Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What to do: Players Behaving Badly

A couple of weeks before the Rose Bowl the bloggers at Inside USC put up a post about some possible legal troubles of two Texas players. I remember thinking to myself that I hoped that it was much ado about nothing because I wanted UT at full strength so when USC beat Texas there would be not cries of well we didn't have all our guys etc. etc. Well as it turns out it didn't matter, you know that 41-38 thing, and that got me to thinking, why does it matter?

A recent post on CFR attempted to illustrate that regardless of coach or program bad acts by players do happen and there's not much that we can do about it. Opposing views, mostly from Bruins Nation, say that no matter what the infraction coaches have a responsibility to enforce punishment regardless of the legal issues that may also follow. CFR counters that a coach punishing a player outside of other institutional disciplinary actions, regardless of the legal issues, could be construed as piling on. Throughout the give and take of both threads a number of solid points were made by both sides, too numerous to mention here.

I’ve always thought that BN has been on the right side of the character issue, though their tone is a bit trite and sometimes self serving. Schools do have a responsibility to ensure that their players act in a manner that reflects well upon the schools image. When they don’t then the schools need act decisively and with prejudice. It is a privilege to play college sports and that doesn’t mean that players have a right to break the rules wantonly.

I will give BN credit; they have been consistent that the Dorrell regime needs to take a harder line on bad behavior than their cross-town rivals. It’s their attempt to take the moral high road and they should be commended for it. But why stop there, character is important and all programs should strive to have decent people in their programs. If you’re going to criticize any program outside of your own then you should criticize all programs that have these issues, not doing so only shows a partisan tone. The whole tit-for–tat thing really doesn’t move the issue in a positive direction.

I have taken SC to task for not enforcing a stricter form of punishment for bad acts. I am on the record for stating that Maualuga should have been suspended and that Sanchez if charged should be off the team and if not he should be suspended for the year for the fake ID alone. But it’s also not like SC didn’t take ANY action; as HP points out in the 2nd thread both Justice and Dennis were suspended and Wright was forced to transfer.

I really couldn’t care less about another schools infractions, I will trust the judgement of the coach and the schools administration to do the right thing. But those punishments no matter what they are will always be scrutinized by those who disagree. In the case of UCLA they will handle their current issues as they see fit, regardless of what is said on some fan message board or team blog. In the end I can only worry about my house. I hope my fellow SC bloggers take the same approach.


Blogger Heisman Pundit said...

The problem with BN is pretty clear even in their response to this post by you.

Menelaus claims that--It isn't trite, in my book, to consistently demand a standard of conduct from both your own team and your rivals.

Of course, you didn't say it was trite to demand that, only that their tone in doing so was trite.

If you look at one of their most recent posts, they crow about the FBI now being involved in the Bush situation, despite the fact that any FBI involvement will be focused on New Era and not on Bush. It doesn't matter to Nestor, who somehow makes the leap that Bush's family did something afoul of the law.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Heisman Pundit said...

And BN won't be totally consistent on this issue until they start referring to their program as lawless, corrupt and filled with thugs.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Menelaus said...

For what it's worth, it wasn't my intent to mischaracterize anyone, and I think HP is just being hypersensitive since he has an axe to grind against BN, and also me for some reason.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Paragon SC said...

First off I'd like thank you both for coming by an offering your input. You are both experienced bloogers and it is my hope that my views bring something to the conversation. Your comments help validate my attempts to be a part of the conversation.

To HP's point: He clairified my point. My "trite" comment was about tone and not wheather or not infractions should be discussed. They should be discussed regardless of loyalty to any one program. I just wanted the discussions to be civil. I understand that rivals will certainly scrutinize each other a little more closely than the occasional opponent.

I also think at times that when anything is written about SC in a bad light BN will jump on with both feet, the Bush/FBI situation is case in point. We don't know why they are now allegedly involved or who got them involved. As I said in a later post it makes no sense to me that the Bush team would bring them in if they won't cooperate with NCCA or Pac-10. Any questions asked and answered in regads to the DOJ are bound to find there way to the NCAA and they will use them to put their case together so it makes no sense to me. Or as the Wizard stated in his post, BS meter activated not once but twice.

To Menelaus: I don't think you intentionally mischaracterized my post. I understood what you were trying to say but I did want to bring it to attention what my intent was so I'll leave it there, no harm done.

As for HP, it is well documented that there has been a bit of the Hatfields and the McCoys syndrome going on between the two blogs. You both do good work and sometimes passions run a litttle high when one wants to get his point across. Sometimes legitimate, sometimes not.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Heisman Pundit said...

I have no problem with Menelaus. He has been a decent fellow for the most part. We are just involved in a little respectable back and forth right now.

The rest of BN, that is another story. In short, to know them is to hate them.

8:40 PM  

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