I was shocked when I read these news articles (here and here), which spotlight an apparent end-run around the California law I proposed and helped pass.*
Nobody is above the law — not athletes, not their coaches, and certainly not publicly-funded academic institutions and athletic associations. As Governor Schwarzenegger suggested at the signing ceremony, we’re all equally responsible for upholding this piece of legislation.
I spoke many times on the bill’s behalf — before college representatives and state legislators, among others. The legislative process was open to public testimony, pro and con, but I don’t recall the proposed bill being openly challenged by the individuals cited in the aforementioned articles. The final vote was nearly unanimous, in favor of the proposed legislation. (There was only one ‘no’ vote, which is almost unheard of.) And many elected officials, dignitaries, and public safety groups (pdf) gave their full support for the bill’s passage. As one legislative committee member said, “This is a no brainer, isn’t it?”
So why hasn’t this story been widely publicized? I wish the involved parties would be more forthcoming (pdf), and that the underlying issues would get broader exposure. More daylight, please, like this. And I hope an appropriate measure of accountability is meted out to anyone who’s found guilty of flagrantly violating, or surruptitiously circumventing, this law.
*In brief, Section 67362, which was added to the California Education Code, prevents college athletes who have been convicted of a violent felony from playing college team sports until after they complete their terms of incarceration and any supervised period of parole or probation. NOTE: It does not prevent in any way their participation in educational opportunities and co-curricular events available to all eligible students.
What I love (read: hate) is how they minimize this player’s previous actions. I followed a couple links and one article mmerely said he’d previously been “arrested” for sexual assault. Another states he “has been on parole since April 4, 2005, for a charge of assault to commit a specific sex crime.”
Excuse me? You are not only parole because you’ve been arrested and/or charged. You get parole after you’re CONVICTED and serve time.
No surprise this hasn’t gotten more attention when they minimize it so much in the newspaper articles.
Those are college newspaper articles, so the author(s) may not be schooled on the nuances of our penal system. I know I learned a lot when I was sponsoring this bill. Still, I checked and couldn’t find a regular newspaper that covered this issue. A Google search produced one by the Examiner, but the website said “not found” when I followed the link. Hmmm. I’d really like to hear the full story.
Somebody should “school” them. I’ll volunteer! 🙂
I understand your outrage. It seems the punishment of an athletic crime goes down with his ability to play. It is unfortunate this is the case but all one has to do is look around at all the money football, basketball, and baseball brings in to a university. Millions this weekend here in Lubbock as Texas Tech is playing Texas. Not a hotel/ motel room within 50 miles of Lubbock can be found. If this coach knew and did nothing, fire him. As far as the student, put his butt so far back in prison that the sun doesn’t rise until 3:30 in the afternoon. A little tough? Maybe so but it is time for us to take control. Raise some hell out there with the Guv.
Thank you so much for weighing in, PapaDan. I really appreciate your support.
I want to believe that, regardless of one’s personal perspectives or private allegiances, we are all committed to the greater good.
This must make your blood boil and/or your heart ache. I’m so sorry this stuff keeps happening. We’ve got some seriously messed up priorities going on.
Yes, it does both. Thanks for the sympathy, Tracy, but honestly? I worked hard to pass this law on behalf of ALL citizens. I should think everyone would be concerned.
Absolutely. It pisses me off, too, but I know it hits especially close to home for you.
Sigh. You’re right, and thank you for reading between the lines. It’s very, very disheartening.
You’re right, there isn’t much publicity about this. Thank you for “ranting” and working for change.
and sending peace to your heart, too; you’re doing good.
This isn’t a life-threatening issue, of course, but it’s still very important — at least for me. I’m so grateful for your very kind words. (HUGS)
This makes me wish I had magical powers…and could zap some sense into people.
Oh, me, too!!
Wow. I’m so sorry, Melodye. I know this is something that we should all rightly be outraged about, but I know how personal this must be for you. As for why it’s not being covered by our lovely media? Simply and probably callously put, it’s just a sexy enough story. Now had the guy maybe murdered somebody in some grand fashion? That might have gotten a paragraph on page 12. It’s ridiculous. I know how hard you worked on this and how proud you are of it. To have the law you put so much of yourself into violated, circumvented or otherwise dismissed is just disgusting.
Perhaps we should start a letter writing campaign to the school and local media outlets? If the local papers picked it up, we could see a snowball effect? Maybe?
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