What to do: Players Behaving Badly
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.