No Moral Law in the Arena

Sports Illustrated's explosive report about the criminal element in college football begins like this:

"Few football programs had a more difficult season in 2010 than the University of Pittsburgh. Led by running back Dion Lewis, a Doak Walker candidate, the Panthers were the preseason pick to win the Big East and go to a BCS bowl. But things quickly began unraveling -- on and off the field.

In a span between mid-July and late September, four players were arrested for four separate, violent crimes."

SI learned that a total of 22 (not a typo) of Pitt Panthers had police records. Iowa and Arkansas both had 18 players who had scrapes with "the law."

The recruiters and coaches don't do much background checking, either:

"Among the 25 schools in the investigation, only two -- TCU and Oklahoma -- perform any type of regular criminal background searches on recruits. But even TCU and Oklahoma don't look at juvenile records. No school does, even though football and basketball players are among the most high-profile representatives of a university.

Yet it wouldn't take much for schools to access this information. Take Florida, for example. The Sunshine State is not only one of the nation's largest football hotbeds, it also has the nation's most open public records law. Through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, anyone can check a person's complete criminal history -- including many juvenile arrests -- for $24."

Since such information exists, why not use it, especially when coveted scholarships and other students' safety are at stake.

My CSI teacher, for instance, showed us how easy is to access the sex offender registry, because you never know who lives in the neighborhood.

Update: The dad of one miscreant hoops player give his son a most deserved tongue lashing. Turns out Dad is a radio jock.

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