College Criminals

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In the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated, a six-month study was done on the criminal records of players in NCAA Football. SI (and CBS) performed 7,030 background checks on 2,837 players who were listed on the rosters of the preseason top 25 (SI poll). 

Here is what they found:

  1. About 7 % of the players had been in trouble with the law. This is equivalent to 1 out of every 14 players.
  2. None of the teams checked juvenile records, only two teams did background checks.
  3. Almost 40% of the alleged incidents are considered serious offenses.
  4. The University of Pittsburgh had a chart-topping 22 players on their roster that had a criminal record.
  5. 22 of the 318 athletes from Florida (which allows access to juvenile records) were arrested once before turning 18.
  6. 48% of the players in the overall study were black, and 44.5 % were white. This indicates race was not a major factor.
  7. Texas Christian University had no players with arrests.
  8. University of Cincinnati had five players with arrests.

What this means: For some, seven percent may seem not that high. But for the rest of us, it can be agreed upon that it’s 7% too many players in trouble with the law. Universities have been questioned with whether too much importance is being placed on a team’s statistical performance, rather than on an academic and perhaps most importantly, conduct basis. Pittsburgh’s 22 players with checkered pasts, is very alarming. Maybe it’s not that much of a surprise that the head coach, Dave Wannstedt, was fired after the season.

Here’s a link to the story: