Team Captains Dictate Punishment for Fellow Players

Michael LanichCorrespondent IMay 23, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 22:  Glenn Winston #41 of the Michigan State Spartans is stopped for a loss by Josh Hull #43 and Tyrell Sales #46 of the Penn State Nittany Lions on November 22, 2008 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

As you can tell I am a die-hard Penn State fan.  Over the last few years we, like so many other programs across the country, have had our fair share of problems with our student athletes.

The head coach of course is the one who normally dictates the severity of the punishment.  While that is normally enough, I wonder if there are many times when it is not.

We live in an era of prima donnas, and spoiled athletes who have been hyped practically since birth.  Where coaches once had to deal with one or two of these type of players over the years, now they make up a good portion of the team.

Coaches find it harder and harder to level punishments that cause players to learn from their mistakes.  Players may love and respect their coach, but they don't LOVE and Respect their coach. 

However, there are people who players respond to and that would be their teammates.  These are the men they have to answer to when they mess up.  When they are sitting on the sidelines in a close game they are suspended from playing, it's the shame and realization of their stupidity that is effective.

I think though that there may be a way to really make these players think twice about what they do when confronted with a situation that likely will cause them to get into trouble.  The team captains will be in charge of their punishment.

It must be embarrassing for a team captain when their fellow players get into trouble.  While they cannot truly control another players actions, it is their responsibility to teach them how to behave and act the right way on and off of the field.  If they care about the program, I would think that it is something they would take it seriously.

Now the punishment would be coming from a teammate or group of teammates that you must answer as to why you go drunk and tried to drive home, or were caught with drugs and trust me, I bet their punishments would be as bad if not worse than the head coache's.

Of course the punishments would have to be approved by the head coach, but I bet you would see a drastic drop in the amount of off-field incidents if this were implemented.  It's one thing to get screamed at by a boss, but quite another to get it from a friend when you know you deserve it.