20 October 2006

Go Canes

Last Saturday I was watching the Miami-Auburn game on ESPN, and was as surprised as anyone to see the massive brawl between the University of Miami and Florida International University. The fight was shocking and unfortunate, and the actions of players on both sides cannot be condoned. Having been a longtime fan of the Canes, its possible that I was readier to forgive them than most, but what I have seen over the past week has been astounding.

Stewart Mandel is a writer for Sports Illustrated. He was quite critical in an article this week on SI's website, but it is his follow-up that I wanted to mention. He questions that zeal with which many commentators have criticized Miami's program:

You might not believe this -- you might not want to believe this -- but over the past decade, Miami has had fewer player arrests or NCAA-related incidents than almost any other major program in the country. Miami has not had 20-plus incidents involving shoplifting, assault, gun charges and failed drug tests over the past two years, as Tennessee has. Miami has not had to dismiss a star player for earning money through a phony job, as Oklahoma has. Miami has not had a star linebacker accused of sexual assault on the eve of its bowl game as Florida State did last year. And Miami's most recent Academic Progress Rate (956) placed it in the top 20 to 30 percent of all Division I football programs.

What the Miami players did was wrong, but the self-righteousness of the Sports media disgusts me.

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