Benching Young correct choice

NW Staff

The decision to bench Prince Young on Saturday, Oct. 13 was commendable and reflects an athletic administration that adheres to the NMU Athletic Code.

An article published in the Thursday, Oct. 11 issue of the North Wind, “NMU rusher could face time in jail,” outlined Young’s criminal activity, which includes an assault and battery charge, as well as contempt of court.

According to the NMU Athletic Code, “All student athletes will be subject to review under the Athletic Code if the athlete…has committed criminal activity that consists of an act or acts prohibited under municipal, state or federal law.”

Wearing the green and gold colors of NMU is a privilege—one that can be taken away.

In the past, student athletes haven’t always received repercussions fitting of their misconduct. The six NMU hockey players who were arrested for stealing bicycles in November 2011 did receive punishment, but few had to sit on the bench following their Athletic Review.

Being competitive is important, especially for school-sponsored teams who spend tremendous amounts of money to fund their sport. At the same time, the university should not allow students whom violate the Athletic Code to keep participating in their chosen sport.

Letting Young play after neglecting to fulfill his legal obligations will do more harm than good. Other athletes may start to think they are untouchable. If no one blows a whistle, then no one will stop athletes’ behavior from taking an illegal shift.

Athletes are held to a higher standard because they are visible representatives of NMU. Holding Young’s feet to the fire sends a message to traditional and athletic students: there are repercussions for misconduct off the field.