Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crime & Punishment In The Pros

The off-season can be a perilous time for a professional athlete. With all that money and all that free time, how is a young man or woman supposed to know which decisions are wise and which aren't?

We hear stories all the time about how these poor, supremely gifted celebrities fall into financial or legal trouble because they were just never taught what kind of repercussions there are for their actions. But is it really fair to expect more from this poorly educated segment of the population?

The most recent study I could find showed that 46% of NFL players in 2004 had graduated from college. 39.1% of NBA players last year went to college for four years (but did not necessarily graduate). And around .03% of major league baseball players and managers in 2009 graduated from college (yes, .03%. 26 of the approximately 780 players and managers). So on the whole, only 33.5% of professional athletes in the major American sports have college degrees. Many do not have high school degrees and many did not even live with their parents until they were 18 because they were at special "schools" for gifted athletes.

So with this underprivileged class in mind, as well as some recent news regarding the jail sentences and subsequent league suspensions handed out to three NFL players this off-season, I thought I'd do my part to pass along some information that will show these youngsters what's in store if they run afoul of the law (or more importantly as it were, of the Commissioner).

Is there any rhyme or reason to these punishments? Don't break the law in New York, I suppose. Other than that, just remember that if you're gonna break the law, the more serious the better, and then just make sure you have a lot of cash saved up. Because worse crimes seem to get shorter jail sentences, but longer unpaid-suspensions.

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