The Blame Game: When Student Athletes Go Bad

John WhiteCorrespondent IIINovember 12, 2009

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: Lane Kiffin, head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers talks in the press conference after a game against the UCLA Bruins on September 12, 2009 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. UCLA beat Tennessee 19-15. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Let the media onslaught and finger pointing begin.

Anybody that knows anything about the history of the SEC can speculate where the blame falls when student athletes go bad. "Hey it's the coaches fault!" "No wait it's the programs fault, oh yeah...that is the coach." The problem with all this is that nobody ever places the blame where it belongs, the student athletes.

Now before you crucify me for not mentioning the parents, understand that the parents kinda leave the picture when the kids arrive on campus. The coaches err..uh program can only babysit these guys so much. They have them at practice, team meetings, more practices, the dorms, and classes. If they are going to go rogue they will find a way, and apparently many have, past and present.

It really is a shame though. These kids were gifted with athletic talent and because of that they are given an opportunity to better themselves in exchange for their efforts and dedication to collegiate institutions. They have all resources made available to them to earn a college degree and through their athleticism a fighting chance to make a lot of money providing they make it to the pros.

Now you can point your fingers  at individual universities and proclaim they give away too many scholarships to bad kids. Well in my humble opinion it still falls on the athlete to take advantage of what's given to them.

They are the ones with DUIs, the rapes, the burglaries, batteries, robberies, and anything else under the rainbow. They are mentored, all be it some better than others but nonetheless they are still given guidance. "Don't do drugs." "Don't do anything to get arrested, be better citizens."

It's not Kiffin's fault, or Saban's, or Meyer's, or Spurrier's. These guys are trying to run football teams and win. You can't watch these kids 24 hours a day. They try I can asure you, but when everything is said and done these young men have to stand up and grow up. If you know of a single school that has not had problems with criminal activity and their athletes please let me know, I'll start saving for my kids tuition now.