Break the rules. Get a slap on the wrist. That seems to be the case in college athletics today.
With March Madness underway, the country gets to watch hundreds of college student-athletes compete in a month-long basketball extravaganza.
Both the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars participated in postseason tournaments. Both teams have dealt with off the court incidents involving players breaking the law.
But in all honesty, it’s difficult to root for your favorite team when they decide to reinstate players after minimal suspensions.
Earlier this month, a WSU player was cited for possession of marijuana (which is still illegal in this state). He was promptly suspended for the following game. Wait, only one game?
He probably isn’t the only college student to have possessed weed and isn’t even the first guy on his own team. Does the fact that he’s a well-known athlete give him an excuse? No, because college athletes should be held to a higher standard than the regular average Joe.
They receive a scholarship to play their sport and attend college. Violating the law, team rules and scholarship terms should have brought more than a one game suspension. Unless that’s how WSU wants to be represented by one of its student ambassadors.
Another basketball player on the UW basketball team was charged with providing alcohol to underaged girls. He was promptly suspended for the Pac-10 tournament but was reinstated for the NCAA tournament.
Perhaps the school is more concerned with its performance on the court rather than sending the message that it is simply not okay.
Seems apparent to me that once someone gets a scholarship to attend a major institution to play a sport, they suddenly have more privileges than the average student.
It’s disappointing and disconcerting. The universities involved and the NCAA should take a stricter approach since the consequences were not tough enough in these situations.
Sure, making mistakes is part of being human but collegiate athletic departments across the nation should use better judgment in determining appropriate punishments.
Hopefully college athletes will avoid these situations by being more mature and understand the impact of their poor decisions. Perhaps it’s part of a growing trend in society that is incomprehensible to the broad majority.