It is amazing what football players can get away with, especially at the college level. The New York Times ran an article about the shenanigans of Florida State football players. The article talks about all kinds of crimes from stealing motor scooters to BB guns to rape and domestic violence. The saddest part is that the local police in Tallahassee did their best to cover it all up. It would seem that this department’s motto is “to serve and protect unless the crime involves a Florida State football player”.
It is common knowledge how highly regarded football is in this country, especially at the college level. Sure, the NFL gets a lot of ink but there are a lot more college teams out there for people to root for. And let’s face it most of these big college programs are based in small, rural towns.
Can you see the NFL putting a franchise in Birmingham, AL; Baton Rouge, LA; Lincoln, NE; or Tallahassee, FL (which is where Florida State is located)? Probably not.
The biggest name mentioned in the article is Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston, who was accused of rape by a fomer FSU student. The sad part is how the local police handled the case because the case “involved an FSU football player”[sic].If anyone else was accused of rape, the police would have them in handcuffs and held over for trial. But not if one is an athlete, in particular a football player.
The sad thing is that this is engraved into our culture. One only needs to look at high school hallways and how the athletes, or jocks, walk the hall with impunity. Not all but many of them are involved in bullying and punishment (if any) would most times be a slap on the wrist. School administrators seem more concerned about protecting the sport program’s image than the safety or well-being of the student body in general.
Florida State is certainly not the only school guilty of such misconduct on the part of its players and administration. It is just that FSU was caught. The sad thing is that is all comes down to money.
These college football programs generate mucho dineiro for the schools and local communities. Let’s be honest what else is there to do in Tallahassee? What some of these college football coaches get paid is obscene. The concept of college being a place to learn has been forgotten. Why is it that some of these coaches are making upwards of 10 times the salary as a professor? Based upon the conduct of these players, one has to wonder if they even go to class at all. It is a case of values being thrown aside for the almighty dollar.
What about the victims? No one seems concerned about them in the slightest. It is no wonder that Winston’s accuser dropped out of FSU. Why would one want to study in an environment where the welfare of an alleged rapist is of more concern to the local police than the actual victim? It is just a sad statement on where society places its values.
The NFL is no longer immune to such allegations as well. Look at the recent rash of domestic violence, child abuse, and violence involving players has come to surface. The sad part is that the NFL has known about many of these cases for some time but kept it under the rug in order to protect the league’s reputation.
Again it all really comes down to money. The NFL makes billions of dollars in revenue in endorsements, television revenue, and ticket sales. So, the league has a lot at stake. The last thing it needs is to lose any sponsors. How else would the league be able to pay NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell salary of $44 million dollars per year!
That right, the commissioner makes $44 million per year!
If that is not obscene, what else is?
The sad part is that people will still go to the games, buy the merchandise, and cheer on these accused felons. The victims are forgotten and the game keeps going on. Football has become this country’s new religion. Seems kind of ironic that NFL games are played on the Lord’s Day, Sunday. Hey, Notre Dame has Touchdown Jesus in the end zone.
Unless, there is a change of values and holding athletes accountable for their actions such poor behavior will continue. Now, that is a sad statement on our society.