Get Rid of Them All

Whether or not it is Congress’ place to be involved in sports, one thing has become clear:  cheating in sports is no longer going to be tolerated by the United States Government.  Dodger manager Joe Torre stated yesterday that he wished that baseball could take care of its own house, a clear shot at government intervention.  Sorry, Mr. Torre, but baseball from 1993-2007 has not done a very good at maintenance.  And, for the record, to say that you had no clue about PEDs in the sport is very hard to believe.  Very hard.

There is no more tolerance for cheating, and it’s time to rid sports of cheaters.  Let’s get rid of all of them:  Bill Belichick, Kelvin Sampson, Roger Clemens, and Andy Pettitte, who is being hailed as a hero for being honest.  Honest or not, Pettitte cheated, and if he really had the conscience that most say he does, he should simply retire from baseball and go back to Houston to raise his family.

Kelvin Sampson’s arrogance knows no end.  At Oklahoma, he was reprimanded for making illegal phone calls and text messages.  He moves on to Indiana and does it again.  Now, we are finding out that he has done it for a third time.  I don’t know what word to use here.  Arrogant?  Pompous?  Stupid? Defiant?  Apparently, Mr. Sampson didn’t listen and continued to break rule after rule after rule, and if these allegations are true, then Indiana should terminate Sampson immediately because three strikes should mean you’re out.

The world of recruiting in the NCAA is not for boys.  There is big-time money involved and the pressure to win is there for every coach, especially at a place with the tradition that Indiana has.  Bobby Knight coached there for years and did a lot of things the wrong way, but one thing he did right was stay out of trouble.  There were no improprieties, paying athletes, making illegal contacts with recruits, etc.  That doesn’t make Knight a saint, but it does say something about his integrity.  In fact, Isiah Thomas’ mother said that the reason she liked Bob Knight was because he didn’t offer her son any “perks” to come to Indiana like the other coaches did.

This is not about Bob Knight, it is about cheating in sports.  No longer can we look the other way and say “so what, it’s not that big of deal.”  Cheating is cheating, and any charge needs to be looked at with fervor.  Does taping a team’s walkthrough really help a team win a football game?  Nobody is sure, but apparently, Bill Belichick thought so as it looks like he was serial offender.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell needs to take a serious look at these charges and if there prove to be true, Belichick should be suspended for his actions—and not just for a game or two.

Send the right message.  If you cheat, you’re gone.   Period. 

John Furgele

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