Over the past few weeks we have saw several very good college football players kicked off their respective teams. The latest is Tyrann Mathieu of Louisiana State University, but I am trying to figure out, who is to blame. I don't like pointing the finger at person for anything, but in this case, someone has to take responsibility for all these kids losing out on their educations and futures. Is it the player himself, I don't believe it is just the player. Let me explain a little more and then I will let you, the fans tell me what you think?
I understand that these children should be punished for doing something wrong, but I have several questions when it comes to blaming just the kid. My first question is how can we blame a child for something that he is doing wrong? Most of these kids from are from broken families, broken homes or have an outrageous story to tell. If that is the case, the school understands what they are getting from the jump. They know that they are not getting little Johnny who scores all A's on his tests. These schools know if a child was raised in the projects, or if his father was incarcerated, or mother was a prostitute on the streets. Most of these student athletes did not have it easy, but have seen probably more than the typical person at the age of 30, by the time there 10. That is just how they were raised, but they just happened to make it out because of their playing ability. So because they were able to run fast, and lead their high school teams in every category known to man, does that make them untouchable? No, I am not saying it should but just take a second and think about how this kid feels when he comes out of football?
Since day one of the football players young career in high school we are already labeling him. You might want to know how we label him, well let me explain. If you follow college football we are naming some of these kids the best player in the country or the 400th best player in the country. They have a number, they know their number and yes they are arrogant. They are either happy or hungry about the number they were given. When the player gets to his school, he has a reputation to hold, most of the time if you are going to a big school such as Miami like Ray Ray Armstrong or LSU like Tyrann Mathieu, you are going on a free ride. A free scholarship because of your god given natural abilities of playing the game. So my next question is for the college, because I am a father of 2 children myself. When my child goes to your school, what are you going to do to make sure he is protected in your school? Well let me tell you, these colleges will promise you the world to come to their school, and we have already seen that in the past as well. So after sitting down with the guidance counselor on the first day of school who is suppose to guide them?
The last question I have is should we blame the coaches/teachers? I mean they are the people that are in the school who see the student athlete the most? I understand they do have families as well, but as Bobby Bowden use to say "As a coach, I have a lot more than just my children, I have to make sure every child in my program is taken care of". So do we blame the coaches who have the power to take him out of his favorite sport? Do we blame the coach who can sit their player for doing something dumb? Well I don't know how to point the finger because I think all parties should be held accountable.
First and foremost when these young student athletes come to the school, they are put on a platform, that platform is no matter what you do we will look out for you, because you are a football player. If you don't believe this you never played football for a high school team where the city was dedicated to winning. I DID, and let me tell you, if you were a stud player, you didn't have to come to school, that teacher was making sure you were passing. They would never want their stud player on the bench. So let me finish it out by saying this......
What else did these players do in the past, that the school has covered up? I mean there has to be something that this player has done in the past, maybe failing grades?, dirty urine sample, fights in the locker room, too many children on the streets? There has to be more behind any random player getting kicked off the team. All I have to say is adults are suppose to be role models, but how can you expect a person that comes from the streets to look up to you, if you are having inappropriate relations with your students (Penn State), Taking money from boosters (Miami), and covering up scandals?
So before you go out and start criticizing a person for his mistake, maybe take in the fact that there are probably more parties to blame for that kid's situation. I am not sure about any of these cases, but from being a scout, I have heard some pretty interesting stories about how the programs work, and let me tell you, They are interesting. So before we cut off the child and label him as a bad kid or dummy, we have to remember that not everyone might have had it as easy as you have. Everyone should be held accountable for a situation when it is in the school, but ultimately it is our job to teach children how to behave and become role models which they usually become after 4 years of college. So remember, if you are a coach, player or school board member, these kids are our future, if we don't show them the right way to lead, we can only blame ourselves for the outcome.
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