Thumbs Down: Bradley Basketball Coach Jim Les for blowing off the seriousness of underage drinking by athletes, letting Theron Wilson play most of the game against ISU even while he claims to hold his athletes to a higher standard: “It’s unfortunate, but we hold our guys to a high standard. They’re not normal college students. They’re held to a higher standard, and they’re very remorseful.” Later he added “It’s over, in terms of the direct punishment from me.”
Thumbs Up: Journal Star sports writer Kirk Wessler for keeping the pressure on Bradley to do more punishment wise, at the risk of losing future interviews and contact with the sports department.
Thumbs Down: Bradley Braves athletics director Ken Kavanagh for not stepping up and insisting more be done. On the night of the BU/ISU game, Kavanagh said “There is a team disciplinary procedure I let the coaches work through. If I donâ€™t feel the coaches have met a minimum threshold then we step in as an athletic department.”
Thumbs Up: Bradley President Joanne Glasser for sending out an email to the entire Bradley Community and the Journal Star stating in no uncertain terms “more will be done,” and indeed it was, most certainly to the ire of Les & Kavanagh who, “upon further review” were forced into “altering our stance on this important issue.”
If you haven’t been following this, two Bradley Basketball players, 20 year old driver Theron Wilson and 20 year old passenger Tyrone Cole-Scott, were pulled over on Main Street early last Sunday Morning for speeding 10-20 over the speed limit (that means they flying down Main Street at 40 – 50 mph) and subsequently were arrested for underaged drinking under zero-tolerance laws. News of this event came to light on Wednesday, the day of BU’s big game against ISU, and the same day four young men went sent to prison for the underage alcohol related death of BU soccer player Danny Dahlquist.
As punishment, Jim Les found it appropriate to make the two do some extra drills and removed Theron Wilson from the starting lineup vs ISU… but inserted him into the game after a mere 2 1/2 minutes and let him continue to play 31 out of 40 minutes, culminating in him making the game winning shot.
Of course underage drinking occurs on campus. Always has, always will. But to claim to hold atheletes to a higher standard and then give no punishment in the interest of winning a game is not acceptable and only goes to show that atheletes are not held to a higher standard. They are held to a lower standard – one in which actions do not appear to have consequences – especially when the game is on the line.