October 16, 2006, - 11:17 am

What Will Donna Do?: Miami Players Should Be Expelled

By Debbie Schlussel
Donna Shalala has a very easy decision to make.
But in the world of professional athletics that parades as American higher education, odds are that she won’t make it. Her hemming and hawing is already echoing loud and clear.
Shalala heads the University of Miami, 13 of whose football players were suspended from their next college football game.
They started and engaged in a violent brawl against Florida International University players, Saturday. The violence included some Miami players literally stomping on those of the opposing team.
This kind of violence shouldn’t be tolerated, whether on the sidelines of a college football game or on the civilian streets of America. Thuggery is thuggery.

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But don’t tell that to Shalala. The former Clinton Secretary of Health and Human Services pays lip service to the right slogans. Yet, she’s far from doing the right thing when it comes to the general well-being of her own campus or the well-being of American academia.
According to the Denver Post, Shalala e-mailed the Miami Herald, Saturday night, that “Unsportsmanlike behavior is unacceptable, period, no matter who started it.”
Unacceptable? Unsportsmanlike? Both words are shocking understatements. People could have been killed.
The Miami players? They’re only suspended for one game. Hardly treatment for this degree of violence. Ditto for 18 other players from FIU, but that school–with a lackluster football program–has much less to lose.
“These suspensions send a clear and definitive message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. But it is being tolerated. A zero tolerance policy would result in much more harsh and deserving punishment for such unacceptable behavior.
And the double standard is striking. TV analyst Lamar Thomas, a former Miami and NFL player, was fired for saying that this “whupping” was somehow deserved because FIU players “came into our house.”
He should have been fired. But the players who actually did the “whupping” should be, too. By fired, they should have their scholarships canceled, their season canceled, and their chance to ever play in the NCAA again canceled. And they should be expelled.
Don’t count on anything close to that ever happening. These 31 thugs are money in the bank for Miami. No football season means no money from the unprincipled, lumpen proletariat alumni base that makes up not just the Miami alumni donor pool, but that of every college or university with a major sports program.
These funders of college athletics who allow this violence to go on are more outraged by an 8-4 season than they will ever be over unbridled violence of members of the home team.
Football players will be football players. You take the boys out of the killing fields of America, you can’t take the killing fields of America out of the boys.
Sorry, but we have to expect more. We have the right to expect more.
Tax deductions and tax-free donations to NCAA schools are de facto subsidies from America’s taxpayers. So long as taxpayers finance these college programs, humane behavior must be demanded. We’re not talking the violence of tackles and the pulling of face masks during play. We’re talking benched players who left the bench en masse to go wilding.
It’s not about race either. For every suspended Miami player who is Black, there’s a Ryan Tucker, who is White, and nearly killed a man while he was a football player at Texas Christian University. (The man was read his last rites.)
It’s about college sports run amok, and wannabe pro sports team general managers, like Shalala, who are running major athletic farm systems that have no business being on campus.
Congress recently sent a letter to the NCAA’s Myles Brand asking questions and demanding answers about what taxpayers get in return for the billions in untaxed profits they subsidize for schools like Miami.
And just what do we get from these schools? We don’t get a share in the profits from their multi-billion dollar TV contracts, the way Shalala and her school do. We don’t get to party with corporate execs at bowl games.
All of that is reserved for the thuggish players who start fights and don’t appreciate free rides to colleges to which they’d never be admitted if they couldn’t run and throw the ball.
So will Donna Shalala show us she’s worth the tax deductions we give her and fire her violent players. Or will she coddle them with this slap on a wrist?
If it’s the latter, look for them to revisit this mob violence another day, with more chilling consequences.

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8 Responses

from the fox sports website:
It’s the latest in a disturbing series of incidents for Miami in recent months.
Several Miami players fought with LSU players following the Tigers’ 40-3 Peach Bowl win.
Shortly before the Miami-Louisville game Sept. 16, virtually the entire Hurricanes’ roster jumped on the Cardinals logo at midfield, an act widely viewed as a taunting gesture. Afterward, some Miami players chided teammates for that incident.
A Miami player, Willie Cooper, was shot outside his home shortly before training camp began in what players contend was a robbery attempt. Meriweather returned fire; police said he acted legally.
Wide receiver Ryan Moore, who was suspended for the Peach Bowl for violating team rules, then suspended again for other infractions, is expected to be charged this week with misdemeanors stemming from an August fight with a woman. He hasn’t played this season.

louielouie on October 16, 2006 at 1:20 pm

If the NCAA had any scrupples, they would cancel the rest of the season for both teams and eliminate all scholarships for the ’07 football season for both schools.

Yiddish Steel on October 16, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Who cares

KOAJaps on October 16, 2006 at 6:00 pm

well no wonder UM started it–my alma mater was winning.
Miami loves it thugs. Several FIU players have been arrested for assault and 1 was questioned in a shooting at the dormitories–the case is probably still unsolved since it’s in the hands of the campus police. Double standards indeed–anyone else would have been expelled from school.

melati on October 17, 2006 at 10:13 am

Whoa, whoa, whoa!
The fight started when two FIU players attacked the UM placekick holder after an extra-point.
Before then, FIU players had been taunting UM players. One UM player says future games between the two teams should be cancelled because the FIU players “start fights after every play.”
Beyond that, it’s a fight between two football teams. People “could have” been hurt, but “could have” is garbage and in no way leads to “will” by any stretch of logic or reason.
So what’s the big deal?
I know the answer to that question.
The big deal is that American women are comfortable with denigrating anything traditionally male, especially overt expressions of aggression like fist-fighting.
Women don’t express their aggression that way. They’re much more dishonest about it, preferring to hide behind bloodless contemporary social structures, such as divorce and feminism, currently used mostly for causing damage to other human beings.
Watch your step, Ms. Schlussel. Your naturally inbred prejudice is showing.

Florida Cane on October 18, 2006 at 7:33 pm

Florida Cane,
While I agree with your assessment that women don’t like male aggressiveness and hypocritically use divorce and other passive-aggressive means to hurt others (see Tina Fey’s Mean Girls for a good example), I must disagree with your “big deal” attitude.
Call me old fashioned, but one of the lessons that sports is supposed to be about is learning to play by rules of conduct. One can be a great player, a winner, and a good sport. Not that Terrell Owens or Randy Moss would qualify. You do have great examples like Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Mike Singletary, and Jerry Rice. They did not beat up other players (to my knowledge), but they were winners on and off the field.
Debbie is right, as usual. The Miami and FIU players are thugs and should be punished as such. Why would we expect Donna Shalala or any other Clinton official do anything to curb evil behavior? They did not do anything to correct their former boss, a perjurer and obstructor of justice. Their philosophy is one of non-confrontation. It gave us the cut-and-run policy that emboldened one Osama Bin Laden.
She once was at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I wonder if there were any such incidents at that school while she was there.

Loser on October 18, 2006 at 11:34 pm

Come now, let’s give Sha-sha some credit here. After all, she did have Lamar Thomas fired. I mean, this is the liberal way, care more about words than deeds. Do as we say not as we do, a perfect mantra for the libs of today…..

Smartimus Maximus on October 21, 2006 at 11:09 am

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