Earlier in the week it was reported that Devonte Fields would make a visit to UofL. That news sparked all kinds of opinions once his background was learned. A full post on that is HERE. Anyway, after his visit, he committed to Louisville and announced that he will sign on Wednesday.
— DeVonte' Fields (@Yaboiphilly95) February 1, 2015
With that, came predictable scorn. WDRB.com’s Eric Crawford wrote a piece that – no matter how big a UofL fan you are – will make think twice about allowing Fields to join the program. It makes for a tough, but true, read.
That’s what it says. No matter what Nick Saban or U of L or anyone else wants to tell you it means, that’s what these kinds of signings say. I understand second chances. I get it. Someone will take these players, the argument goes. They have paid a price for their mistakes, the argument goes. We will supervise them closely, the argument goes. The problem I have with those kinds of arguments is that they begin to turn these players into victims, while the real victims go unmentioned, and many more like them who are watching in the shadows get the message loud and clear.
It is the last message that American colleges and universities need to be sending right now. You have to draw a line somewhere. Violence against women or children by male athletes seems a reasonable and easy place to draw it.
Someone will always take these players, if they have enough talent. It remains up to each individual school to determine the way they will proceed, and up to each coach, administrator and fan to answer the unavoidable question: If it had been your daughter, would you be OK with this?
During the Super Bowl tonight, for the first time, the NFL will air the first domestic violence public service announcement ever to air during the nation’s largest televised event. You can watch it here. The NFL is undergoing something of a revolution in its way of thinking in these matters. College football, at least in some places, isn’t there yet.
Today, it gives me no pleasure to conclude, it appears that Louisville is one of those places.