Bahn: Arrested Razorbacks Have Themselves To Blame, Not Coaches Or The System

by Chris Bahn  on Tuesday, May. 15, 2012 11:50 am  

It was during the review of security camera footage that University of Arkansas police spotted three men checking for unlocked dorm rooms, entering and leaving with an assortment of goods that were not their property.

Best we can tell from the police report, not a single one of the culprits was football coach John L. Smith. He wasn’t the perpetrator making off with loot that included laptops.

Watching the video and talking with witnesses, more than 400 other Razorback athletes and tens of thousands of cash-strapped college students were ruled out as the alleged burglars. They weren’t looking for items that could be turned into cash.

Former football coach Bobby Petrino, who was guilty of plenty in his 4.5 years on campus, was not housing stolen textbooks, DVDs or laptops in his home. That was a different man.

None of the above parties were involved. Nor were they participants in the three other football-related arrests that occurred this spring.

Wide receiver Marquel Wade (one count of residential burglary) was named with receiver Mardrecus Humprhey and tight end Andrew Peterson (nine counts for both of them) as the ones stealing from other students. 

Naturally, folks are looking for somebody or something to blame.

Perhaps Smith is too nice to the players, so they broke the law. Maybe it’s Petrino’s fault for recruiting a certain type of player or setting a bad example with his off-field behavior.

Could the culprit be the lack of spending money at the disposal of college football players?

Hog wash.

There is an argument to be made that the multi-billion industry of college sports should do more to compensate its athletes. But let’s not use the stupidity of a few football players at Arkansas to make that point. It only weakens the argument when you consider that no other athletes were involved and they’re getting a lot less for their efforts than the football players.

Track and golf athletes are on partial scholarships. Somehow they manage to compete for national titles and prop up the grade point averages for the athletic department all while not stealing from students who are racking up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to attend college. And just to clear up a myth: football players can get jobs in the summer. Many of them do.



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