Joe Namath and the Old-Fashioned View of Punishment
I played for a local legend coach and he did the same thing to a couple of senior defensive starters, they broke the rules and they were off the team for their entire senior year. Playing high school or college sports is a privilege and not a right. If you want to argue about all the money that is around corrupting college athletics, I couldn't agree with you more, but it starts and ends with the parents and fans. If parents provided the discipline that these kids need then they wouldn't be out in bar fights, stealing computers, or God knows whatever else. The fact that every athlete thinks they are a star bigger than the rules of society, school, or the law, this is the core problem. We need more stories of wrecked futures and how there are serious consequences to breaking rules.
With my coach, you knew that if you stepped over the line you were gone and the same seems to be true of Bear Bryant. It is a tough road to travel because there will be many second guessers out there saying if he hadn't of done that we would have won ______. This is what is wrong in the world today both on and off the field. We have to take responsibility for our own actions and there must be consequences for failure to abide by the rules. The fact that your playing days could be over for good for failure to meet the rules is oh so draconian, how can we remove such a bright future for so underprivileged a child. This attitude leads to inappropriate adult behaviors (Pacman Jones) or even worse. Where are the cautionary tales of broken dreams? If you are a criminal that feels you are above the law because you play a game and then are actually allowed to be above the law, then America you reap what you sow.
I know that athletic scholarships are a ticket out, but at what cost to the society left behind. If you reward a criminal, then what modifies behavior to prevent worse the next time around? If a star athlete is kicked off the team and loses their ticket out, then maybe the next up and coming star thinks twice about breaking the rules. This goes for all areas of life. If the career criminals in Washington are allowed to continue in their corruption then there is little incentive for the new guys to be any different or even worse. WE THE PEOPLE have every right and responsibility to police our representatives and to enforce the rule of law and decency. We need to throw the career criminals out, it may take a few cycles, but it is absolutely necessary to show that there is a standard of behavior that is acceptable and failure to meet it has consequences. I know that currently there is only a small group that feels this way, but leveling the playing field has a tendency to expand the feeling because equality is in front of the law is a very basic tenet of America.
Restoring the American Dream is going to take hard work and sacrifice because that is the American Dream, hard work and sacrifice are a ticket to success and a brighter future. You don't just get the golden ticket by bypassing the system and having the law look the other way, we as Americans love a winner, but we love an underdog winner even more because that is America. We went from a rag-tag group of rebels to the top of the heap by fight for equality, freedom, and the rule of law. We were the shining light of possibility for the whole world, but now we are a bloated lawless bunch that only worries about what we can get for free. We need to remember and fight for the freedom of opportunity, but not regulate the outcome. We need to know that we all play by the same rules and our hard work will result in reward. We need to know that if we work hard and follow the rules that we have and equal chance of success and that no one, star athlete or politician, is above the law. I have felt this way for some time and this election cycle and all the happening in the NCAA only show that constantly rewarding bad behavior has dire consequences.
If the NCAA truly wanted to fix the problem then they would make the consequences extremely dire for the cheaters and the lawless, but not just the "underprivileged" athlete but the school as a whole. You cheat or condone it then you are out big money from TV contracts, you don't have football or basketball for a few years (SMU). The students could go to other schools and the administrators and coaches could be fired. I know this can't be allowed because the rich and powerful will not allow it, but if you make the consequences dire enough behaviors will change. Ohio States loses a bunch of key players for a bowl game, then maybe the next time they think twice about breaking the rules. I am talking about Ohio State the University not just the team, if they aren't allowed to be on TV or compete in a championship or they lose the sport for a few years and all the associated money, then maybe they would find following the rules a good idea. This will of course never happen because we are talking billions of dollars and no one wants to see that money tap turned off. It is similar with Congress, the corrupt ones keep getting re-elected because of all the money and power and who really wants to see that tap turned off by electing a newbie freshman that knows nothing about how things "work" in Washington.
I don't hold out a lot of hope for the future of this country because I don't think we are serious about fixing our problems. We get all squeamish when it comes to fixing entitlements and putting this country back on solid footing. We can't allow our team or interest to suffer because we don't have our star player or career criminal making sure we get ours. Good luck America, we had a good run, but the clock is running down and we have a long way to go to recover.