Proposal 1: Violence involving Student Athletes

For my white paper, I want to look into campus violence involving athletes and how schools and the NCAA are taking a stance on it. The idea came from two players that I mentioned in my think tank blog, JayVaughn Pinkston and Tommy Rees. Both got into fights. Pinkston fought two Villanova students and Rees hit a police officer. What also made me want to look into this was the email our student body received about someone threatening another person with a machete not so long ago in Lewisburg.

The NCAA held a think tank on the issue of violence on college campuses. The NCAA believes that the role of athletics can help in fixing the problem. The president of the NCAA explained, “I don’t know a campus in the country that hasn’t tried from one degree or another to combat this issue,” Emmert said. “It has special resonance for us in intercollegiate athletics and we want to make sure we’re doing all that we can.”

In an article from ESPN, it highlights examples of violence that NCAA athletes have engaged in. They explain, for example, if there is a fight in a college basketball, the players are suspended for the next game. If they fight again, then they are out for the rest of the season. Anything that happens off the court, consequences are solely at the discretion of the university. Professional sports on the other hand can deal out consequences for off-the-field behavior. I think the NCAA should do this as well. The article highlights that athletes don’t receive harsh enough penalties.

Here’s an example the article highlights, “In February, Oregon running back LaMichael James was arrested and charged with assault after allegedly grabbing his girlfriend by the neck and throwing her to the ground. He sat out the Ducks’ first game of the season. He has since rushed for 848 yards.” Was the punishment enough?

For my white paper I want to look into what colleges around the country are doing to deal with violence caused by athletes on campus. Do they hold athletes to a higher standard? Should the NCAA get involved with punishments that happen “off the court.” I want to analyze the difference in punishments given to athletes and non-athletes.


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