Michael Hunt wrote this:
Look, I'm not saying it's OK for underage kids to be in a bar. Of course it's not OK. The players had no business being in there and breaking the law.
And it is nonsense.
I hate the way high-profile college athletes are treated in general. They're partially celebrities, partially indentured servants, and often partially students. It's probably a very strange life, especially if you're one of the many kids without professional prospects. I probably can't even imagine it.
What I will not do is get bent out of shape when student athletes do things that almost all college students do. It's stupid that we do not allow adults to consume alcohol. Vote? Sure! Get shipped off to Afghanistan? Absolutely! Pay taxes? You bet! Have a PBR tallboy? AHHH! CALL THE NEWS! CALL DON WALKER RIGHT NOW!
There is nothing wrong with going to a bar when you are 20 that is magically cured when you turn 21. And the fact that something is illegal does not mean it is wrong. Laws often prohibit benign activities for no good reason (and more frequently a bad reason). The conflation of legal with moral is damaging. It's lazy. It allows you to replace critical thought with rote, government-approved animal-instinct.
I could go on for another 15 pages about the drinking age but let's get back to the kids - or men - and the JS - here.
It's not news when a college kid - or man gets an underage drinking ticket. It just isn't. It's the norm. It is "dog bites man". It's boring. Writing a big, ominous expose on such a thing is irresponsible. Doing so during the NCAA tournament is more-so and reeks of a ratings stunt given that the incident occurred over a month ago.
The greatest hypocrisy of all is that the quasi-adult status of these players is what excuses the writer from culpability. They view these players as adults worthy of harsh scrutiny, but not worthy, apparently of a beer.
I drank before I turned 21. If I had to do it all over again I would do absolutely the same thing. Hell, I was actually kind of straight-laced when got to college, and I think i'd actually do more of it. I will never blame a 19-year-old man for doing what 19-year-old men do, what I did, and what I would do again. No one else should either.