What does it take to get kicked off a Missouri Western athletic team?
That’s the thought crossing a lot of fans’ minds, and with justification. With Benjamin Pister’s previous problems with the law and Ashleigh Curry’s current citation on Jan. 21, Western fans and students should wonder if the discipline of Western athletes is fair.
It sure is consistent, as Athletic Director Kurt McGuffin said, but how many altercations does it take before athletic administrators are willing to cut someone from the team? The appropriate answer isn’t a number though. The appropriate answer would have more to do with the individual and the circumstances. In a lot of cases, this would be true. But, there’s a reason they are called second chances.
We’re not here to pass judgment on any Western athlete. No one knows those individuals better than the athletics staff and their coaches. They make the best decisions based upon the facts they have.
One thing they should consider though, is the image second, third and fourth chances give Western as a whole. Sure, the viability of the team’s season is taken into consideration when making an expulsion decision. A teammate leaving doesn’t just mean losing those valuable assets, but it also means affecting team chemistry.
All things considered, the public image of the university needs to be considered as well. Our athletes are our way of competing with other schools, not just on the court, but off the court as well. They should be the best individuals and make the right decisions.
Does this mean they can’t slip up and make mistakes? Well, they wouldn’t be college students and wouldn’t learn anything if they never made mistakes.
In regards to Curry’s disciplinary action, The Griffon News won’t say whether the decision to let her play was the right or wrong one. We do believe in McGuffin and his ability to balance the well being the athletes. Making the right decision could result in a negative impact on one of these parties.
This won’t be the last time that an athlete makes a mistake and it sure isn’t the first. Our only request is that athletics keeps up as informed as possible along the process. While there may be some shame in letting athletes go, it’s more trouble to let the continue to make mistakes and never learn the harsh lessons.
In Curry’s case, that’s not for us to decide, or any Western fan or student for that matter. We trust that McGuffin and Coach Plett have made the right decision.