Violating Team Rules

This is article is provided courtesy of Lisa Kelly at No Coast Bias.  Be sure to check out her “Where Are They Now” series which catches up with Irish players from past years.

After careful consideration I’ve decided to take a closer look at the epidemic that is sweeping the country. More and more student-athletes are being suspended for “violating team rules,” so I thought we would put the situation under a microscope to see what’s really going on.

Yes, it’s official that the Honey Badger will not be at LSU this fall for “violating team rules.” Cierre Wood will not be starting in the backfield for the Irish for the first couple of weeks of the season due to “violating team rules.” Kansas suspended its long snapper Justin Carnes for “violating team rules.” Tennessee wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers was suspended for “violating team rules” then transferred. Auburn suspended wide receiver DeAngelo Benton for “violating team rules” and now three wide receivers from East Carolina were just suspended for, yup – you guessed it … “violating team rules.”

What the HELL is going on here?!?!?!?

This really pisses me off, simply because the schools are so concerned with their precious little images and the endowments coming in from alumni that they’re in denial about the truth.

Wake up people, we have a problem! A problem that’s been around since Moby Dick was a minnow!

First let’s cut the crap and put it out there that “violating team rules” is code for he tested positive for or got caught smoking marijuana, weed, chronic, pot, Mary- Jane, blunts, skimbibbidy, wacky tobacky, Maui Wowee, sticky-icky or whatever you want to call it.

Has anyone bothered to wonder why all of the sudden these kids are getting suspended in droves?? C’mon – you can’t be that naive.

Here’s a question that maybe someone can answer for me: “Why is it that division 1A colleges and universities have huge budgets in their athletic departments, but not one penny is obviously being spent on substance abuse treatment and/or prevention?”

Someone? Anyone?

In my humble opinion these young people need help, not suspension. Wait, before anyone comes unglued – I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t be disciplined for their actions, but what I am suggesting is that these young people need guidance and help. I know it might be news to some programs out there, but there’s more to life than just athletics. Agree with me or not, these programs are aware of the problems these athletes have.

Is it really a big secret? “SSSHHHHHH … don’t tell coach we smoke weed!” Really? What? Is everyone becoming Jim Tressel and “unaware” of what is happening in the program? Whatever. You mean to tell me that no one can help? Wait, no one cares to help?

From this poor man’s perspective these institutions of higher education need to live up to what they promise these athletes and their parents when recruiting them – “take care of them.” Taking care of them doesn’t mean giving them money or a car or some lavish place to live.

Helping them means living up to your end of the bargain as much as they’re supposed to on Saturday afternoon! Help them become better people. Help them with their issues. Help them with their studies. Help them, PERIOD!

Violating team rules … psssh …what a joke!

If you enjoyed these words of wisdom from Oscar McBride, please check out his web site for more information on how you can follow Oscar! You can also catch his blog, “Ask Oscar.”

This is article is provided courtesy of Lisa Kelly at No Coast Bias.  Be sure to check out her “Where Are They Now” series which catches up with Irish players from past years.

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  1. This entire attittude about these priveledged (any kid with a scholorship to any D1 school in any sport)kids not taking responsibilty for their actions is quite frankly offensive to my intellegience. They have opportunitites most people only dream of and they have to be held such drastic rules as not getting arrested/not drinking or not smoking weed? And with no one to babysit them?

    Really? did I just wast 3 minutes reading that?

  2. 1. We don’t know if each of these “team violations” are about smoking pot.
    2. If it’s “pot”, it’s certainly not a “performance enhancement” drug, so each team needs to address it as it sees fit.
    3. How much and how often – and is it repeated after detection- are three considerations if the issue is pot.

  3. So you have incontrovertible evidence that Wood & Utopu smoke weed?

    Ask Kyle McAlarney the punishment for athletes smoking weed while at ND (or google his name and add suspension for the answer).

    BTW, the NCAA requires EVERY BCS School to drug test their players several times each year and report both the good and bad results to the NCAA for possible enforcement action. And, lest you suspect foul play, the test dates are not known to the athletes or coaches until after the samples are taken.

