Friday, August 31, 2007

Of Felons and Football...

Perhaps I'm becoming a “Fuddy-Duddy” in my starting-to-advance years. But I've always believed that if you do something wrong, you should be penalized. It may seem outrageous or unfair, but it serves as good lesson that everyone is accountable for their actions.

Which confuses the hell out of me about the Jerome Hunt thing.

If you've been living in a cave, or out of state, here's the poop. Jerome Hunt was a state champion wrestler from Parker. He was accused and convicted of attempted rape of his teammates. During his legal problems and trial, he dropped out of what would have been his senior year.

Now he's back... at another school anyway.

Hunt is going to West Central, where he is a senior. That's not the issue. I'm all for this young man finishing his education so he can get on with his life. What I have issue with, is the fact that he, a convicted felon, is suiting up for the football team and will more than likely be involved in wrestling.

To me, being involved in high school athletics is a privilege, not a right. I've seen many young men and women being barred from participating with their teams for everything from drinking to poor grades. Frankly, I think a felony conviction would elicit some kind of restriction. But apparently not.

I'm not putting any blame on Kent Mueller, the Trojan Football coach. I've known Kent for a few years. He's a man of principle and follows the rules. My blame rests on the folks who should have put some restriction on this man playing on a high school sports team.

I also have to put some blame on the parents, as it seems they've been “shopping” Mr. Hunt around to different schools as though he were some free agent. Which begs the question.... if they're so concerned about this guy finishing his schooling, why should being involved in sports be such a deciding factor?

To me it reeks of hypocrisy. And I'm a sports director, for crying out loud!


coralhei said...

Right on, Jackrabbit! The whole issue reeks of Hunt, his parents, and others putting sports above education and justice. Hunt could have found any number of ways to complete his education last year -- open enrollment, correspondence courses, etc. -- so he could graduate on time and get on with college or work. Hunt and his parents appear to have been more concerned with making sure he still had a chance to play more sports and win more trophies. Hunt (as well as some others involved in this mess) displays a seriously skewed, selfish, and childish set of values. If the SDHSAA won't take a stand to challenge Hunt's warped bully values, maybe the rest of us need to do so by refusing to let our kids play with him.

Anonymous said...

Get a clue, he never quit school he was not allowed in one of South Dakota schools. He was guilty before it ever went to trial thanks to our legal system and the media. You have no idea what happen in this case and should not be commenting on it. And if you read the papers he is not a felon he was adjudicated in juvenille court on seven counts of attempted rape, a big difference. Get it straight or don't comment..

Jackrabit1 said...

See, that's the nice thing about this blog, I CAN comment. And I can speak as a former teacher and coach that this kid and his family are putting sports above all else.

And if you do not go to school for over a semester, sorry, it's called "dropping out". Get a clue.

Frankly, I know of many good kids who play by the rules, keep their noses clean, and struggle mightily to be eligble to compete in athletics. I've seen and I've had to tell many good kids they couldn't participate because their grades weren't up to snuff.

Now we fast forward to this person who was charged with a felony, and who had committed felonious acts. Where does it say in the SDHSAA constitution that he gets a second chance, wheras other kids cannot? It's a DOUBLE STANDARD. Look that up in the dictionary sometime.

And you know, I'm not passing judgment on him. The courts already took care of that. If it turns out the courts were wrong, I'll say the guy was right. If the decision stands, well, tough cookies.

And you may call me an insensitive prick about this. Frankly, I don't care. I stopped caring what others think of me a long time ago. But if this kid learns a lesson out of this, grows up and becomes a responsible, honorable, decent man, well, I can forgive.

What I cannot forgive are syncophants and apologists who seem to put their own dreams and desires ahead of what's right.

Jackrabit1 said...

And if you'll recall, he was originally charged as an adult with an adult felony. The terminology may be different but the song remains the same. He did bad things... he needs to show accountability.