What so many people are missing is the larger issue of athletic superstardom/entitlement over common sense and recognition of the rule of law. This isn't a black/white issue, or conservative/liberal issue, it's a societal issue.
When a football player at any university is involved in a hit and run accident and is only given a moving violation ticket, that's erasing a Class 2 felony from the books. When a couple of football players are arrested for sexual assault, that's an insult to the university, the athletic department, donors, fans and everyone associated with the school. And when the athletic department of a university continues to sign players kicked out of other universities for stealing computers and money, that's equally embarrassing to everything an academic institution represents.
But we shouldn't be surprised, the list of criminal acts by professional and college athletes continues to grow, just like the profits and TV ratings climb high and higher.
And, how in the world can anyone correlate the actions on college campuses to any president, past or present? Was Obama president when Clemson and Florida were put on NCAA probation for multiple offenses, including a booster paying for girlfriends' abortions at Florida? Was Obama president when Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll broke numerous NCAA rules? Was Obama president when Barry Switzer ran one of the dirtiest programs in the history of college athletics?
Of course he wasn't!
Again, this is a societal issue that has gained momentum with each passing decade and has created a rotten core ton the games so many of us used to love.
I often wonder what makes people tick. We host an amazing event creating an amazing amount of publicity for our community, bringing a major economic impact to the community and some in our community resort to Animal House tactics to try ruin it all. Think of all the jobs that are impacted: hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, athletic equipment, gas stations, on and on.
In so many ways, it's easier to be a jerk instead of being a productive citizen. When, in reality, it's so much more rewarding to volunteer for the event, cheer on the sidelines or any number of positive activities that lend assistance to making Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley a better place to live, work and enjoy.
I hope these vandals are apprehended and convicted of their crimes. I have many ideas for punishment, but I'll leave that to the judge.
Great column, David!
What I'd really like to see is a complete rewrite of the tax codes. It is completely unfair for corporations to use loop holes to escape their responsibilities. While it's true corporations pay for fuel and service fees, their trucks run on our highways. Their products are shipped on railroads. However, it is unconscionable for companies to continue to find ways to avoid paying taxes on their profits – paid for by the majority of Americans – and not be responsible business citizens.
For companies like GE and others to make billions in profits and not pay their fair share is, well, unfair.
The complaint is that US corporate taxes are too high. That's true. But when you throw in the lack of payment by the corporations, the rate is unbalanced.
Rewrite the tax code. Get rid of tax loopholes. Make sure taxation is equal for all income levels. And the money will be there.
Quote from Dick Cheney: "Ronald Reagan taught us that deficits don't matter."
America's debt is like a ping-pong ball. When one side of the political aisle is out of power, it's the other side's problem. When the other side is out of power, the argument flips.
I distinctly remember the debts incurred during the Reagan and GW Bush administrations, and, after working to balance long term debt during the Clinton administration, GW Bush tripled the debt with two wars that weren't paid for and a Medicare bill that wasn't funded. Like many people, I was upset by the rising debt, and often mentioned it to my conservative friends, all of whom quoted Dick Cheney.
As soon as Obama was sworn into office, conservatives wanted an "Adult conversation about the deficit." Really? Really?
Back to the wars, for the first time in our country's history, we went to war without a war tax ... a tax that has always been used to pay for all the thing necessary to wage war. The taxes remained high after WWII because of the extreme amount of money required to fight wars in two theaters of operation, finance and produce weapons/munitions for the Russians, UK, Free French, Free Poles etc etc and the reconstruction of Germany/Europe and Japan.
Yes, deficits have increased during the Obama administration, a good portion of it the interest on the debt from the GW administration and the continuation of the wars. At the same time, through the sequester and other cuts, the deficit is rolling back at a much quicker rate than expected.
I am neither a Democrat or Republican. I vote for the candidate. As far as I'm concerned, both parties and the cable networks supporting them are nothing more than a reality version of George Orwell's hate week. Or as Buffalo Springfield sang in their song "For What It's Worth": Nobody's right if everybody's wrong."
joneses, I have nothing against the cross. In fact, I wear a crucifix all the time. It was given to me 44 years ago. This isn't about tolerance, it's about helping the poor. Your referencing the government's assistance to Solyndra is off topic. The government has provided monies to countless projects through the years, like the Osprey plane that was billions of dollars over budget, or the G.W. Bush bailout of financial institutions without mandates to loan money to businesses. That's another subject, and it can be debated on another forum.
This is about a church and its priorities ... another freedom, yes, but is it the best use of resources when so many people have other needs?
That's the discussion. It's pretty simple.
Another great piece, David. As soon as I read the story I thought of all the things that could be done to help those in need. I understand that many will be offended by this column; at the same time, those dollars could have been spent on adult literacy programs, training for care dogs for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan ... the list is endless.
I understand that the church has a series of charitable activities, which I highly value and support. And I know the folks who built and installed the crossed will receive compensation. But like another writer stated, the best way to spread Christianity is through good works and charity. Big churches and big images are a big turn-off to those who question the motives of the church as a whole.
Better to feed, cloth, educate and visit folks in need. Those have always been the biggest necessities. Sadly, they always will be.
Some people just need to grow up. This isn't about UT or Alabama, it's about helping charities and Nick Saban is one of the best drawing cards in the country.
If this is all people care about, then they really have their priorities out of order.
No one's perfect, especially me, but in recent years many Bama fans have taken the team's success and lack of player legal troubles as a sign that Saint Saban is running a perfect program.
While I understand that fans often get a little crazy about their team, many often forget that all of the schools recruit the same players, so don't be surprised when one of the accused is your own.
I really wish there was a silver bullet to stop student-athletes from bringing shame on their team, university and family.
Sadly that will never happen.
Jamarcus Russell is my poster child for quarterbacks to remain in college football as long as they can. That, plus someone to put a foot up their rear-ends when they don't do all their prep work the week of games, during the off-season and maintaining physical training.
There have been countless busts among top college QBs through the year, but getting more college reps is one of the primary tools they can have. That, and playing in a pro-oriented offense.
I wish Russell well; who ever told him to leave LSU after his junior year is probably hiding under a rock these days.
The prison statistics in the US are revealing: we have more people in prison than China.
Former prosecutors from throughout the country admit that the current system is terribly flawed.
Some how, some way, our country needs to develop a system where the number of crimes are reduced and sentences actually fit the crime.
Yes, personal accountability is a must; however, the number of people stuck in jails is a national disgrace and a severe burden on community, state and federal budgets!