Some Thoughts on Integrity

Folks, I can’t let this one pass us by. Barry Switzer has gone on the record, discussing how he helped Oklahoma players get out of minor criminal charges when he was head coach. Really?

Warning: there are potty words, mostly in Switzer’s direct quotes, because he like to keep things klassy.

This is the same guy who was arrested for trying to take a gun onto an airplane in his carry-on luggage. Fun facts: he claims it was a “mistake,” and at his five-minute hearing, he came and went through the judge’s chambers. Without the judge’s permission. Nice!

Do you remember Switzer during his tenure at OU? I certainly do. If he admits to retrieving players from the drunk tank, because “[t]he sheriff was a friend of the program,” you can bet there were far more serious offenses he also “handled.” It is impossible to believe that no players committed an offense more serious than getting in a drunken fight outside a bar. I mean come on, players shouldn’t have to take responsibility for their actions! Consequences, schmonsequences. What could go wrong?

It is also worth noting that Oklahoma currently has two redshirt players who are under investigation for committing acts of violence against women. Let that sink in. The Sooners think it’s appropriate to have players on their roster who are alleged to have physically assaulted another person, one of them an intimate partner of the player.

Dorial Green-Beckham was ruled ineligible for the 2014 season by the NCAA due to the charges, after Oklahoma sought a waiver due to hardship so the wide receiver could play. He was dismissed from Missouri after two years due to his numerous encounters with law enforcement. Luckily, he has a home in Norman.

Joe Mixon was only charged with a misdemeanor after punching a woman in the face in a restaurant. Sound familiar? The woman claims he broke four bones in her face. Mixon’s attorney claims his client was protecting himself “from a very intoxicated and troubled young woman.” I mean really, aren’t they ALL troubled young women when they accuse an athlete of anything?

Coach Strong has booted players for not following his rules, which consist of going to class and being honest. Two Texas players were also accused of a sexual assault during the summer.

They are no longer on the team.

What kind of team do we want to support? Not to get all soap-boxy, but this is a legitimate problem in sports. The creation of athlete-divas is unhealthy, whether it’s at the college or professional level. If an athlete can’t control him- or herself off the field, should he or she be on the field? Being an athlete is a privilege. It comes with perks, for sure, but also a large responsibility.

For my part, I’m pleased with Coach Strong’s zero tolerance approach to this kind of issue. Integrity on the field and off, because Coach Strong isn’t having it.

Hook ‘em!

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