Follow-up on CBS-Sports Illustrated investigation. Much was written Wednesday and Thursday in the wake of the CBS News-Sports Illustrated investigation about the arrest rate of student-athletes at high-profile football programs.
The investigation determined that 7 percent of all players at last year’s preseason Top 25 programs had been charged with a crime at one time or another.
Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com contributed favorably to the discussion by praising the reaction of University of Iowa officials.
Impressive reaction from Iowa to SI.com story (Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com)
Here’s some of what Dodd wrote:
“Rather surprisingly, the school admits that ‘underage consumption of alcohol and extreme consumption of alcohol have been issues …’ at Iowa for several years. Wow. Iowa also admits to not doing criminal background checks on players it recruits. Later, AD Gary Barta says, ‘I am anxious and open to discussions with my peers in the state and in the Big Ten Conference and beyond on whether criminal background checks need to become a regular piece of our recruiting process.’
“That is beyond impressive and shows the power of the media in a story like this.”
This is not a comfortable discussion for Iowa, for the other teams, for college football or for college athletics in general. But if the ultimate outcome ends up being less involvement for individuals with criminal histories, the enterprise of college sports will be stronger than before.
Bad news sometimes points toward opportunity. This may be one of those cases.