Wednesday, I read an article that was a joint product of CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated. It uncovered some ugly truths about NCAA football. Uncovered isn’t the right word because much of what I read, I’ve known about for a while. We all have.
Simply put, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports informed the Sports Fan that 7% of the football players from top 25 colleges have criminal records. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/the_bonus/02/27/cfb.crime/index.html
People may have differing opinions over the definition of criminal record and what 25 teams make The Top 25, but to dismiss the article because of one of those differences would be ludicrous- and that’s hardly opinion.
That night, I called my mother and asked her how she was doing:
I braced myself. Terrible could mean her last meal was sub-par or it could mean someone died. (Please mom, don’t get mad. I love you a lot.) “What’s wrong?”
“Well, a little player on the basketball team decided it would be a good idea to have sex with his girlfriend and he got kicked off the team and now we’re down by ten points at the half.”
Whew. OK. Everything is OK. “Not the kid who scores like 40 points a game, huh mom?”
“No, not Jimmer, but the player who made Jimmer who he is today.”
Well, outside of Provo Utah and BYU fans’ living rooms, everything is OK.
The two polarized issues in college sports makes me think of the early 90’s dystopic action film Demolition Man. Demolition Man is set in the year 2032. The story mostly takes place in San Angeles, CA. You can imagine what happened. Southern CA just kind of grew and mixed together into one large homogenized mass. Everything is peaceful. People aren’t allowed to swear or have guns. Until Sylvester Stallone’s character (depressive, dark, but ultimately good-hearted cop) and Wesley Snipes (deranged, maybe too colorful/likeable villain) thaw (yeah, they were frozen.) So those two characters thaw out and finish in 2032 what they started in the 1990’s. And what they started in the 90’s was, well, just read some cop movie posters from that era and you’ll know what they do.
Like I said, everything in 2032 is peaceful, innocent, sunny, and clean. There is no crime. People arent’s allowed to have a lot of sex. Citations are written for swearing. There hasn’t been a murder in years. In ALL of San Angeles, remember. People are happy, but they glorify the old days. In Sandra Bullock’s office (oh, yeah, she’s a cop) a Lethal Weapon poster hangs on the wall. Sandra Bullock doesn’t get any of Stallone’s rated R humor. She says things like “Let’s blow em!” Stallone has the burden of always correcting her. He shakes his head, holds it in his hands. “Away” he says, “Blow them AWAY!” It makes me want to watch the movie right now, actually.
My point. There is also this community of people who live under San Angeles. They are dirty. They swear. Scenes that show this underground lair are poorly lit. Rats scurry by. The people down there don’t get along with the people above, and for obvious reasons. The underground people want to swear every now and then. They want the right to bear arms. But most of them are good. I think Wesley Snipes character tries to recruit bad guys from down there. He might get a handful of those people on his side, but for the most part, those underground people more resemble Stallone’s tortured cop or other nineties-era tortured cops like Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis.
At the end of the movie, Stallone triumphs over Snipes. On his right stands Sandra Bullock and many other clean, innocent looking San Angeles people, while all the dirty underground people stand on his left. He gives a speech wherein he suggests that the dirty people clean up a little bit and the clean people dirty up a little bit.
If I know anything about the institutions involved in these collegiate sports matters, we’re gonna need more that an inspirational speech from a hardened cop to get anything to change.