Hansen Unplugged: 'Who defines morals?'

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by DALE HANSEN

WFAA

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 6:17 PM

TCU quarterback Casey Pachall quits school yesterday to get treatment for his drug and alcohol abuse, and it begs the question: What do we do with Casey Pachall?

I get an e-mail yesterday saying that we should enact a law: Any college student caught with an illegal drug who gets a DWI or violates our moral turpitude should be banned from all NCAA sports, lose all scholarship money, and — as a result — lose the opportunity to get a college degree.

Hey, Casey — I think he's talking about you.

But it got me to thinking (and you might want be sitting down for this): If we kicked every kid out of college for smoking marijuana, we might have only eight or nine kids in class.

I know it would have kept many of our presidents and vice presidents from getting a degree, and many of the most powerful people in every industry in America would be without one, too.

A DWI? I believe the saying is, "there but for the grace of God go I," and almost everybody I know.

Now please understand me on this: I am not defending, and certainly not condoning drinking and driving. But there are very few of us who have not made that mistake.

I don't think any of us start a night planning to drink too much then drive. But a lot of us have been over-served by an irresponsible bartender, and then we're too stupid to find another way home.

It is one of the dumbest and most heinous things a person can do, and yet almost everybody has, or unfortunately will.

And "moral turpitude"? Who defines morals?

This station wanted me to sign a contract with a morals clause several years ago. I said I would if they could define "morals." They couldn't, so I didn't.

And now we want a law that defines "moral turpitude"?

I don't want to live in that country. My morals, yours or your neighbor's differ greatly from one person to the next.

I don't care if you're liberal or conservative, rich or poor, what religion you choose, or choose no religion at all. There is a limited definition of the morals that we all accept, and it should be very limited.

It's incredibly frustrating to send a kid to school with a chance to play the games that we all dream about playing and then watch that kid waste the opportunity he has because he breaks the rules.

But that's what kids do; they break the rules. They make some incredibly bad choices.

I did, and I'm betting you did, too.

I don't want to be judged by the choices I made when I was 21 (and I'm not real comfortable being judged by the choices I made at 61), but I was one of the lucky ones. I had people who didn't give up on me... who didn't toss me aside like the trash on a curb... and who thought maybe I had better days ahead.

There will be plenty of time to decide if Casey Pachall has a future at TCU or if he has a future at all. But his junior year in college, when he's only 21, it's not that time.

 E-mail dhansen@wfaa.com

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