Monday, May 10, 2010

Should The UVA Men's Lacrosse Team Drop Out of the NCAA's?

Robert Thorn rolled a little hand grenade into the Big Fat Friday mix on Friday, linking to a blog post advocating the University of Virginia's Men's Lacrosse Team's dropping out of the NCAA tournament--a tournament they are likely favored to win. This of course, after the murder last week of UVA women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love by a UVA men's team member.

I've spend a bit of the weekend thinking about this, and I've come to a conclusion. I believe that if the UVA Men's team got together and independently decided to drop out--out of respect for Yeardley Love, out of respect for the University now tarnished by this crime, out of (perhaps) some small sense of responsibility that this head-case of a guy had been enabled and coddled by the team, the coach and the athletic department--I would support the decision and I would be proud of them for reaching it.

But if such a decision were imposed upon them--I would not support it. They have worked too hard to be where they are to have to suffer punishment for the actions of one of their teammates.

What do you think the issues are here? What do you think of my view? What's yours?


"The Hammer" said...

They didn't do anything so why drop out?

adjustable wrench said...

It's called 'class' hammer

Anonymous said...

I think that someone should reach out to the Love family and ask them how they felt.

Personally, I think they should play.

UVa Men's Lacrosse Super Fan said...

The Love family was consulted and wholeheartedly support the men's team continuing. The men's players were consulted and they really want to play as a way to honor Yeardley Love and as a way to start the healing process. The team didn't do anything and they shouldn't be punished for the actions of one. Play on 'Hoos!

Robert Thorn said...

I have to wonder if Thomas Jefferson would agree with you. I don't think that he would.

Robert Thorn said...

"On the night of November 12, 1840, a masked student shot and killed John A. G. Davis, beloved professor of law. Sobered students agreed to a plan whereby students "vouched" for one another, agreeing to report misbehavior. In the same spirit, University faculty established an "honor pledge" on examinations, agreeing to trust students when they pledged that they had "neither received nor given assistance" on their schoolwork. Over the years students at the University of Virginia stepped up to the ideals held by Jefferson. According to the rules of the nation's oldest student-run Honor System, students must pledge not to lie, cheat, or steal, and must agree to report anyone doing so to a court of their peers. Today that same Honor System is alive and well at the University of Virginia, frequently coming under scrutiny by both student leaders and the full student body, always affirmed in its reliability and importance through results of student referenda.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Couple of things:

1. I acknowledge that the Love family has said "play on". This alone is a huge reason to do so.
2. I do not believe the team has any obligation to not play.
3. If they did decide not to, I would be proud of them and admire the decision.
4. If they decide not to, then I will cheer them on and hope they win it all.
5. My purpose was to get out there my repugnance at the thought of their not playing coming from OUTSIDE the team.
6. I have no clue what my beloved UVA Honor System has to do with this.

Thorn said...

I question whether the team now should be assumed to wield the appropriate judgment for this decision when it seems likely that many of them knew of their teammate's behavior, but said nothing. I'm not sure at their age, I necessarily would have. Nevertheless, their silence was a vouch for the accused's honor. Has the concept of honor be so narrowly defined now as to only refer to test taking?
What lesson will they have learned from this episode? I think it is fair to ask, is the importance of winning so great that everything else is ignored. On the one hand, they are mostly legally adults and should be left alone to make this decision. On the other, with the increasing "evidence" of this generation's delayed maturation, maybe they are not quite yet adults? If the latter is the case, then maybe they need a guiding hand to help them arrive at this decision.

I do agree that the parents' wishes are important here, but not the only factors that ought to be considered.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a 21 year old female college student, as well as a 18 year old D1 male scholarship athlete I am conflicted about this. If it were my daughter that had been murdered I am not sure that would want to see the team playing for the Nat title.

There is a culture in certain D1 sports programs that leads to whatever mental lapse would make a kid violently kill his ex girlfriend. The coaches, athletic directors and U presidents need to take a good hard look at how they handle these kids; and the culture of entitlement they have fostered.

At the same time, I know how hard my son has worked to get to where he is. And taking away his right to fulfill a life long dream because of the actions of one kid seems grossly unfair to the rest of the team. At the end of the day, I think I'd want them to play. As long as something positive comes from it.

Anonymous said...


"taking away his right to fulfill a life long dream" vs taking away a life...student athletes get away with far too much and we all let a young girl is dead and we are supposed to support the teammates that most likely knew what was going on - there's no honor at UVA this season

Anonymous said...

Albeit late, I would like to post a few statistics for consideration in this puzzle (I am a New Yorker (Penn Graduate) without an agenda):

1) Percentage of Virginians at UVA: 69%

2) Percentage of Virginians on UVA Men's Lacrosse Team (4/44) 9%. Note that one of them is Howie Long, Jr., who although shorter than is father and brother Chris at 5'11" (listed), probably could have played college lacrosse had he gone to high school in Haiti due to his natural athleticism.

3) Percentage of UVA Men's Lacrosse Team with alcohol-related arrests: 18%

4) Percentage of UVA that is Male: 44%.

Thus, if I were the UVA Chancellor, I would be asking why they even play the sport? Does it represent the State and the taxpayer? No. OK, it so they want to be considered Ivy Like. Ok, Ivies don't give scholarships. Ok, UVA is a great school. So...give the scholarships to engineering and math students who will help the VA economy, take the lacrosse team off of scholarships and put them on equal footing as the Ivies.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Howie Long Jr. isn't even on the lacrosse team. He was kicked off and he wasn't even enrolled as a student last semester. He couldn't cut it academically. And his "natural athleticism" didn't award him hardly any playing time. He was always rated too highly. Now look at him...

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