“Stop the world…”

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS November 25, 2013 #464 Up next… “Stop the world…”

After further review…”Stop the world—I wanna get off!” is a theme often heard when someone is frustrated with life, or happenings therein. One of the ardent readers of “On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS recently wrote regarding the “shocking” story about the players on the Virginia State University football team who reportedly beat up the quarterback of the Winston-Salem State team. No, this was not during the game, but at a luncheon the day before their scheduled league championship game! Huh?

The two schools were to play for the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) championship the following day. The CIAA was formed in 1912 and comprises historically black colleges ranging from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.  At the pre-game luncheon the Winston-Salem quarterback was in the men’s room when several of the Virginia State players allegedly approached him and “punched, stomped and kicked him several times”. My reader wrote, “What? Are you kiddin’me?” followed by the “Stop-the-world” statement.

That championship game was cancelled and the CIAA authorized its commissioner to conduct an investigation. One Virginia State player has been charged with a “misdemeanor assault”. While accounts from the two schools differ, the result of the unfortunate event is clear: the championship game was cancelled! Winston-Salem was allowed to play Slippery Rock in the Division II playoffs and the Virginia State players were left on the sidelines during post-season play. Some finger pointing has blamed the Virginia State University administration for not having better supervision of its players.

It is certainly appropriate to have supervision of players, but these are university-level athletes. Do they need the same supervision necessary for players at the high school level? I mean, these are not gang-banger type athletes. Do they need that close observance?

What captured the attention of this reader was the abhorrent behavior of athletes at the college level; thus, his euphemistic departure statement. Should we hold athletes to a higher level?  We say, “Yes”! Athletics is a privilege, not a right. Appropriate guidance in academics, ethics, and personal responsibility must be provided by the privilege granters. Perhaps those players were given a code of conduct by their coaches and athletic administrators, but failed to follow the guidelines. Common sense should surely intervene where codes of conduct fall short.

Will you follow simple rules of civility in your life situations?

To contact Jim go to jim@jimtunney.com or email him at jim@jimtunney.com.

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