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Friday, August 31, 2012

"Adding Insult to Injury"

Family –
Thanks for all of your support from our last entry “Violating Team Rules.” Seems you guys like the edgier side of my writing. That said I want to quickly follow up with another post which is somewhat of an extension of the aforementioned piece.
First, let me say that I have no respect for Lane Kiffin, USC or anything about the program. Since Pete Carroll left in the dark of night that program (although stellar in athleticism and recruiting) has, in my opinion, really become… for lack of a better word disappointing. 
Wait…! Let me ‘splain –
In the last entry I talked about how student-athletes needed to be helped right? Not saying that they weren’t supposed to be disciplined for some irreverent action, but rather someone (namely the institution of their employ – yes, I believe student-athletes are university employees) should take a proactive approach in possibly preventing the issues before they arise.
Now, let’s go back to the summer of 2011. USC linebacker Simione Vehikite was arrested and charged with not one, not two, not three, but four felony counts and sentenced to a year in prison read more. Whew! Talk about “violating team rules!” Although I’m not minimizing the seriousness of drug use… but really… this is a far cry from smoking weed!
Here’s the really sleazy, USC part about it. When Vehikite was dismissed from the team, his back up (walk-on Will Andrew) stepped in…but now that Vehikite is back, Andrew is out of a scholarship.
Are you kidding me?!?!?!
Isn’t this what sport is supposed to teach our young people? If you work your butt off you get an opportunity right? What the…? What message is being sent here?
Look, I’m not saying Vehikite doesn’t deserve a second chance. We ALL make mistakes… and hopefully the young man has learned from his. I’m all for character development. At the end of the day, he’s a kid… kids do dumb stuff… luckily he still has an opportunity. I’m sure he’ll make the most of it.
What about Will Andrew? So now after earning a scholarship he’s just left out in the cold? C’mon! I don’t know Andrew and I’m not even sure what caliber player he is, but what I do know is that when the team AND the university needed him he was there… what did that get him? Maybe a handshake and a “thank you.” The handshake might even be a stretch coming from Kiffin.
What is this incident saying about the state of affairs in intercollegiate athletics? Are our institutions of higher learning picking and choosing which infractions lead to suspensions and dismissals? Are some players more expendable than other? Is there truly one set of governing rules upheld by the NCAA for everyone or is the scale slightly tilted in order to secure the most wins?
Wait… is this all about winning?
Damn… I guess winning really is the most important thing…
Just sayin’.

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