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Hold football stars accountable

By Glynna McKendree

College football is the lifeblood of all SEC schools.

It is the one thing that brings families and friends together and inspires many to support their teams through good-natured bantering. College is also where young people are encouraged to bring forth their brightest minds and build toward the future.

Unfortunately, college football has engaged in being a steppingstone to the NFL’s troubles with players behaving badly and finding themselves in the midst of violent crimes and prison terms.

Ole Miss’ recent near-miss with two players, brothers with bright professional futures hurting themselves and the school’s reputation, is a perfect example and it comes on the heels of a recent “60 Minutes” story highlighting drug use on the Ole Miss campus and in our community, leaving college and community officials in the throes of damage control. You may think you cannot hold the school accountable for these actions, think again. Job recruiters looking for candidates coming out of school now run background and credit checks, scan social media and use all means available to vet a potential candidate.

One social media post can derail a candidate from the job of their dreams. Why should football programs not do the same?

These kids are coming into programs for their athletic abilities, without consideration of their behavior history, which is not likely to change why … because it means winning and winning means money and bad behavior equals no consequences. Coaches think they are going to change them.

If knowing they have a bright and profitable future in the NFL, coupled with a free five-star education isn’t enough, what is?

There is literally nothing that can stop that runaway recruiting train, including a history of drug use, fighting, lying, stealing, drinking and any number of other bad behaviors. It doesn’t matter what they do while under the tutelage of their coaching mentors, there are no consequences.  We need them to win!

This isn’t the first time Ole Miss has been in this situation and there should be no question that Ole Miss’ recent player’s mishap should keep him off the field.

Likewise, there should have been no question that recent recruits should have not have even been considered all because of histories of bad behavior. Next time, it may not be about drug use … next time it may be about a violent crime committed by a “former” football “star” who was never held accountable for his actions.

Ole Miss is not alone in this drama, but is just front-page news today because of the drama.

Glynna McKendree is an Oxford resident and can be reached at gmckendree@bellsouth.net.