College sports should be about playing with honor

- Richard G. Rudolph Georgetown, Ind.

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.

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