Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When permanently means nothing

Tiger basketball player Jeremy Hunt was reinstated today. You may remember that Jeremy was suspended for a domestic dispute with an ex, then reinstated, then permanently dismissed from the Tiger program for getting in a fight on Beale Street and breaking his hand (which he lied and said he did in a shooting drill). That Jeremy Hunt.

The whole Jeremy Hunt situation was a P.R. nightmare for the University. They botched it. They hired a firm for a ton of money to say they botched it.

What is more comical than the whole reinstatement is the reaction you will hear from the media in this town. The media that if it was any other school would have a totally different opinion.

I love hearing that "he's a great kid." How do you know? Because he is nice to you? You are supposed to be nice to people. I know if it was my daughter that he hit, I would cringe to hear about what a great kid he is. Yet you will hear media members say that, as if they really know. How many great kids pin down girls and beat them up? There may be some, but I have never known them. What if that was your daughter? How would you feel now? What is your answer to that? It bothers you to think of it that way, doesn't it? It challenges your thinking.

I love hearing "he did was he was supposed to do, he graduated, and he has been a model citizen." Seriously, how low are our standards? You should graduate when you get a free education and tutors to boot, you are supposed to stay out of trouble, and you should be a model citizen.

I love hearing "hopefully he learned his lesson." What lesson? That if you are good at basketball permanently can mean nothing if you act right for a while? If you can help Memphis win, chances come in packs of at least three. If you cannot, ask Simplice Njoya how many you get.

The spin is gonna be classic. Cal and the media in his pocket will say that those of us against the reinstatement hate Memphis, don't care about kids, don't understand what Jeremy would do without basketball, and don't know the kid well enough. They will say it does not bother them at all. We will hear how he served his time and has learned, etc. On the subject of not caring about kids... Keena Young had a Uhaul packed with his stuff to come to Memphis in a package deal with Kendrick Perkins and when Kendrick did not come, Keena was told to un-pack his bags and stay home. What did he do wrong? Don't we care about kids here?

I am totally in favor of second chances. Jeremy got his. He was told that he had one chance, and when he screwed up again the university sent out a message saying that he was gone forever and would no longer embarrass the Tigers. Kids make mistakes and everyone has to learn from them. The best life lesson that Jeremy can learn is for permanent to mean permanent. Reinstating him sends the message that permanent can mean nothing... If your good at basketball. This isn't just the wrong word being used, that they should not have said "permanent" as many will say.

The mistake is that they should have meant permanent.