Column: Who should shoulder the blame?

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, November 24, 2004

By Staff
There is a lot of finger pointing going on right now in regards to the general decline of social values in America.
A pair of sports brawls have gotten everyone involved and each group seems to want to blame someone else for their problems.
The truth of the matter is that there is plenty of blame to go around.
For the past few years you have seen a general decline in the acceptable behavior in all of sports.
Basketball and football have fallen the farthest and the fastest.
It started quite some time ago, but more recently, the arrests for drug use have been on the rise.
Add into that mix the Kobe Bryant situation, and you can see a pattern forming.
Now with the latest incident between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers, something has got to be done.
It's time that the National Basketball Association step forward and get a grip on their players.
But let's not blame just the NBA.
On Saturday a fight between Clemson and South Carolina proved once again that athletes at times cannot control their emotions.
I was disappointed to see the Clemson coach blaming the fact that his players watched the NBA fiasco over and over again as a reason for the fight.
I was proud of Clemson and South Carolina school officials, who have already declared that their schools will not be participating in a bowl game this season despite having qualified for one.
NBA commissioner David Stern will probably be under cut by some court on the suspensions.
I believe that they were justified. In fact, he could have gone even farther with a couple of the players.
Hitting them in the pocket book might be the right motivator.
Instead of just getting them for a couple thousand, Stern's penalties will amount in the millions.
Now that is something even an NBA player can appreciate as a consequence.
Let's hope that someone learns from this harsh lesson.
I especially want high school athletes to take notice.
This behavior is unacceptable no matter who you are or how much money you make.
Can't we all just get along.