Purdue Football Player Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot
Purdue's football team had a bad year on the gridiron (3-5 in the Big Ten) and it looks like things aren't getting any better in the offseason. Tight End Garret Bushong was arrested back in September for drunk driving and just pled guilty to operating while intoxicated last week. If that wasn't bad enough, Bushong decided to write an editorial in Purdue's student newspaper about the incident. Now, you'd think that Bushong would express regret for a poor decision. You'd be wrong. Instead, he declared that "Newspaper stories make athletes look bad":
This letter is a shoutout to all of the athletes of Purdue. I am personally sick and tired of all the bad ink we are getting, and it is really time to put an end to it. Yeah, I got an OWI, so what! It's over, and everyone now knows about it. It's not like 300 other students on this campus haven't gotten one, yet the names of those people are not put on the front page of the Exponent followed up three months later by a headline on the back page of the Sports section.
Bushong sounds like one of those reality TV contestants who bitch about unflattering editing. Garret honey, the newspapers will have a much harder time making you look bad if you don't actually do bad things.
As if his whining wasn't bad enough, Bushong compounds his latest error by actually threatening the media (and, I think, the rest of the student body):
We run this place and if anyone begs to differ, I'll say what my good buddy Brandon Kirsch once said. "You know where to find me, locker number three, so come and say what you need to say to my face."
Oh my. Have politicians considered this policy? Perhaps the next time a reporter asks President Bush a particularly obnoxious question he should just refer them to the 101st Airborne.
Predictably, Bushong's letter ticked off a lot of his fellow Boilermakers and he was forced to issue an apology. But clearly this kid can't a)write an apology on his own or b)write an actual apology. Here's a snippet:
"My thoughts published in the Jan. 23 edition of the Exponent have set off a reaction that I could not have predicted and really regret," Bushong's apology reads. "When I wrote the letter, I was trying to communicate directly to other football players and other student-athletes who feel as I do."
This is a perfect example of the modern apology. You don't actually say you're sorry for something, you instead apologize for how someone else reacted to what they said. The implication is that you are innocent and that the injured party is overreacting.
Of course, for every Garret Bushong, there's someone who does get it:
Senior tennis athlete Paul Rose said athletes are public figures. They are in the spotlight and have to represent Purdue in a positive manner all the time.
"Most of us are getting paid to go to school here and you have to represent the school that way," Rose said. "Sometimes it may seem unfair, but it's about making good choices."
In fact, athletes at Purdue are getting "paid" to the tune of nearly $30,000 ($16K for in-state athletes) in tuition, room and board.
I love college athletics. There are few things better than a football Saturday or a Friday night chant of "Sieve! Sieve! Sieve!". I appreciate the hard work that these student athletes put in both on the field and in the classroom. I'm not alone in those thoughts. Athletes get special treatment from everyone. Perfect strangers want to shake their hands and buy them drinks. The downside of that is that perfect strangers also want to read and hear about it when they screw up.
You take the good. You take the bad. You take 'em both and there you have the facts of life. Hmm, maybe the facts of life aren't on any syllabi at Purdue ;-)
Posted by at January 25, 2006 06:58 PM
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|# January 25th, 2006 8:06 PM james|
|i dont see what all of the fuss is about - the letter isn't all that bad.
Perhaps the next time a reporter asks President Bush a particularly obnoxious question he should just refer them to the 101st Airborne.
huh? are you seriously comparing a college athlete to the president of the united states? college athletes have no duty to hold press conferences, and they certainly don't answer to you or to any other member of the general public.
whenever the "should college athletes get paid?" argument comes up, i can't help but laugh at the position of the "they are getting paid, they're getting a free education" crowd - give me a break. many of these athletes pull in millions upon million for the university, and you're seriously trying to argue that the cost of tuition is appropriate reimbursement?
the people who think that there's something magical about paying someone in "education" units, i think they'd change their tune pretty quickly if their employer wanted to stop paying them a salary and instead would only pay tuition at a local university. "suck it up, employee! quit yer whinin! you're getting paid - you're getting an EDUCATION!!!"
the letter by Bushong seems a little arrogant, but so what? i've read plenty of arrogant opinion pieces in student newspapers, written by both students and professors. it's as if you and the purdue student body are under the impression that the student athletes are there to serve you, are there to kowtow to you, that because they get a "free education" and get to be on tv once in a while that they owe you something.
student athletes are not public utilities, nor are they public servants. if one of them gets a DUI it's none of your damned business. you can make all of the "but they represent the university" arguments that you want, they don't hold water.
i don't think that Bushong has anything to apologize for.
|# January 31st, 2006 11:22 AM GeorgeAtl|
Once again, the pampered athlete doesn't like the "Higher Standard" that he's being held to....
Remember what Judge Smails said in CADDYSHACK...
"The World Needs Ditch Diggers Too!!"
so...go dig ditches if playing football doesn't work out!!
|# February 16th, 2006 2:04 PM tigger|
|([[student athletes are not public utilities, nor are they public servants. if one of them gets a DUI it's none of your damned business. you can make all of the "but they represent the university" arguments that you want, they don't hold water.]])
When someone commits a crime, it is the public's business. He drove drunk and put the public in danger. I feel no sympathy for someone who wants to blame the media for embarrassing him when he's the one who drove drunk.
And if you think they should pay him for brining money to the school then they sure as hell can punish him for embarrassing the school, driving money away. It’s two sides of the same coin.