Life Is About Choices: Lewis Jackson of Purdue at Crossroads After Misdemeanors

Justin YoungContributor IApril 19, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 21:  Lewis Jackson #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers drives past Isaiah Thomas #2 of the Washington Huskies in the second half during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Rose Garden on March 21, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The concept of student athletes making the same types of poor decisions is becoming practically cliché. During the early hours of Wednesday, April 15, Lewis Jackson, the sophomore with tremendous potential, was stopped for speeding in his native Illinois.

These kinds of incidents are seemingly becoming a broken record of sorts. We all get the "here we go again" feeling whenever a program has a student athlete make poor decisions.

Lewis is facing four charges stemming from possession and consumption of alcohol and marijuana. All charges are filed as misdemeanors. Nevertheless, opportunities like this can become turning points in a young person’s life.

To think that kids will never make the wrong choice is ignorant on society's part. However, how we address these coachable moments can be the difference between an individual growing up to be a shining example of redemption and another example of failure to reach one's potential.

This reminds me of the Mike Robinson situation that was similar and different at the same time. The charges were totally different. Mike Robinson was a small forward for Gene Keady in the '90s who was caught up in shoplifting charges.

The reason for the correlation was that Mike grew from the experience. Not only did he become a more mature individual, but he actually became a better leader on the court. Most of us grow from absorbing the consequences from our decisions and overcoming the adversity.

I just hope that Lewis becomes better and more mature from this situation. Not only does he have to face the consequences himself, but his teammates will be sharing the burden of those same consequences as well.