NDSU More Concerned About Their Football Program Than Justice
Essentially, State of North Dakota officials are charging eight current NDSU football players (including some of the stars of the team) and one former player with Class A Misdemeanors (one step down from felonies) for nearly 25,000 instances of fraudulent signatures on petitions to put two initiated measures on the statewide ballot this November. These charges are serious. The sheer number of fraudulent signatures speaks to the fact that this was no momentary indiscretion but hours and hours of laborious deception, and the measures these signatures were in support of were serious policy questions relating to how we treat a narcotic under the law and how hundreds of millions of dollars in oil tax revenues will be spent.
Earlier today NDSU announced that they would not be dismissing or even suspending any of the players charged in the fraud from the team saying the players are to be afforded “their day in court.” This might sound reasonable, except that this isn’t the standard NDSU has applied to these situations in the past.
In 2010 NDSU dismissed from the team two players who were involved in a theft ring. They players hadn’t been convicted, they hadn’t had “their day in court,” but NDSU removed them from the team anyway.
Just last month linebacker Brandon Jemison was dismissed from the team after police started an investigation into an alleged incident involving indecent exposure at a Fargo mall (Jemison claims it was a wardrobe malfunction). Again, Jemison hadn’t had his “day in court.”
What these incidents reveal is that NDSU is not applying an even standard. Marginal players who aren’t key to their team are held to a higher standard than players who are key to the team. Put another way, NDSU seems to be basing their standards not on justice and accountability but rather the impact it will have to their football program.
Which is just pathetic. Given that standard, perhaps some of the coaches and administrators ought to be leaving along with the players.Tags: craig bohl, higher education, North Dakota News, north dakota state university