Glass Houses

It was a simple question, and the immediate response spoke volumes. I was soliciting a response from the ordained leader of all University of Colorado fans, radio talk show host Joe Williams. He told me exactly what I expected to hear.

You see, according to "CU fan," the on-going legal mess in Boulder, involving CU football players and their conduct while hosting potential recruits last December, is "not a story." According to Mr. Williams – and yes, he speaks for most CU fans, "College kids drink beer. I'm not condoning it, I'm just pointing out that it happens. It's not a story."

So I asked Joe, point blank, would this be a story if all this stuff were going on in say, Lincoln, Nebraska?

"Of course it would!" he exclaimed.

Point made.

There are actually two points to be made about this mess and the gross double standard in action here. First, what's going on at CU IS a story, and the players involved deserve punishment for (allegedly) supplying alcohol and marijuana to high schools football players in Boulder on recruiting visits. The athletic department should be liable too, if these allegations prove true. They chose the "host" players, gave them spending money, then looked the other way.  Head Coach Gary Barnett was quoted as saying that it was "unrealistic" to expect this "behavior" to be closely monitored (and thereby prevented.) If I'm a parent of a potential recruit, and I hear the Head Coach say that closely watching my kid while he's in Boulder is too much for him to handle, and acknowledging that "partying" is part of the package, you think I'm letting my child get on that airplane?

As ridiculous as Barnett's statement sounds, where is the NCAA in all this? Remember, the NCAA is investigating CU for "lack of institutional control" during the Rick Neuheisel era for, among other small things, letting potential recruits leave with CU T-shirts and caps. I guess it's okay in the NCAA's eyes for them to leave with hangovers.

I know there are CU fans out there saying, "What's the big deal? So what if they went to college parties and drank beer. You gonna tell me that they don't do that at Nebraska, Oklahoma and everywhere else?"

Which brings us to the second point.

Yes, they probably do do this a other places (although not usually to this extreme, it would seem. We certainly would hear about it if this sort of thing happened elsewhere…). You're admitting it, CU fan - alas, your school is just as bad as everyone else.

For years, CU fan has thrown rocks (and worse) at Nebraska, calling them "The Con-huskers," the "evil red horde" and the like. Nebraska has been painted as a renegade program, and according to CU fan, all of their success is a direct result of suiting up a team of criminals every Saturday.

Now the cleat is back on the other foot. I say ‘back,' because in the years preceding CU's national title team in 1990, there was also a long list of off the field "indiscretions." (Anyone else see a correlation between the Buffs on field success and their off the field problems?) Remember that four other CU players have been kicked off the current team (at least temporarily) for alcohol related stuff since the end of last season.

Face it CU fan, your team is no different than Nebraska, Miami, Florida State and the others.  College kids everywhere get into trouble. In order to close the gap between your team and those national powers, your coaches have started bringing in more "questionable character" players and letting them run loose.

Think about it before you hurl the next stone, because when you do, you're liable to take down your own glass house. Now that would be a story.

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