Nov
11

The Land of Second Chances

blount

With the recent reinstatement of Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount, the era of second chances continues in the world of sports.

America is and always has been a land of second chances. Throughout America’s history, immigrants have fled from persecution, whether it be religious, racial, or economic, to start anew in the United States. Whatever they had done in their prior lives was wiped clean when they set foot on American soil and they were given a second chance. The sky was the limit and this is one of the aspects which makes America so great. Most of our ancestors were the product of second chances and therefore we, as a people, are predisposed to sympathize with individuals who are in a position to garner another shot.

Whatever reason it may be, the last few years have brought this willingness to forgive to the forefront of the world of athletics. Athletes have always been misbehaving, but the way in which respective leagues deal with this misbehavior has changed throughout the years. From minimal sanctions to extreme sanctions, I believe commissioners and coaches have finally found a happy medium in how to deal with misbehaving athletes. Depending on the infraction, the coach should over-punish the athlete. This tactic garners the praise of the commissioner, the other schools within the conference, and the general public. It reinforces the idea that the main purpose of collegiate athletics is to promote equality, professionalism, and sportsmanship. As difficult as it might be for a coach to over-punish his star player, the benefits far outweigh the burdens in the long run. If, as in Blount’s case, the coach wishes to re-instate the player down the road, he can have the latitude to make this choice without backlash or uproar from anyone. If the coach takes the matter out of the commissioner’s hand at the outset, then he is the one who can decide how to proceed further down the road.

Whether it be Michael Vick or LeGarrette Blount, truly remorseful athletes are and should be given second chances. Not third or fourth chances, but second chances. Regardless of whether or not they succeed, if they have shown legitimate remorse, they deserve the opportunity to prove that they understand their mistakes and are ready to move forward.

  • http://yahoo the fig

    I am in total agreement that a person is entitled to a second chance and that is fair, just and equitable . MY only problem is that the decision to not allow the athlete to participate for the entiree season appears never to have been the actual intended punishment for the behavior demonstrated. It would be better for the school and coach to suspend the player for whatever number of games and once this hace been completed the athlete can be reinstated, if deserved. People will say ah, Oregon is fighting for the PAC 10 lead and a shot at a big bowl game how convenient to reinstate at this time.

    There is enough thought that big time sports programs are manipulated.

    • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

      How is it any different than a court handing down a life sentence and then lowering the number of years in jail because of good behavior? I think that guys like Blount need to have a heavy penalty that can later be reduced as long as he exemplifies good character.

  • http://www.sportsagentlawyer.com/ Jason Wolf

    If I’m not mistake, the difference is that the Blount suspension was cast publicly as lasting the entire season. It was only a few weeks after the suspension was handed down that the news broke that it was not actually going to last the entire season. Had OU officials said from the beginning that the suspension is “indefinite” or specifically stated that he could be reinstated pending completion of certain benchmarks, then it would be different in my opinion.

  • bobby rosenberg

    Its really noboy’s business execept blount, blount’s family and the oregon athletic dept. I think most people believe that Blount’s punishment fit the crime. If they had come out and said there is a certain criteria he had to meet and then he may be allowed to come back. People would have screamed they are being to easy on him. For a situation that could be classified as a ‘can’t win situation’ I believe Oregon has handled it very well.