As a Texas Longhorns fan I have of course taken notice of college football players getting arrested since UT has had 6 students arrested since June 1. Charges range from misdemeanor DUI to felony aggravated robbery. However, after seeing that FSU had two players arrested and Tulane had one arrested yesterday, I started to wonder just how bad have college football players really become? I did a search on Google of college football players arrested, and the first page produced 20 names from 11 schools, with charges ranging from hosting a nuisance party to murder. Have coaches completely lost control of their players, are they recruiting kids without getting a vibe on them as a person of good character, or are these just dumb kids doing stupid things now that they are away from mommy and daddy?
I am sure that some of it is kids getting away from their parents, but I think a lot of the problems have to fall in the coach's lap for getting these kids to come to their respected programs, and then essentially turning them loose. What is the answer to this growing problem that is taking its toll on major universities across the country, harsher suspensions for first time offenders, no tolerance, aptitude tests before offering a scholarship? Coaches need to spend more time with these young men before any offer is made for them to come and play football. They need to take the time to interview these students more like they would someone who is looking for a job. By that I mean that students should have to list friends and references so that coaches can see who they hang out with, and whether or not their friends would be, could be, are, or are not good influences. Now if a coach were to find that the student's friends were not a good group or influence, that does not mean the student should automatically be disqualified, but more questions should be asked to see how the student plans to use his scholarship. Is he using it to get out of a bad situation and looking to better himself in the long run, or is he just going because the school is a party school and he will be a football player who should be able to do whatever he wants? Obviously if it is the latter then that is not the type of person any program needs. This may make college football take more of a business approach when it comes to recruiting students, but the current system seems to be failing, and at an alarming rate. Not to mention, that these schools are competing year in and year out for big money, and when a program gets too much negative publicity, it scares away bigger recruits to your rivals and other conferences.
These young men are given an opportunity to showcase their talents for NFL scouts all while getting a great education. Most of them will never get a chance to step onto a NFL field and play professionally, so education should be the most important thing, not partying. Maybe the NCAA should up their standards. I believe right now that to be academically eligible for NCAA athletics a student must have a 2.0 GPA and 6 current hours. That leaves way too much time an eighteen to twenty-two year old to get into all kinds of trouble.
I am by no means saying that I have all of the answers but this is sad:
Florida State-Geno Hayes-Assault on officer and resisting arrest
Florida State-Joe Surratt-Felony battery of an officer
New Hampshire-Henri Hendricks-Charged in murder of a pro surfer
Missouri-Steve Redmond-Loud party, this one probably P.O.P.(**** off police for those not familiar)
West Virginia-James Thomas and Ellis Lankster-Transferring and receiving of stolen property.
Alabama-Simeon Castille-Disorderly conduct
LSU-Derrick Odom-Criminal mischief
Utep-5 players are arrested in a bar brawl in July. Two players are charged with assault on an officer, 1 resisting arrest, 1 disorderly conduct, and Tufick Shadrawy was accused of trying to take away the officer's weapon.
Florida-Ronnie Wilson-Felony weapons charge
BYU-Terrance Hooks and Vic So'oto-Both were arrested after kicking in doors at apartments to see if they could find out who threw a water balloon at them.
Tulane-Ray Boudreaux-Arrested in connection with a stabbing and is currently being charged with five counts of attempted murder.
Iowa-Dominique Douglas and Anthony Bowman-Both arrested in connection with purchasing over $2,000 worth of items with stolen credit cards.
Texas-Andre Jones and Robert Joseph- Charged with aggravated robbery and assault
Texas-James Henry-Charged with felony obstruction and felony tampering with evidence in relation to the Jones and Joseph arrests.
Texas-Tyrell Gatewood-Arrested and charged with 2 counts of misdemeanor drugs. Second arrest for drug offense in a year's time.
Texas-Sergio Kindle and Henry Melton-Both arrested and charged with DUI.
This is not only embarrassing for these programs but for college football as well. When college "kids" start to rival arrests with those in the NFL, it just makes you wonder if college coaches, the NCAA, and even high school coaches will start and be tougher on students who get into trouble, even if it is their first offense?