Let's start with a very basic fact in regards to the TCU drug bust: Teenagers are morons.
High school and college-age athletes rarely posses the self-awareness to know that they are not invincible, nor are they above the law.
In theory, that's what their coaches and athletic department are there to do for them. They are there to teach them some life skills in addition to all those angle tackles. I don't envy the job of trying to take young athletes, with inflated senses of self, and gently nudge them toward being well-rounded, responsible adults.
But I don't think that has been the primary goal of college football programs for a very long time.Of course, that's painting every program with an awfully wide brush.
But even non-sports fans can name at least a few of the major scandals in college athletics in the past 25 years. In fact, it's now tough to keep them all straight. It's hard to keep the details of what Ohio State did (tattoos, cash for autographs), what USC did (cars for players, vague admissions of violations ) and what Miami did (every violation imaginable) from becoming interchangeable.
Ironically, the one program which was known for encouraging their players to become well-read, socially responsible adults was Penn State. Upon the news of Jerry Sandusky's transgressions and Joe Paterno's apathy, it's easy to think that no college programs live up to the lip service they grant the idea of encouraging players to be productive members of society.
I don't think for a moment that the TCU athletic directors knew, encouraged or sanctioned the players' illegal activity. But what did encourage their behavior was something far bigger than a single coach or booster club.
College athletes don't seem to feel like they will be held accountable for their actions. They seem to think they're bulletproof. That's the only explanation I can give for the breathtaking stupidity required to sell drugs on the side heading into your first year at a BCS Top 10 school.
While people complain all the time about the money and fame given to superstars like Alex Rodriguez or LeBron James, they should be more worried about the college kids.
And if you're a college kid reading this now and considering taking up the business of narcotics, just remember one thing: If Sam Hurd could get caught, you almost certainly will too. The only difference is that Hurd has NFL money to pay for all those lawyers' bills.
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