College basketball is out of control and has been for sometime.
In case you missed it last week, the first meeting betweem Kansas University and Kansas State University took place in Lawrence last Tuesday.
KU had a firm grasp of the game and in the waning moments of the contest a K-State player picked-off KU’s Silvio DeSousa’s dribble at about the half-court line and raced to the basket. DeSousa was in hot pursuit and blocked the layup. All was fine at that point.
The K-State player fell to the floor just to the right of the basket and found a towering DeSousa taunting him.
It was “Katy bar the door” at that point. Both benches cleared and the brawl proceeded off the court and into the seating area behind the basket.
It was a full on brawl with wild swinging and at one point, DeSousa picked up a stool of some sort and was ready to take on the world.
Fortunately for the fans, players, officials and assorted athletic staffs from both teams, someone remove the stool from DeSousa’s possession.
Now you are caught up just in case you don’t follow college basketball.
KU coach Bill Self imposed an immediate suspension of DeSousa, which the Big 12 backed up a 12-game suspension of its own.
Three other players received multiple-game suspensions of varying length.
There seems to be a problem in college athletics with football, mens’ and womens’ basketball and maybe baseball and softball. I mean, it wouldn’t be totally unheard of for college baseball to have a bench-clearing brawl.
There is no place in college athletics for violence of any kind. And I suspect that some of these incidents are not first time actions by the players.
Most athletes don’t become violent overnight. It’s a learned pattern, and a lack of self-control.
I suspect there are past behavioral problems with some athlete that are not found out because of our judicial system.
Here is what I propose:
Let’s lower the juvenile protection age for arrest records from 18 to 16.
Let’s allow a college’s legal representative to get involved in recruiting.
Let’s take a look at these “golden boys” from the field and see what they are doing OFF the field of play.
I know my coaching friends are not going to like this, but right now, all you look at is a couple of facets of a prospect’s overall abilities and history.
Sidebar: IF on the off chance Division 1 coaches are privy to this information, why are you bringing them to college?
Like I just said, a lot of these problems didn’t just appear overnight.
If an athletic prospect in any sport has a past history of violent behavior, or drug abuse or sexual predator problems, that should be a huge red flag to the college or university about not only having this person in the program, but on campus as a whole.
By opening up the last two years of the currently sealed limitations, a great deal could be found prior to problems surfacing after the fact.
I don’t want to name names, but there have been a number of high profile cases just within the last decade that if coaches had actually known the type of individual they were recruiting with a checkered past, coaches would have sworn off of him in a heartbeat.
My ultimate goal here is to point out a problem and then provide a potential solution. Remember, these are the same group of athletes some people want to pay money to for the privilege of playing college sports.