By Megan Brewer–
Sports are a major part of today’s society. Because of that, people involved with athletics often get off lightly for serious crimes. The sex scandal involving U of L men’s basketball is some of the latest proof.
In Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” the self-proclaimed escort accused former men’s basketball assistant coach Andre McGee of paying her to arrange “entertainment” for current and potential players. The “entertainment” ranged from strip shows to sex from Powell’s employees.
U of L’s initial investigations led to self-imposed sanctions which included lost scholarships, recruiting time cuts and a postseason ban.
The self-imposed sanctions should’ve been one of many punishments for those involved. Instead, that has been the only punishment and the school is the only one taking the hit.
Some pursued criminal charges, but lack of evidence cleared Powell and McGee of criminal charges in Jefferson County’s court.
Was it lack of evidence, or lack of wanting to give a sport a bad reputation?
“Lack of evidence” is an unbelievable statement in this situation, too many witnesses spoke about the scandal for that to be the case.
If this didn’t involve a college basketball program, all involved would be in jail and facing serious criminal charges by now. While the NCAA may further punish those involved, the lack of criminal charges raises red flags.
It’s a common belief sports keep people out of trouble and those involved with sports are at a higher level in society. A level which, at times, is above the law.
Our society is so afraid to ruin the belief “sports keep people out of trouble,” that we allow people to break laws and hide behind their jersey.
Sports’ good reputation is stained when we allow cases like U of L’s scandal to be lessened — when we allow people like Powell and McGee to slide by to keep sports’ reputation positive.
As a society, we cannot keep people involved in sports on a higher level, let them act on a low level and expect sports’ reputation to stay positive.
The reputation of U of L’s athletics and all sports should not come before finding out the truth of the scandal here or at other universities. U of L should not rush to put this in the past, especially if it allows those involved, the community and the world of athletics to think this is okay.
Our society can’t continue to value sports’ reputation more than we value our laws and safety.
How far can the people surrounding our beloved sports go before we open our eyes? How much crime must be committed before someone rips off the jerseys?