Last week, University of Mississippi football player Elijah Moore cost his team a chance to win the Egg Bowl against its archrival because of an unseemly celebration in the end zone.
Moore’s gesture resulted in a 15-yard penalty, just enough distance to cause the kicker to miss the potential tying extra point, which cost Ole Miss the game.
Knowing how people can get about college football, one can only imagine the death threats and insults being lobbed his way.
But it also reminds us of the essence of sports - and life - are about moments of choice and consequence.
If there ever was an example of how one mistake can engender enormous consequences for others, Moore’s was it.
That said, does it bother anyone the Massillon Tigers have suited up a player who was arrested and charged with a serious assault?
We aren’t talking toilet-papering someone’s front yard. The alleged attack occurred earlier this year outside of a fast-food restaurant in Akron.
Because the 17-year-old was arrested late last month prior to the playoff game against Archbishop Hoban High School, a game in which he played, some Tigers fans have suggested Akron Police might have had an ulterior motive. While we have to suppose anything is possible, Akron Police have much bigger fish to fry, namely trying to keep young men there from killing each other on what seems like a daily basis.
According to an article from a paper in Akron, the player was arrested during school because Akron Police said his parents refused to turn him in after being contacted.
Who knows; it could have been resolved by now.
Let’s be clear. Everyone is entitled to due process, and the student has not been convicted of anything. Care needs to be taken when it involves a young person’s future.
To be fair, there are many times a second chance by way of sports is exactly what a kid needs. If you ever want to see a grown man blubber, ask him how sports changed his life.
But we also know excuses sometimes are made and problems minimized when a child shows exceptional athletic ability.
Shielding a person from the consequences of willful misbehavior does them no favors and leaves them unable to function when consequences finally do come calling.
Meanwhile, the story has become social media fodder, a war of words being waged mostly by adults who should know better.
Being overlooked in all of this is concern for the victim, who reportedly sustained a serious head injury.
The Beacon Journal also reported that the Ohio High School Athletic Association has no jurisdiction over matters involving a player’s eligibility if he or she has been involved in possible criminal activity. Why not? The OSHAA doesn’t hesitate to scold fans for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Outsiders have no idea of the sacrifices coaches and their families make to help some kids, but playing high school sports is a privilege, not a right.
Even a teenager is old enough to understand that if you want certain privileges, you must make certain choices.
Allowing players who credibly are charged with serious crimes to suit up and play might be done for all the right reasons, but it sends a wrong message.
Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @cgoshayREP