by Kent Sterling
The news earlier today that Indiana Basketball players Emmitt Holt and freshman Thomas Bryant were cited Friday at 12:50 a.m. for illegal possession of alcohol brings to mind many questions and some very simple truths as answers.
According to a press release from the state excise police, Bryant and Holt were cited after being observed attempting to conceal bottles of vodka while sitting in a car at the Convenient Food Mart down 17th street from Assembly Hall, near campus at 12:50 a.m. Friday.
“Officers were alerted to the five people seated inside the vehicle when Holt allegedly attempted to conceal a 750 milliliter bottle of vodka as an officer walked past it. Holt, who was a backseat passenger in the vehicle, reportedly shouted to alert the front seat passenger of the officer’s presence. The officer then allegedly observed the front seat passenger, Bryant, attempt to conceal a 1.75 liter bottle of vodka.”
Here are 10 questions –
- Are these guys morons? (The answer to this question is self-evident.)
- Why are basketball players being arrested/cited/suspended at rates far beyond normal students?
- Is Tom Crean recruiting the wrong type of kids to play at Indiana?
- Does Crean effectively investigate the behavior of players to whom he offers scholarships?
- Do Indiana fans care enough about the drinking and drug use of basketball players that it deserves the attention of administrators/coaches?
- Is there any way to stop the drinking and drug use of basketball players?
- Is it unreasonable to expect any group of college students not to drink or use recreational drugs?
- Can Crean control the behavior of his players?
- If Crean can’t control the behavior of the players off the court, is it reasonable to assume he can control their behavior on the court?
- If Crean’s attempts to discipline players relentlessly fail, is it fair to assume he isn’t fit to discipline them?
Wow, that’s a lot of questions! While you ponder, here are my answers:
- The answer might be self-evident, but can young men this inept in the art of police avoidance be expected to win possessions in the Big Ten?
- For change to occur, the pain of change has to be outweighed by the pain of maintaining the status quo. The threshold of pain for misbehavior has not been ratcheted high enough to matter. This is much worse than it sounds because after Hanner Mosquera Perea and Devin Davis were kicked off the team, reasonable people in fear of losing their positions on IU’s basketball team would have adjusted. Either the players are not reasonable or they don’t mind the idea of being kicked off the team.
- I’m silly enough to believe that 99% of kids will do what they are told if they are told effectively. Some kids you can’t get to, but most will do what they are told if they respect the leader.
- He either doesn’t investigate properly, doesn’t inspire respect, or is unsure of the properties of a person who might be a good fit for his unique brand of leadership. Whichever it is, those who are unable to follow Crean’s rules have a decided lack of respect for him.
- This is a great question because fans either don’t believe this to be a problem, or they don’t care enough about it to raise a meaningful amount of hell about it. Look, most kids in college are going to drink, and that’s life. if Indiana fans and administrators want to stand up and accept that fact of life, that’s an option. But they can’t demand chaste and sober behavior and then look the other way when it doesn’t happen. If the laws on possessing and consuming alcohol are important, then the authority figure needs to be able to meaningfully enforce them.
- Sure. You can recruit non-drinkers, kids who respect Crean’s authority, or continue to churn through players until you land on 13 guys willing to stay sober.
- That’s a question that requires a response. It really doesn’t matter to me, but the consistent talk about discipline followed by an ignorance of that discipline belies weakness.
- It would appear than he cannot.
- I have an issue with the transitive property in this case. There are plenty of coaches who have gotten players to play winning basketball while they were something south of model citizens away from it. There is not necessarily an ipso to this facto, but given the level of defensive awareness, it’s not irrational to make that connection.
- That’s a question only Fred Glass can answer, but the relentless torrent of arrests, citations, and suspensions reveal a lack of respect for authority that is either perplexing or damning – likely a combination of the two It’s up to Fred to discern the proportion.
At some point, the tonnage of problems, if they continue or abate, will definitively answer all the questions. If it isn’t clear already, it will become clear in one direction or the other soon enough.
For me, the evidence cleared to another level today.