Editorial: Why are so many players in trouble? Because of a lack of R E S P E C T.

Editorial: Why are so many players in trouble? Because of a lack of R E S P E C T.
Reggie Bush

Editorial:  Why are so many players in trouble?  Because of a lack of R E S P E C T.

Where is Aretha Franklin when we really need her?  The violation of laws and team rules by players at all levels in almost every sport results from a lack of respect.

By Bill Smith

NOTICE:  The views of Mr. Smith do not necessarily reflect this website or others that may be associated with it.

The Problem:

            Penn State - Steve Delsohn of ESPN on the Outside the Lines show reported the following.  “Since April 1, 2007, when several Penn State players were involved in a brawl at an off-campus apartment, the program has been rocked by a series of arrests and violations of team rules that suggests, at the least, a move away from the rigid discipline for which Paterno's teams had always been noted.

            In all seven Lion football players have been suspended since the end of the 2007 season.  That fact was highlighted on the show that discussed the problem.

            Georgia – The Bulldogs rank #1 in more than some polls this year.  According to CBS Sports “Eight players have been arrested this off-season. Dewberry is the sixth player to be suspended or dismissed from the team, and Richt said he's concerned about the team's focus and the damage to the team's reputation.”

            USC – The issue with Reggie Bush went to court this week.  Basketball 1 and done star O.J. Mayo is investigated for involvement with an agent and getting thousands of dollars while in school. 

            Colorado – 3 players have been suspended or dismissed from the team recently.  Coach Hawkins suspended linebacker Michael Sipili last year, and this year has suspended linebacker recruit Lynn Katoa. Tight end Riar Greer's season is also in jeopardy after he was accused of attacking two students at a party.

            Ohio State - And of course OSU has not been immune from the problem.  Two players recently were suspended by Coach Tressel for the first 2 games for various violations of team rules. 

            These multiple violations of rules of so many teams are not the iceberg, and not even the tip of an iceberg.  These few examples are a couple of snowflakes on the iceberg that may be a lot bigger than any sports fan can even imagine.

            The media automatically assumes that the problem is a lack of “institutional control” at the bottom of the issue.  That is not the case.  I believe that the problem is the universal loss of respect for everyone and everything by so many people around the world.

The Cause:

            Our public schools have institutionalized permissiveness for students.  If a teacher looks cross eyed at a student, the teacher is disciplined.  Mean while the students are not so constrained.  They call teachers names that would embarrass an inebriated merchant seaman. 

            Because of the over crowding of our jails, the legal system tends to give minors that commit crimes a slap on the hand.  The tendency is to blame society for the miss deeds and bad attitudes of minors.  But when they get away with small crimes, the begin to believe that they can commit bigger crimes without penalty.

            We have a President that according to recent polls has a 27% approval rate.  That is outstanding compared to Congress that is approved by only 9% of those polled.  Dozens of those that we have elected to high positions are found with thousands of dollars of very cold cash in their freezers or for having taken bribes from vendors or committing any number of other violations of law and our trust.

            Dozens of business executives have stolen money from the public by inflating their stock price and then selling their shares just before the bubble bursts.

            If the economy wasn't already in a natural down cycle after 7 years of very good growth, our politicians in Washington are pouring gas on the fire.  When the guy behind the counter of your local gas station is wearing a mask and carrying a gun, chances are the price of gas is going to be out of site.  Even so, the guys that have blocked drilling for our own oil or building a new refinery since 1975 won't even allow a vote on a solution.  If you can't be part of the solution, at least try not to be part of the problem.

            Elected officials in the government compare the treatment of illegal combatants held by our military to gulags in the USSR or the murderous Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge mob.  No respect there.

            Officials of the NBA are being investigated after Tim Donaghy was accused of fixing playoff games and giving inside info to gamblers.  He has since pleaded guilty of betting on NBA games including those he officiated.  And who among OSU fans will forget or forgive Big 10 official Stephen Pamon for his error in the Illinois game and then the cover up with “the dog ate my video replay” excuse.  At least he won't be a problem for the Bucks this season.

            In this environment it is hard to have respect for much.  But it is critical that the individual have respect for himself or herself.  If that is missing, it is impossible to have respect for anyone or anything.  While truly good men like Coaches Tressel and Paterno can not make up for the entire world having a bad attitude. 

            Political correctness contributes to this problem.  I don't recall an article in the US Constitution that grants the freedom of never having to be insulted.  The preaching of PC gives the offended party an excuse to take action against someone that insults them.  When did we all become so thin skinned that we had to use violence to respond to an insult?  Grow up, take it and move on.

            Modern music in general and particularly rap and hip-hop is another contributor to the general lack of respect.  Too often it glamorizes the use of force including guns for anyone that “disses” you.

            No one can ignore the “star” treatment that every athlete gets.  But athletes have been getting that for decades.  This problem has only come up in the last 20 years.  There is a sense that because they are special they deserve gifts, money and other perks.

            Interestingly enough that was about the time that prayer was taken out of the school systems of the US.  Coincidence?  I doubt it.

            More and more kids grow up in a single parent household.  That parent often works leaving the kids to be raised by TV, the neighborhood, or day care.  That is a social problem.  But when the Government by its policy encourages single parent families, it is not part of the solution but becomes a major contributor to the problem. 

The solution:

So as individuals, what do we do?

            Give respect to those from whom we want to receive it.
            Reject political correctness and anyone that supports it.

            Replace political correctness with just a little common kindness.

            Vote for people that lie less than their opponent.  How do you tell if a politician is lying—if his lips are moving?

            Demand more from our children.  Make them realize that they are the ones that are responsible for their success and will suffer the consequences for their actions.

            Demand more from our educational system.  No matter how much it hurts the feelings of the student 2+2 is never 5. 

            Demand common sense from our government at all levels.  When they screw up, we need to let them know and use our vote to reinforce the point.

            Demand more from our media.  Forget the editorials on the front page and let's have accuracy and balance again.  If they don't, stop the subscriptions and let advertisers know that until things change you will avoid their products and services.  That will get their attention.

That is what I think.  Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent.  He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com.  He has also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com

Tags: Football NCAA NFL

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