Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Is This What's Important?

I work every day with college athletes and university professors who teach college athletes. I also teach students who are not associated with the athletics business at all; both professors and "normal" students often make the same comment: "Those athletes get everything." Debating whether or not that's true at our university is fodder for another discussion. The perception is based on all sorts of stories about major college athletes who are, indeed, the entitled few, and the stories are ones with which we are all familiar. Yet another one is playing out right now, and I can guarantee that the end result will be a head-scratcher for those outside the world of college athletics.
It would seem that an individual who was ranked as the top high school running back one year ago signed to play at a prominent SEC school, believing it to be a shortcut to the NFL. One year later, the stat sheet looks more like a rap sheet (and I'm not talking music here). Following a year in which he was twice suspended (one for an "unnamed" disciplinary mistake, and one for a failed drug test), this individual was stopped by police over the weekend for a minor infraction and found to be in possession of  a) an unregistered firearm; b) a firearm in a school zone; c) a firearm from which the serial number had been defaced. This individual now faces a fine of up to $10,000 and between one and five years in prison on one count and between two and ten years on another count. His story (and he's sticking to it) is that the 9mm Luger found under the seat in his car wasn't his gun, and other people had driven the car.
OK, fair enough...maybe...innocent until proven to be guilty, etc.
He's also hired a prominent Atlanta attorney to handle the case (where does he get the money? Not from his Pell grant, I'm sure).
This whole experience, of course, is a very sad turn for the young man to take, but here's the part that amazes me:
His main concern now, according to his mother and the talking heads on ESPN is whether or not he should go to a lesser-division school to play next year (so he does not have to sit out a year) OR whether he should go to a junior college to play as did former light-fingered Gator Cam Newton.
Really? This is a topic for discussion: where to play next year? It's a sad commentary on the justice system and a great example of why "normal" folks think of athletes as entitled to far more than the rest of us.
It's a hard point to argue, and in case you are wondering, the ESPN pundits feel that going to a JuCo is the better path back to the entitled world of college athletics.


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