This came my way indirectly via e-mail. It was written by Iowa Rep. Wayne Ford of Des Moines.
I just got it, so I’m going to let it soak in a while. I encourage you to add your thoughts. Here is Ford’s statement to the Iowa Speaker of the House:
To: Iowa Speaker
Subject: Representative Wayne Ford Says Regents Must Deal with the Arrest of Athletes
Des Moines, Iowa – “Here we go again,” Representative Wayne Ford said today. “Another
Iowa college athlete coddled rather than punished for unlawful behavior. This time star Iowa football player Adrian Clayborn is pleading guilty to a year-old assault charge. However, this is not just an University of Iowa problem. We have seen similar incidents at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.”
“Adrian Clayborn is a great football player. He helped Iowa win the Orange Bowl and deserved being named most valuable player,” Ford said. “What he did not deserve was being allowed to play.”
“I also came to the Midwest to play football as a defensive tackle and I am grateful for that opportunity and the experience it afforded me. Before coming to Iowa, my college roommate killed a man so I know something about violence on college campuses. Those experiences helped shape me into what I have become today.”
“I only wish Adrian Clayborn well in life. But as a Legislator, I believe we have a responsibility to train our students to not only be winning athletes but also good citizens.”
“I have said before and I am saying again, Iowa’s three state universities are wrong when they allow players to continue to participate in sports after they have been arrested. Being arrested on assault charges is not some penny-ante crime. It is serious and should be treated as such,” Ford noted.
“Over and over again, we see instances of star athletes at our three universities making bad decisions and being charged with serious crimes – theft, drug charges, drunk driving, assault, even rape. And yet, they face no consequences, at least not until the season is over.”
“My concern is for the athletes. We are sending the wrong message when we ignore their wrongdoing. We are saying that if you are a good enough player you can do whatever you want and do not have to face the consequences. This is not how life works and our students need to learn that before they get into even more serious trouble.”
“Over the past 14 year, I have talked to athlete directors, coaches, players, and members of the Board of Regents. I have asked them repeatedly, how many players have to end up in handcuffs before we admit we have a problem at our universities? I have urged the Board of Regents to create a uniform policy that applies to all three universities. That policy must clearly spell out that in Iowa we will not tolerate unlawful behavior. It is not about being found innocent or guilty. It is about what is and what is not appropriate behavior.”
“Nothing has sunk in. So, now, as a member of the Legislative Oversight Committee, I am going to ask the chairs to invite the members of the Board of Regents to meet with the committee so we can discuss this problem and make sure they take action.”