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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Six Pack of Beer > Six Stolen Laptops

Write a blog about hypocrisy at big-time college sports programs... you'll certainly never run out of material.

The latest entry features our old friends at the University of Connecticut. You remember them -- the same guys who suspended future NBA player Marcus Williams for a semester, and reserve-player-recovering from a life-threatening disease AJ Price for an entire year, after the two were caught up in the theft of some laptops. At the time, much was made of the apparent inequity between the two suspensions, and UConn coach Jim Calhoun washed his hands of the affair, claiming that a university disciplinary committee handed down the punishments.

(Right. Jim Calhoun has no say over what happens to his players. I'd be more inclined to believe that Jodi Rell runs legislation past stutterin' Jim before she signs anything into law. But I digress.)

So now, thanks to Deadspin, we have the story of five Connecticut football players who have been dismissed from the team. Their transgression? They are under 21, and they purchased a couple of six-packs of beer.

Couple of points worth noting:

  • They bought the beer. They didn't steal it. And this was reportedly a first offense for the students involved.
  • Even if they HAD stolen the beers, we're pretty sure that a laptop costs a whole lot more money, Moore's Law be damned.
  • According to the Hartford Courant, the punishment was handed down by coach Randy Edsall -- not some mysterious disciplinary committee.
  • I may be going out on a limb here, but I haven't seen any of these kids' names on Mel Kiper's big board.
So what have we learned? At the University of Connecticut, it is worse for an underage player to purchase a six-pack of beer than to steal and attempt to fence fellow students' laptops. I wonder if they have a course in ethics up there in Storrs.

I hope Jonathan the Husky is hanging his tail between his legs in shame.


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