It is an unfortunate reality that athletes are not always ideal role models. Every school racks up some Fulmer Cup points now and again and sometimes someone truly vile is good enough at sports to play for a major college. The Pac-12 certainly isn't immune to this and there have been some disgusting acts allegedly perpetrated by athletes in the last few years at schools like Oregon State, Washington, and yes, even WSU.
In these incidents the coaches and schools are rarely to blame. Many coaches see a young, gifted but somewhat troubled athlete who was not given the opportunities that many of us took for granted growing up and believe they can help turn their lives around. They give them structure, accountability and provide a whole host of incentives to toe the line and reclaim their lives through a college education. For every athlete who turns up in the police blogs for shoplifting, how many more avoided a far more serious life of crime by becoming part of a team and going to college?
So what makes the news out of Oregon yesterday even more troubling is the seeming lack of vetting or discretion taken when deciding to place these athletes in a population of students. One of the players had previously been investigated for sexual assault at another university. The other two also had previous, although nonviolent, rule-breaking episodes. The Ducks have had great success under Dana Altman bringing in transfers. But at some point does a team of mercenaries beget a mercenary culture?
On a lighter note, check out some WSU links after the jump.
—In case you missed it we took a long look at all that's changed at WSU in Bill Moos' four years as athletic director.
—We also had a blog post about WSU's growing nutrition program.
—CougCenter was good enough to recap a couple of Mike Leach teleconferences.
—Could Cal's recruiting loss be WSU's gain? (This is a Scout.com pay article.)