More athlete arrests? When will they learn?
I keep thinking that one of these days athletes are going to learn. Surely, they’re going to see enough of their teammates or their friends or even their idols getting in trouble, hurting their careers and causing bad press. Surely, they’re going to figure out that they need to keep their noses clean.
Kenny Stills and Tony Jefferson are the latest proof of that. The Oklahoma football players were arrested on misdemeanor complaints early Saturday morning in Norman. Stills was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, and Jefferson was arrested on suspicion of interference with official process.
Stills’ arrest happened a little after 2 a.m., Jefferson’s happened a few minutes later.
Listen, before you start sending those nasty emails and posting those vindictive comments, I understand the judicial process. I know these guys haven’t been found guilty of anything. I know these are just arrests. I know I’m not judge and jury of these two. So, no, I’m not here to find them guilty of the crimes that they were arrested for.
But I am here to say that their stupidity deserves to be punished. I said it when Oklahoma State star wide receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested this past fall. I’m saying it now. These guys deserve a serious kick in the keister regardless of what the judicial system does with them.
Bob Stoops has been consistent in situations like this — a one-game suspension is all but certain.
Frustration alone would be reason for the Sooner coach to sit these guys. Stills and Jefferson have the world at their feet. As true freshmen this past season, both played huge roles for the Sooners. Stills caught 61 passes and five touchdowns. Jefferson notched 65 tackles and picked off two passes.
Ironic – that OU team played a bunch of young guys, but still, the Sooners seemed much more mature than you’d have thought they’d be with such youth. And now, two of the brightest stars in that group have run afoul of the law.
Shortly after the news about Stills and Jefferson broke, I ran into a Thunder front-office type before the Knicks game. He hadn’t heard about the arrests, but when I told him what happened, he said the thing he couldn’t understand was how athletes at big-time colleges or in the pros ever put themselves in these positions. They have so many resources at their disposal; if they say that they need a ride home because they had a drink or two, someone is going to get them there.
He was right. With so much available to them, it seems like it would almost take effort to get into trouble. Or maybe it just takes someone being really, really stupid.
Maybe eventually athletes will learn — playing sports is a privilege not a right, and stupidity can forfeit that privilege.
I have a feeling Stills and Jefferson are going to learn that lesson. Here’s hoping a game’s suspension is enough to teach them.
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