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Athletes topping the crime blotter

Posted: June 30, 2013 - 12:03am

It’s been a crazy week in the sporting world.

Or, as Slim Pickens said in Blazing Saddles, “What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?”

Lately, the sports pages have been looking like a police blotter and lawyers have gotten prime time on television.

Too bad Law and Order is off the air – they’d have plenty of new material.

Topping the list of course was now-former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez getting arrested for murder, followed by the arrest of now-former Cleveland Browns linebacker Ausar Walcott for attempted murder.

We’re probably a long way from the trial phase for Hernandez, and while innocent until proven guilty is the mantra, things don’t look too great for Hernandez. Things didn’t look great for O.J. either, however, and we know how that turned out.

For some, the National Football League is the perfect haven for avoiding punishment, and Wednesday, Chip Kelly became the new Pete Carroll.

Carroll took the head coaching job with the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, not long before the USC Trojans’ football program was sanctioned for violations that occurred while he was head coach. Since he was no longer there, he did not have to suffer any of the consequences.

Fast forward to Wednesday when the Oregon football program was placed on three years probation for its recruiting practices. While the NCAA-imposed penalties were minor, Kelly, who coached the Ducks from 2009-2012, had long since been gone, taking the reins of the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 16. The NCAA deemed him basically unemployable to any college or university for 18 months as part of the punishment.

I’m sure that will keep him up at night.

Earlier in the year we took high school athletes to task for their inappropriate use of social media, but by far they aren’t the only ones. New York Yankees lightning rod Alex Rodriguez opened a Twitter account and promptly tweeted about the status of his injury and that he was cleared to play. That prompted general manager Brian Cashman to tell him to shut up. Athletes talking about their injuries is usually a no-no, but this wasn’t much of anything, really. As a Baltimore Oriole fan, any dysfunction within the Yankees is always a good thing.

While I doubt it, maybe these will be the only off-field incidents for a while and the only fireworks we see over the July 4 holiday are the ones shot up into the sky.

Happy Independence Day everybody!

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