Disgraced Serra WR Paul Richardson has landed on his feet or, in this case, Buffalo hooves. After being tossed out of UCLA and freed from his letter of intent, he has decided to play football for Colorado, rather than try to work his back to UCLA (assuming CRN or CNC would want him back). He was allowed to enroll at CU after what the Denver Post calls a ‘"rigorous review process"’ to examine Richardson’s past and determine any potential personal-conduct issues." I assume that this involves a campus chaplain or theology professor going over some basic concepts such as, "Thou shalt not steal."
But to Richardson’s credit he is willing to admit guilt.
"For a moment," Richardson said, he thought he might never play major-college football. "But my family is very religious and so we stayed in prayer, stayed very positive about it. God gave me another chance, and I’m going to make the most of it. "It was a silly mistake. I’m young. I definitely learned my lesson."
He isn’t the first of the three defrocked Bruins to admit guilt and bring God into the conversation. Josh Shirley’s now famous tweet, "Pray for me . . . for I have done wrong" is along on the same lines.
What does this really mean--a contribution to that debate after the jump.
I get the sense their remorse is incomplete. Maybe they have but I can find no reference to any of the three apologizing to their victim or to Coach Neuheisel. To attend UCLA is overwhelming. But how would you like it if you are just trying to eat lunch and get a bachelor’s degree and three ruffians come along and steal your laptop which contains your notes, papers you have submitted and private e-mails. Now if it doesn’t bother you all that much, how would you like it to happen to your daughter? Richardson partially minimizes his complicity with the excuse he was young—well so was your victim. So are all of the UCLA football players who do not steal; who are morally incapable of stealing. So are soldiers who are killed or maimed in Afghanistan. For now, I remain unimpressed.
The immediately preceding paragraph is subject to these criticisms (and others) considered in the conjunctive (for all of those from southern cal who are trying to read this, "conjunctively" means you consider them all together):
- two of the players have admitted guilt;
- they have done so in the context of their recognition they have violated the established tenets of a supreme being;
- and it is unreasonable for an 18 year old to express in a tweet or an interview (no doubt filtered by a CU press flak) the full sense of remorse we expect from more mature noncriminals.
Conjunctively and disjunctively (ah, tripped up you trOJans again), these views have ethical and even theological merit and good people will say they undercut my criticisms.
Last add. Enough about true remorse. Richardson did have the chance to earn his way back to UCLA. But he chose not to. Choices matter.
He is apparently more concerned about his career than true penance to all of the UCLA athletic family which includes the likes of Jackie Robinson, Gary Beban, John Wooden, Kareem Jabbar, Buck Compton, John Barnes, Big Red--Bill Walton, Rafer Johnson and C.K. Yang, that Oklahoman with the last name of Aikman (his first name is a complete mystery) and many more and, most of all, being a Bruin.
Thus, when we play CU--knock him to the ground! Do it cleanly, legally and morally, but knock him down!