  4. It may not always be for doing dope. I have a feeling that a lot of suspensions are for players being on the gear.

  5. I completely disagree with getting college students help for smoking weed. It is illegal to drink alcohol under the age of 21 and how many ND underage students or students around the country are getting busted for drinking alcohol under age and were not getting them into treatment programs. Also, the Honey Badger was suspended for smoking synthetic pot. Don’t be fulled this product is the same as bath salts which is one chemical molecule away from meth. That is an issue that if your player is on it needs serious help.

    As far as the smoking pot epidemic hitting the college football world, HERE IS A NEWS FLASH, YOU GET TESTED, WEED STAYS IN YOUR SYSTEM FOR 30 DAYS. DON’T SMOKE WEED OR YOU’LL GET CAUGHT. It’s a matter of self discipline rather than drug addiction. Coaches needs to tell their players that you can’t do any drugs period. You get tested if caught you will be suspended, if you have aspirations for the NFL it will kill your draft status. If you are looking for a job it will impact you getting said job. Don’t be dumb lay off the weed and don’t go to parties under age.

  6. Perhaps the suspensions are meant to HELP THEM PERIOD. Floyd seems to have benefitted from Kelly’s mandates. Kyle McAlarney did come back and seems to have carried forward. If it is weed in each case, and frankly as some above have said, we don’t know because universities are bound by the law from divulging non-public situations, then I’d be happier if they work with the athlete to help them. Suspensions are not merely punishment, they are meant to motivate. The player now is aware of tough love and is reminded of acceptable behavior with the knowledge that they are now under a microscope. That sounds better than denial or drop kicking them to the curb, something Michigan did to a player a few years back.

    We’ve brought the ‘Hood into college football and since Jimmy Johnson’s Cocaines, have brought college football down to the level of the ‘Hood. And now that it’s so bad that we can’t hide the gangland culture in college football, some sanctimonious sportswriters are trying to judge something they helped create. Give me a break. We either guide the kids who might otherwise be in street gangs about a better way of life or we accept that college football will not guide people to improve character and is merely a modern form of slavery, with the victims being to kids asked to entertain us. It’s that simple and the course is being decided right now.

    For Cierre Wood, it’s not m business to know what happened. I only hope he will benefit from the judgement and guidance being provided by the coaches and the university. In the future I hope for his sake that his choices are constructive.

  7. Generally speaking, a student who has to pay his own way is more likely to take college more seriously than someone who gets a full ride athletic scholarship, although, I did have a cousin who went to a small school, joined a fraterity, and then let himself get carried away with his parting and got expelled.

    Sadly, I can still hear him say it like it was yesterday…. “Seven years of college down the drain”

    Went on to become a Senator.

  8. Double Amen westcoastirishfan,

    The reality is how many people have been killed with poor judgement? The ones who are lucky who did not cause a fatal outcome are just that. Many others have to live for the rest of the lives haunted by POOR JUDGEMENT.

  9. Colleges and universities are not permitted to reveal the nature of the infraction by law, unless the infraction is already a matter of public record. Even then they aren’t allowed to really even comment on it to give any details. Giving the reason as a “violation of team rules” is as much as they can say.

    Suspending them for 1 game, 2 games whatever, is the “visible” and public action. That doesn’t mean that behind the scenes these kids aren’t getting any counseling or help. The schools simply can’t tell us about it.

  10. I don’t condone their actions; they let down the program, but to say “they need help” is naive at best. College kids are going to do what college kids do.

    The only help they need is understanding that their actions often will have far-reaching and detrimental effects on others. Their suspensions will affect their development much more than years of therapy.

    1. I don’t believe niave is a fair assessment. True kids will be kids, but where is the governance? As a parent if you say kids will be kids and that’s it where does that leave the kid? Kids by nature are selfish – human beings in general are selfish. The help in this case refers to “helping” them understand the effects of their actions versus just slapping a suspension on them to save face with the alumni- truly, this isn’t just about therapy.

      1. The people that will “help” them understand the impact of their choices are their coaches, parents and players. All of whom were let down greatly and should be greatly disappointed in both Wood and Utopo. Sitting in front of a therapist or as part of help group will do nothing other than elicit a laugh from these two.

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