What's Worse: Jamar Smith vs. Kelvin Sampson

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What's Worse: Jamar Smith vs. Kelvin Sampson

Sometimes questions come up that seem like they have such an obvious answer that they’re hardly worth asking. I thought the question of “Who’s actions were worse, all of Kelvin Sampson’s cheating or Jamar Smith’s drunk driving accident that nearly killed Brian Carlwell” was one of those questions.

It seems obvious to me that the criminal action of driving a car while drunk and nearly killing someone (in this case your friend and teammate) is far worse than continuing to send text messages after you’ve been told it’s against the rules.

The reason this is even worthy of a blog post is because this turned into an argument at work yesterday. I work for the Big Ten Network, and not surprisingly there are some Illinois fans here. In my experience, nine out of every 10 Illinois fans (Illinois basketball fans in particular) are delusional about their team. It’s an“our team doesn’t do anything wrong, your team always does” mentality.

So I figured I’d pit one of the most hated figures in recent Illinois basketball memory against a kid who clearly messed up. I wanted to see just how delusional an Illinois fan could be. One guy in particular didn’t disappoint.

The answer from the guy I’ll refer to as “Hawk”, was that Smith was young and had made a foolish mistake. Who doesn’t make mistakes when they’re young? What Sampson did was worse because he’s older.

SERIOUSLY?!

Now I understand that hatred for Sampson runs deep, and the love for all things Illinois basketball runs even deeper for Illini fans. But to say that what Smith did isn’t worse than what Sampson did is beyond absurd.

Sampson cheated at a game.

Smith nearly killed someone while driving drunk.

So I pose this same question to any other fans who care to answer. Despite my frustration I’m open to a good argument from the other side. But from where I sit right now this seems like a no-brainer.

Here’s a little reading about the Jamar Smith story if you’re unfamiliar:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/20/AR2007022002031.html

The Samspon story: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3243793

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