Quote of the Day:
“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”
-Chazz Palminteri in, ‘A Bronx Tale’.
Michigan State University men’s head basketball coach Tom Izzo discussed the problem at Purdue involving Boilermaker basketball players suspended by head coach Matt Painter:
“I’m not trying to over-stick up for them, but don’t think we’re not all one Thursday night away from problems. Don’t think that’s a Purdue issue or a Michigan State issue. It’s all of our issues. And some of it is the fault of our society and what we’ve got. And some of it is the fault of kids, having to realize things have changed. It just kind of shows what I talked about with my team last year morning, noon and night — distractions kill you.”
For those who have never lived in a college town, or attended college, Thursday night is a party night for a lot of college students.
Most students don’t schedule classes Friday so they head downtown Thursday night to their local tavern. I’ve actually witnessed students on-line outside a bar Thursday afternoon. Call it an ‘early start’.
Jeff Washburn of the Lafayette Journal & Courier has the story from Purdue where a couple of basketball players got into some trouble last Thursday night; Coach Painter suspended both players…2 days before the Michigan State game.
Here’s suspended Boilermaker DJ Byrd on the incident.
“It’s taking responsibility for your actions and being accountable,” Byrd said before Tuesday’s practice. “When everybody does that, it’s easier to learn. I’ve moved on. I’ve learned from that situation.”
Do college athletes really need to be hanging out in a bar late at night? Nothing good has ever happened after midnight. The later you are out, the greater the chance of something going wrong.
Do athletes realize they are under the microscope when they step out in public?
How about the responsibility that comes with representing the University that is paying your tuition?
Do athletes realize what’s ahead in their future? The opportunity they have right now is amazing.
Do they realize how many people will be hurt by their late night actions?
How do we, as adults, get this message across to them?
Will they ever learn?
Graham Couch of MLive with a piece on Coach Izzo and his comments on the incident.
“Some day I’m going to figure out why people are throwing away opportunities. It’s mindboggling to me. I’ve had guys who I thought were sure pros and ruined it. Until the day I get out, I’ll never understand it. But I do try to be sympathetic that kids can’t do much nowadays, either, boy I’ll tell you. I’m not sure any of us could live that way, if I was to be very honest with you.
“I had a vice president once that said, ‘How could a guy do that?’ It was just something minor. I said, ‘What did you do (at 19)?’ And all of a sudden there’s silence in the room. It’s tough.”
At the bottom of the article there is a comment from someone who goes by the name of Jazzman 71. I usually don’t put much stock into someone who posts an opinion without leaving their name but have a look, this person has an interesting take.
Sorry coach, I can’t agree with you on this one. Players are not like anyone else. They get scholarships at the best universities and are expected to act like representatives of their schools. If they don’t, then they should be dismissed. Part of the problem is that these kids are pampered as athletes from grade school, they are told they are great athletes before high school, they are cheered by the community, some receive special favors. Some play midnight games for local gamblers and begin to think they can beat any system. Some just never grow up. Some are taking performance enhancing drugs. Worst yet, many believe their own press reports and start to think they are bullet proof. Too many are caught in a period of extended adolescence, unlike any other time in America. Age is no excuse for bad or illegal behavior. During World War Two, kids the same ages were flying planes, driving tanks, sailing on ships, working in factories and on farms—both males and females. Being 18,19, or 20 is no excuse for being dumb, aggressive, impolite or criminal. After teaching and coaching on the college and university level for 40 years, I must say the overwhelming number of students met the highest expectations, both athletes and others. But there’s always a few bad apples and they are not hard to find. These should not be excused or tolerated. Why should schools, fans, alumni, faculty, and, yes, even coaches, have to put up with them.
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