College football coaches are always on the lookout for the next possible gridiron superstar.
Each coach’s wish list is different, but the criteria is almost always the same – speed, smarts, and size usually rule the day.
So where does an intangible like character come into play?
Every program would love to have a guy like Tim Tebow in their locker room. He was a good player with a solid moral foundation to back it up. He was a leader on the field and off, and became the poster child for the ‘good guy’ in college football.
But while Tebow was hoisted up as the pristine face of the Florida Gators, the rest of their football program were certainly no Eagle Scouts. Since 2005, 25 different players from the Gators have been arrested, including 12 charges of felonies or violent misdemeanors.
Florida is not the only program to deal with criminal activity from its players, either.
Every year we hear more reports about college athletes who find themselves involved in illegal matters that can make Ohio State’s tattoos and Brigham Young’s honor code violations sound like a church bake sale.
As further evidence of this growing problem in college sports, a recent study has uncovered that there is an alarming number of student athletes with criminal records, specifically among the ranks of the top programs.
Because these athletes become high profile representatives of high profile schools, does it make sense for those universities to dig even further into the respective pasts of their prospective recruits?
Should Universities in the NCAA examine the juvenile records of those students they intend to recruit?
Is this a viable way to clean up the game and its programs? We are about to find out…