Fargo-Area Legislators Introduce Resolution Commending NDSU Bison Football Criminals


A group of Fargo-area legislators have introduced HCR3025 commending the NDSU Bison football team, as well as head coach Craig Bohl and NDSU President Dean Bresciani, “for achieving a rare level of dominance in NCAA Division I football.”

I’ve never really liked these sort of resolution. These sort of symbolic pats-on-the-head are a waste of time. That being said, they don’t waste that much time, and for the most part they’re not worth griping about.

But the legislature commending a football squad full of criminals, as well as coaches and university officials who worked overtime to sweep the massive fraud perpetrated by those players under the rug? That’s wrong.

NDSU prioritizing winning over ethics and accountability for their institution and its students isn’t worthy of this sort of recognition. And that’s exactly what the university did. Other student athletes, including recently several members of the university’s softball team, have been held to a much harsher standard than these football players who forged tens of thousands of signatures on petitions last summer.

But the softball team isn’t as important as the football team. Holding the football players to a tougher standard might have put their national championship in jeopardy, and so NDSU prioritized winning over ethics.

What’s ironic is that this same legislature which will consider this resolution heaping praise on the NDSU football team will also be considering a raft of reforms to the state’s petitioning laws inspired by the fraud these NDSU players committed.

In a perfect world this resolution would be voted down as a way to give the university and the football team a symbolic black eye they richly deserve. But it probably won’t be, for the same reasons why the State Board of Higher Education has talked about exempting student athletes from tougher admissions standards.

For far too many people football is more important than anything else, and the legislators aren’t about to anger those voters.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • unRob

    I’m sorry but you most certainly were not the one to point out any problems with NDSU. You haven’t exposed any original content to the world. You simply over-elaborate on the details in order to stir emotion in the people.

    I saw you referenced the plane “fiasco”. Now, what you didn’t reference is the fact that almost every major university in this country has, or has immediate access to, private planes. Heck, UND has an entire fleet (sure, flight school and all…).

    NDSU is a major university, whether you accept that or not. When you have such a large impact on your surroundings, as NDSU does, you tend to have some conflicts arise at some point in time. It’s the same for any other organization.

    Now, what really pisses me off about you, Rob, is when you call for the heads of the football players, suggesting that they didn’t get what they deserve. Yet, they went through the entire judicial process. By asking for further punishment than what the legal process outlined, you are suggesting that our entire judicial system, what makes America, well, America, isn’t sufficient. Just because they didn’t receive suspensions does not mean they didn’t receive the due punishment. Personally, I trust a judge far more than an armchair-juror/comedian/pseudoblogger any day.

    NDSU is a great institution and has enough credentials to wipe your a$$ with to prove it.

    Your writings about all these issues have been nothing but comedic and that is why ace was thanking you for the laughs.

  • unRob

    But Rob, there were and they were given out in the appropriate setting: a courtroom.

    Get off your high horse. It truly is sad.

  • unRob

    What break? You don’t even know what the University has done. I can promise you, with 100% certainty, that they did not get off scot-free. My guess is that NDSU made them write an essay to their deans or advisers outlining why what they did was wrong and what they have learned from the experience. I can confirm that this is a very standard punishment for a first offense by a student. They goal of the University is to prepare students for life, and to do that requires learning from mistakes. Legal consequences dealt out by a court of law is a completely different entity and that is the one folks like yourself need to refer to.

  • unRob

    I laughed at this so hard I spilled my drink.

    I don’t think it can compute in Rob’s mind that the punishment from the University might have pertained to the crime that was committed and not to the sport they are related to. Whereas, if memory serves me right, the softball girls were caught hazing new team members. That directly relates to the sport they were playing in, therefore the punishment by the University should be related…

    How hard is that for you to understand, Rob?

  • unRob

    No one was distracting from the issue at hand. They were pointing out that your credibility on these subjects is absolutely crap.

  • unRob

    Their crime was directly related to the sport they play. Hazing new teammates is a sports issue. Therefore, the punishment, as announced by NDSU, related to the sport. Whether or not NDSU announced it, the punishment would have been known come game-time.

    Forging signatures has nothing to do with football. Therefore, the punishment probably shouldn’t either. NDSU did the right thing by letting a courtroom figure out the appropriate consequences and then give out their own in-house.

    And if you think hazing is a far less severe action, then you should probably rethink your life.

    Hazing has resulted in deaths all around the country. Please, tell me one time that forging a signature has killed someone…

  • unRob

    That’s because the action done by the football players had nothing to do with the team.

    The softball players were another story with different circumstances.

    For goodness sakes, Rob, you can’t possibly be that dull.