Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Comprehensive Action Plan to Address Student-Athlete Behavior Working Like a Charm in Blacksburg

Hats off to Virginia Tech for installing the Comprehensive Action Plan to try to curb off field incidents with the program! No really, I mean it! Step one is realizing that there is a problem. Step two is devising a plan to curb the problem. And Step three taking action.

However, the latest news out of Blacksburg that two players were arrested for obstructing justice might be a signal that nothing has changed. While we applaud the school for taking immediate action, something says to us that it is not working.

How much control does a coaching staff or institution have over it's student athletes is a question that seems to have been answered in the negative over and over lately. There certainly are schools that run clean programs. And there are programs that seem to never quite get a handle on minimizing off field issues. We all know who they are. They know who they are. But a resolution doesn't seem to be in our future.

Is it a product of the times we live in? Is it highschool coaches going along to get along, and players realizing they can get away with just about anything with little or no consequences? Does anyone care, as long as it doesn't happen at their school? These are all very negative views about the subject, but all too often, the first to be discussed.

Are fans too demanding on the student-athletes? Are we fair to the players? After all, the behavior of your average fan on gameday could easily get a student-athlete suspended if the player mirrored the fans actions. In this situation, however, "fair" does not apply.

It's a gift and a curse.

There is a minimum expectation for young people that are given the opportunity to receive a free education that most of us spend half our lives paying off. Being treated like a Rock Star has it's drawbacks. You give up the right to privacy. You give up your right to act how you want, when you want. You are no longer just representing yourself. You are representing everyone that ever went to your college, and in some cases everyone that was born in the state your college resides in. It's a very serious business to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

Peoples jobs are on the line. Some over obsessed fans very mental well being is on the line. Right or wrong, when these things happen, these people react. And people over react, and some send death threats while in the midst of over reacting.

The one-upsmanship among news outlets is at an all time high. Be it legitimate news sources or (covers his mouth and mumbles) blogs. And that statement begs the question that's really at the heart of the matter. Was it always this bad, or are we finally getting the whole story? Is it like a crack in your foundation? If you aren't constantly updated about the situation, can you really tell when it's going to crumble?

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