Players should have been punished

By on December 6, 2011

On Thursday afternoon, NBC Connecticut reported that three more men’s basketball players were arrested and charged with assault stemming from an on-campus incident on Sept. 18.

Dave Johnson, Jamee Jackson, and Nate Gause were the three players arrested and all three of them played in their game against Sacred Heart on the same day.

According the NBC Connecticut report, four Quinnipiac students were assaulted. One suffered a bruised jaw, cracked tooth and a laceration to the face that required 17 stitches; a second student suffered a broken nose, which required surgery; a third student was allegedly knocked unconscious; and a fourth student suffered facial injuries.

While everyone involved will eventually face whatever punishment is necessary from the school and legal system, it is quite shocking that those players were not disciplined for Thursday’s game.

Head coach Tom Moore said before the game, “All five team members who were involved have already been appropriately disciplined for the September incident by the university and received team sanctions from me as well. No other disciplinary action stemming from this incident is planned at this time.”

While prior action may have been taken, nothing was done about the arrests itself.

The Quinnipiac Student Handbook reads that, “behavior which puts the person in fear for his/her safety, or causes the person to suffer actual physical injury or mental distress, is not tolerated.”

Letting them play Thursday night suggests this behavior is indeed tolerated.

Not only does the Student Handbook indicate that disciplinary action should be taken, but being a student-athlete is a privilege. If you are arrested the day of a game, you should not be allowed to have that privilege to participate.

As a member of the cross-country team, we are told that student-athletes are held to a high standard and that we cannot put ourselves into situations that will get us in trouble. Not only would we be doing a disservice to ourselves, but also to our team and to the school. In the past four years, anytime we have had an “incident” with someone on the team, they would be disciplined and suspended from the next race. It did not matter who it was, or the magnitude of the race, action was taken.

So when I heard that these students played in their basketball game Thursday it seemed unfair and disappointing.

I understand they are still innocent until proven guilty. But at the very least, they should have been suspended for Thursday’s game because they put themselves into a situation that led to their arrest.

Everyone makes mistakes and as college students we don’t always make the right choices, but we learn from them. But if we do not suffer the necessary consequences for our actions, then there is nothing to learn, and the wrong message is being sent.

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About John Healy

Senior Managing Editor
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @jphealy
Year: 2012
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Middletown, N.J.
Dream Job: National baseball writer for ESPN/Sports Illustrated