Beer And Basketball

by Rich on October 2, 2017

Well, it’s been quite at week for college basketball and shoe companies, hasn’t it? I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on all that’s happened or continues to happen as this story unfolds, but it certainly doesn’t look good. I know… innocent until proven guilty. I get it. The legal system will play this thing out the way it always does, with lawyers being the real winners. I don’t know who is to blame and what the eventual outcome of all this will be, but we’ve already seen coaches and administrators relieved of their duties. And I’ve seen a lot of discussion about why the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved and are these accusations actually crimes and why didn’t the NCAA clean this up sooner and is it really wrong for players to get payed?

There are no simple answers to that, but hey… that’s never stopped me from opining on a subject before so why should this be any different?

First, let’s just go ahead and set at least one of those questions aside for now, because it’s useless and distract from the situation. If you think college athletes should be paid, that’s a legitimate discussion for another time. But that’s not on my agenda today.

Let me tell you a story. The names have been changed to protect the guilty from the wrath of their mothers, the legal statue of limitations having long ago run out. Here’s the story:

A friend of mine in high school, let’s call him “Joey”, lived in a very nice neighborhood with a neighborhood pool and club house. The summer after we graduated from high school, Joey had a series of evening pool parties at this pool. His parents, wanting to control a bunch of eighteen year olds, decided to provide beer for these parties, under the condition that everyone spent the night at their house. It was awesome. But neighbors complained. And then complained to the home owner’s association. We still had parties, but we had to be quiet, clean up our empties, and not say anything to anyone. And that worked until one of the neighbors called the cops. The last party we had was busted by the police. We had to pour out the beer. Parents were called. Joey’s dad had to go to the police station. Lawyers got involved. He was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. I sneaked over the fence and into the woods (sorry mom).

Now, you could argue that, at eighteen, we were all mature enough to have a beer. After all, we could go fight for our country, couldn’t we? Surely we should be allowed to have a couple of drinks. And we certainly weren’t alone. Everyone went to parties and had beers. It was no secret. So why was this such a big deal? C’mon…who’s getting hurt here? No harm no foul. And wasn’t Joey’s dad just helping us out?

No. He wasn’t. He was betraying the trust of other parents, his neighbors and us kids. He showed by example that it was ok to bend the rules and break the law if you subjectively thought it was justified. That’s a horrible lesson for impressionable youth to be taught. And that’s the lesson these student athletes are being taught. “Everybody does it. It’s how you get ahead. Bend or break the rules. They aren’t fair anyway. Just listen to me and I’ll take care of you. For a price.”

Call me sanctimonious, but I think our youth deserve better examples, whether it’s beer or basketball on the line.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mom October 3, 2017 at 8:11 am

There’s a reason more than the obvious that you have this voice through your articles. God has always had a plan for your life, and the ability to speak truth in a world filled with media lies, is part of that plan. God bless you and anoint you for this special calling. Much love

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