Saturday, January 28, 2006

Keep the thuggery on the field

When it comes to recruiting athletes for our University athletic programs, character is not always high on the list of desired attributes. If anyone had the opportunity in college to rub elbows with some of the athletes, in particular football and basketball players, you know that many are good people, but others are flat-out criminals and thugs. And sometimes when thugs will do some thuggery.

The Red Star reports today that two University of Minnesota athletes, one a football player, the other a wrestler, have been charged with 3rd degree assault for re-arranging the face of the victim at a house party:

Two University of Minnesota freshman athletes have been charged with third-degree felony assault and suspended from their teams for their roles in a December fight.

According to a criminal complaint, football player Marcel Jones and wrestler Nate Matousek punched and kicked a 20-year-old man at a house party Dec. 9. The victim suffered broken teeth and required reconstructive dental surgery.

Violence and aggression are rewarding on the field and the mat, but the athlete needs to know when to turn the switch off. Beating someone at a party is thuggish behavior, and these two should be sent packing forthwith.