(Was busy today and had not heard anything on player punishment, press conference statements, or CBB reactions at the time of this post.)
Do the right thing? Right thing for who? For you? For us? For the team? You make it sound so very simple.
What about the right thing for the three 18 year old players?
Suspend them for a year you say or better yet show them the door, kick them out of the University.
Why stop there? Make them stand in Westwood Village with signs that read "We stole in China!" Let’s keep going; strip them of their college eligibility while your at it!
Pound of flesh anyone?
Wait a minute, I seem to remember reading some where that the penalty should fit the crime.
Deep breath required here for long term understanding of what the social and life altering effects that the forthcoming penalty will have on these young student athletes.
Where or what path will this decision send them down? Will an overly harsh penalty break spirits and create a jaded attitude on life only propelling them to further poor decisions. Will the removal from the team propel them towards controlled substance and alcohol?
Fragile thing having the future of young mens lives in your hands I tell you!
I also realize that a penalty devoid of any teeth could have the reverse effect allowing the players to feel entitled and encourage future bad behavior and and continued poor decisions.
Truly a slippery slope especially if one can’t put aside personal animosities over their boneheaded actions.
The Universities embarrassment as well as that of the basketball program are important concerns for sure but more important, in my mind at least , is the afore mentioned ramifications of the Universities decision moving forward as it relates to the appropriate action in this matter and how said actions will effect the lives of those involved.
We know these young men, and I use the term ‘men’ lightly, older kids would probably be more appropriate, did in fact commit a crime. So now it’s time to think of everyone best interest especially the "China Three" as I believe you cheaply referred to them (Bad B movie moniker I might add).
Is it a stretch at all to believe that these three young men could have got caught up in some stupid truth or dare moment or laps of common sense albeit in the wrong country, and did something, well, very stupid?
The answer is a resounding no, not a stretch at
What would be the penalty for this crime if it had been committed by three UCLA biology students here in Southern California.
First offense would probably garner immediate release, a fine and possibly 24 months probation with 20 hours of community service. I don’t think they would be kicked out of school or that the University would even be notified. Not sure about that.
Yes I know the proper response is "College student athletes are held to a higher standard." I fully agree but the penalty should still fit the crime.
Yes the University has been embarrassed, the basketball program will feel the collateral damage of the incident all season, and the Pac 12 Conference left China with a black eye.
But the penalty should fit the crime.
The three individuals didn’t engage in criminal activity in which bodily harm was inflicted upon any persons. Their actions did not involve drugs or alcohol. They did not engage in any racial slurs or degrade the Chinese government directly. Said actions did not involve a weapon and in the eyes of most wreaked of immaturity with a hint of self entitlement. Sounds like what many parents in this world have had to deal with in some form or fashion while raising their children.
So what would be a proportionate penalty?
Past disciplinary history and prior legal entanglements should no doubt be a huge determining factor as to what the University decides to ultimately do.
Let’s take into account that the three young men have been no doubt scared straight. The totality of this incident has probably rocked them to their core and will resonate with them for the rest of their lives; at least it should!
They will have to move through their lives with this cloud hanging over their heads for many years to come, no doubt a humbling ordeal.
They have embarrassed their families and one could only hope that this alone will cause them great reflection and internal growth.
Here is what would be an appropriate response of penalty.
-They should be suspended 10 games while meeting the below listed requirements to be reinstated on the team.
-They should be allowed to practice with the team, attend team meetings, but not attend team social functions or games during the suspension period.
-They should required to attend counseling including a tour of the Los Angeles County Jail so as to become more familiar with the correctional system that they did not feel was in place for them.
-They should be required to speak at inner city High Schools sharing their story with young student athletes.
-Lastly they should be required to complete campus community service.
If they refuse any of these requirements re-instatement should be withdrawn.
Shouldn’t the University stand behind these players while wielding a thunderous velvet hand while making this entire incident a learning experience?
Yes, that is the right thing to do. This is the actions that will better serve society, these players, their families, and the University.
These players committed to this University maybe the University should commit to them, even if some can’t get past optics of it all.
The simple and politically correct thing to do is to throw them out into the cold dark night. This route makes everyone’s connection to the matter at the Universities level so much easier.
Yes that is the easy thing to do but not the right thing.
Then there are the Alford detractors who were rubbing their two hands together like a villain in a horror movie when the news broke waiting to seize the moment for their own personal agenda under the guise of "What is right."
"Let he who does not live in a glass house throw the first stone."
Can politics be put aside by the University and can they take the longer, harder and less popular road by standing by these young men who made a stupid stupid mistake
As far as the charges being dropped who knows how and why that resolution occurred. Maybe it was in the name of justice in the end.
As far as bringing up Coach Alfords support of his players in past investigations; simply crass, unfair to these three players, and not really appropriate trying to draw a parallel with this incident to those of the past. It serves no real purpose in the haze of this unfortunate incident.
Talk about a meatball over the plate? It’s ok to let one go by every now and then, geez!
I leave you with these quotes from some pretty wise people.
"On the whole, my opinion is that mercy bears richer fruits than any other attribute."
"Without forgiveness, there’s no future."
"We think forgiveness is weakness, but it’s absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive."
- T. D. Jakes