Friday, December 19, 2008

InClement Weather: Andy Kennedy and Ole Miss Need to Take Responsibility

[Editor's Note: This post is from Clement, who I asked to weigh in on the Andy Kennedy situation.]

It's a dicey situation. Sadly, coaches are held to higher standards than their players. It comes as no surprise - whether he's guilty of all charges or not - that he wants to talk basketball and is "upset" for his players. Obviously, he was in the wrong at some point. Only the people there will ever know the truth. As for the greater ramifications, it's sad how easily athletes, celebrities, and anyone of some sort of fame can blame issues on alcohol.

Why is it okay for alcohol to cause us to say things we might not have before, make inappropriate advances towards others, or lead us down the darkest of roads? I've been drunk in my life and it's never caused me to do anything I didn't want to. Instead, it only allowed me to have a built-in excuse. Fortunately, I've never been dumb enough to start hitting people, bursting out racial or prejudice slurs, or anything of the sort. I don't see people suddenly speaking foreign languages they learned in high school, forgetting how to use the bathroom, or other "acts" that alcohol might impair you with. It's as if you can blame this substance for you forgetting how to be a human being.

Until the coach is cleared of charges, he should step up and take a leave of absence from coaching. If he's innocent, then that will prevail. However, I refuse to believe there is zero merit to this story.

I won't touch on the racial slurs. It speaks of an ignorance that far too many (not just Americans, mind you) hide, that is until it comes out at the darkest of times.

The story is an embarrassment to all surrounding it. Sadly, the coach will move on and like his players -and those of any major college institution - will be given similar excuses when they make mistakes that are blamed on other sources.

You need to look no further than Bobby Bowden in Florida State, Joe Paterno (they are kids...give me a break Joe Pa) in Penn State, and Jim Calhoun at Connecticut. A similar situation is brewing at Syracuse with Jim Boeheim and Eric Devendorf, although more details need to come out about the incident. Then, we can start the hate mail towards K-Fed.

Sadly, this is a sign of the time and that's the excuse people use. Apathy is growing ever more present in our society. I'm an 8th grade teacher. These kids don't care because someone has told them they don't have to. Directly or indirectly, it all comes back to one word: parents.
Or should I say, "parents".

1 comment:

Paymon said...

Great post, Clement. What really bugs me is what was reported on ESPN last night. Specifically, Ole Miss is trying to defend itself on the basis of a technicality (e.g. the cab driver claimed the punch was on his left cheek).

That is a coward's way out of a situation. That said, we only know a small chunk of the story. Here's another piece from Gary Parrish: