Home » blog » The Crime Dog Days of Summer

Posted by on August 30th, 2011 in blog, Brady Baylor, Uncategorized | No Comments

Can someone please pull the trigger on the 2011 college football season so that its young participants (and coaches, for that matter) will have constructive entertainment options within the confines of the law?   If it weren’t for the continuing threat of conference ship-jumping, what would we have had for news this offseason aside from a barrage of bad behavior?  We’ve had bar fights in Southern Louisiana, cash register malfunctions in south Tulsa (which worked out in a Hurricane’s favor), Ponzi schemes and associated yacht rides in South Beach, and other events that have sent the state of college football, well, south.

 

As former college football coach and current ESPN analyst Urban Meyer recently and eloquently stated (during ESPN’s roundtable discussion “Blueprint for Change”), college football itself does not have a problem, but rather there is a problem with behavior.  Jim Carey’s character in “Liar Liar” may have said it even better when he blurted out “Stop breakin’ the law, @!%hole!” upon receiving yet another phone call from a client perpetually on the wrong side of said law.

 

Lest we dwell entirely on the negative facets of lawlessness, let us not forget that it has likely helped cement quarterback decisions at LSU, Ole Miss, and Miami.  Perhaps LSU and Miami were not looking at theirs as real decisions, but removing their starters from the equation will make the math easier in any event.

 

So how is this behavior issue best dealt with?  As my oldest son has ventured into those awkward pre-teen years, I’ve been testing the waters with intense physical exercise as punishment, in lieu of spankings and time-outs.  While I can’t say that this has altered his behavior, I have noticed a remarkable change in his physical strength and toughness, which may prove to be my eventual downfall.  In looking at these college athletes, I can’t say that they are much lacking in physical conditioning either, so that will likely not be the answer to their problems anymore than it would a ten-year-old.  However, what they will find is that the law will often be less generous in its extension of grace than will an involved and concerned parent.  Even making allowances for upbringing and personal experience, should we arrive at the conclusion that a young man, being of sound mind and body, cannot engage in logical decision making?  I guess I’m just not willing to accept that they can’t.

 

Some of you may be familiar with the Sports Illustrated/CBS News study that came out back in March (2011) about crime in college football.  Among the major findings were:

-7% of players on Top 25 teams (SI 2010 preseason poll) had been in some trouble with the law; that is, had been “charged with or cited for a crime”.

-Of 56 violent crimes uncovered by the research, 25 were assault and battery.

-At least 105 of 277 total cases were drug and alcohol-related, such as marijuana, driving under the influence, etc.

-48% of players were black and 44.5% were white, which appears to track well with an NCAA report for the 2009-2010 season which stated that 45.8% of players in the top division were black, compared with 45.1% that were white, meaning race is nearly statistically irrelevant here.

 

I’ll let the reader form his/her own opinion, but here are some of my takeaways:

-College football players like to drink

-College football players like to drink and drive

-College football players like to smoke pot

-College football players like to get in fights

-College football players like to beat up their girlfriends

 

How does the 7% stack up against the general population, or against the general college population?  I’m really not sure but, if 7 out of 100 people in my workplace had some type of run-in with the law, I suppose I’d be a little concerned.  Also, bear in mind that this is the 7% that got caught, and that the study didn’t even count those who had been caught and dismissed by the team prior to the commencement of the study.  So what’s my blueprint for change?  It’s really quite simple:

-Save your bravado for the legalized violence that occurs on fall Saturdays.

-Don’t get drunk.

-Even if you do, don’t drive .

-Stay out of drinking establishments altogether.

-If you find yourself in one anyway, and your buddy gets in a fight, don’t beat his opponent to a near-death state.

-Skip the joint and try a yoga class or something; who knows, it may even ward off a hamstring injury.

-Just because you got schooled by a teammate in the Okie drill, this does not mean you should slap your girlfriend around.

-There, we’ve just cut that total incident count in half.  Wasn’t that easy?

 

Now, how about a little advice for the rest of us?

-You may well be tough in your own right, but your 230 pounds of beer-forged bulge are not going to fare well at the bar against the 230 pounds of chiseled machinery that plays linebacker at your favorite school.  Armed with all the machismo that a six-pack (in the literal sense in your case, as opposed to the metaphorical abdominal six-pack owned by the linebacker) and the prodding of your buddies can provide, you may very well wade into a contest with confidence, but you’ll emerge with a shattered jaw and an even worse mess made of your pride.

-Kudos to CFF.com’s own Dan Pierson for reminding me of what I really like about college football.  Perhaps you can see the sun through the clouds as well.  Only 72 hours to go!

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