USA TODAY US Edition
College sports should be about playing with honor
When our son was being recruited to play soccer at a college, we heard the representatives from the athletic departments saying phrases such as they would “build his character,” “make him a better man” and “instill values.” I cannot imagine how we would feel now if we learned his coach had done the kinds of things that Bobby Petrino did (“Petrino dumped by Arkansas,” Cover story, Sports, Wednesday).
The Arkansas football coach was fired Tuesday after he admitted an “inappropriate relationship” with a student-athlete development coordinator. It’s not the sex that’s the scandal to us; what happens behind closed doors between consenting adults belongs behind closed doors. Let’s face it: We all do some things we shouldn’t do. It’s the coverup, or turning a blind eye when the indiscretion is outed, that destroys character, tarnishes values and shows a person to be a lesser man.
The winning-at-any-cost attitude shown by many fans exposes them to be the ultimate losers. Playing with honor, win or lose, is the only thing that should matter. Unfortunately, the money involved in prestige athletic programs makes this ideal impossible to accomplish.