Arizona Wildcats (and athletes in general) In Trouble… Again?


Arizona Wildcat fans, I have a question for you today: What in the world is going on with our athletes when they’re not inside the lines? I will not get into the nitty gritty details but should at least touch on some of what has been happening.

First, I must say that I’m not assessing blame in this article. All people involved are innocent until proven guilty and we must remember that even though we all have our own speculations to make. While I will touch a few key points, I simply want this article to make you think.

There are a handful Arizona football players who were allegedly involved in a huge brawl at a house party. Basketball freshman Josiah Turner went through multiple suspensions this year before deciding to transfer to another school. At a minimum, he was supposed to stay until the end of this week to finish off the academic semester. Then we find out he was arrested for suspected DUI. As if that isn’t bad enough, he was also apparently driving without a license and didn’t know the full name of the person whose car he was driving? Again, innocent until proven guilty, but this really just doesn’t look good. We also have senior Jesse Perry under suspicion of assault on a woman. Perry has been a model citizen in his time at Arizona and everyone around him speaks highly of him. However, there are apparently witnesses to his hitting and choking an ex-girlfriend outside his apartment in the wee hours of the morning. Not good. Each of these incidents alone, if true, are completely unacceptable. Then we add to the list former basketball star Jordan Hill. He is accused of choking his girlfriend in a domestic dispute in March.

Regardless of guilt or innocence, it is a cause for concern and we should all take a hard look at what is going on with our young people today. Now, I’m not a doomsday prophet and I believe in the inherent goodness in people, but incidents like this are becoming all too common. This isn’t just limited to our beloved Wildcats either. We all heard about the chaos and alleged mayhem inside the UCLA basketball program a few months ago. We’ve heard about the strippers, drugs and money floating around within Miami’s football program and the similar things that occurred at Ohio State. I could go on for quite a while…

I said I wasn’t going to blame anyone and I won’t. I do, however, question the people surrounding these athletes. Are these problems caused by these athletes’ upbringing? Could the cause be a lack of supervision and involvement by responsible adults? Is it the fact that many of these athletes are given free reign from a very young age and thrown on the pedestal too early because someone sees their ‘talent?’ Is it our fault, as fans, for taking the game too seriously and making a young kid feel invincible to everything, including the law? Is it kids being kids and growing up the hard way? Can all these cases be a coincidence? Is this the wrong place at the wrong time scenario? Maybe it’s combination of all these things.

I don’t have the answers but it concerns me. I hope it concerns you too. One thing it makes me feel is sad. I feel sad for these kids who aren’t just making mistakes that jeopardize their athletic career: they are making mistakes that could ruin their lives. It also makes me sad to know there are so many other athletes out there, both college and professional, who are doing the right thing and making great lives for themselves and their families. Where is their recognition? But we all know drama sells right? You tell me what you think. How can we make it better?