Abdul Rao today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

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