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Misplaced Blame

Paul Finebaum has an interview with Montgomery, AL sports attorney Donald Maurice Jackson on some of the ills that we currently see in college sports.

Jackson says a lot of the current problems derive from the media and advertisements for commercial products which dictate to young people that "it's acceptable or even preferable to have street credibility and if you don't have some kind of affiliation with unsavory types then you (should) at least comport yourself to make people believe that you do."

Jackson points toward various schools, such as Miami — which is now cleaning up its image — and Southern Cal as being part of the problem.

"For example, I love rap music," Jackson said, "but USC has Snoop Dogg walking around the sidelines and when you connect your program to that element, you are inviting this."


Inviting what? Players taking money on the side away from the watchful eyes of the academic institution? Players who either use or sell drugs or players who get into cars and drive after a night of drinking?

I would agree with Jackson's assertion that it's revolting to see any student-athlete, regardless of the program, get into trouble with the law but you are going to have a hard time convincing me that it is because Snoop Dogg is on the sidelines. At some point players need to take personal responsibility for their actions but using the excuse of "the devil made me do it" is misplaced.

By using Jackson's logic it would appear that the Alabama sidelines must have had all sorts of criminals roaming around with Alabama's arrest rate as high as it is, 10 arrests in 13 months. Jackson can't name a single incident that could be blamed simply because Snoop is on the sidelines. Most of these players who get into trouble bought into the "Thug Life" long before they arrived at the program of their choice. Others simply made bad choices. Simply not having this person or that person on the sidelines has little to no bearing on how these kids make decisions.

Sure the school's can lock down the campus from undesirables but this isn't prison and the players are free to come and go as they choose. As long as they don't break any rules players are to associate with whomever they choose. Players make personal choices and sometimes they can have bad results, how that has anything to do with who is standing on the sidelines doesn't ring whole to me.

(H/T: All Things Trojan)