Thursday, November 17, 2005

 

Standards of Conduct in College Athletics

Eroded by judicial fiat?

A Fulton County Judge has ordered Georgia Tech to reinstate a football player facing felony drug charges and who has been suspended from the team all season:
'I feel compelled to say that this decision will send shock waves through college athletics programs around the country,' (Georgia Tech AD Dave) Braine said. 'Playing college football, especially at a school like Georgia Tech, is a privilege, not a right. We must be able to set standards of conduct for our student-athletes, and we must be able to enforce and maintain discipline.'

In the order, Brogdon wrote his ruling came despite having 'wariness and trepidation regarding inappropriate judicial scrutiny and interference with the operation, management and administration of an educational institution.'

Brogdon said Georgia Tech's decision to expel Houston, then readmit him but exclude him from football 'was arbitrary and strikingly dissimilar to the school's treatment of other similarly situated athletes who have been accused of breaking the law.'

An openly incredulous Braine questioned the basis for the judge ruling that Tech had used uneven standards with Houston.

'I don't know how you can read into that because we've never had a felony charge before,' Braine said. 'How it could be uneven, I don't know.'
At least the judge thought twice before making such a seemingly arbitrary ruling.

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