Three strikes and…you’re in

In California, persons who are convicted of a felony who were previously convicted of two or more violent crimes face the potential of 25 years-to-life in prison. It is known as the “Three Strikes” law.

In college basketball and for the Duke Blue Devils, there are no such consequences. For Duke guard Grayson Allen, there really aren’t any consequences. On Dec. 21, the Blue Devils were playing Elon and for the third time in two years, Allen decided to blatantly trip an opposing player. Allen proceeded to receive a technical foul and then threw a temper tantrum on the bench during a timeout.

What was his punishment? He got an indefinite suspension, which sounds fitting until you realize it was just one game. Allen had to sit out Duke’s game against Virginia Tech. It was a game the Blue Devils lost. Fast forward to Jan. 4 and Allen is back in the starting lineup after serving his “indefinite” suspension. With hall-of-famer Mike Krzyewski out after back surgery, interim coach Jeff Capel needed to win and win now. It begs the question if winning has become more important than human decency.

Grayson Allen and the Duke men’s basketball team aren’t the only ones in the spotlight with regard to this question. On Tuesday, the University of Minnesota fired head football coach Tracy Claeys after he supported 10 of his players who were under investigation for sexual assault. Claeys lobbied with the Minnesota administration for fairness in the investigation and even supported his players when they boycotted playing in the Holiday Bowl. Now, many of the players are threatening to transfer and saying they don’t care who the coach is, they won’t play for the University of Minnesota.

And then there was Oklahoma University running back Joe Mixon. “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” is what all Sooner fans might be saying right now. In late December, a video surfaced from 2014 that showed Mixon violently punch a woman in the face in an Oklahoma restaurant. Mixon was suspended the entire 2014 season after taking a plea agreement for the incident.

However, he has played the last two years and capped it off by playing in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn on Jan. 2. Yes, the incident happened in 2014, but once this video became public, it might have been smart of OU head coach Bob Stoops to take Mixon off the field rather than continue to play him.

There are instances of accountability. Take Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher for example.  A video of quarterback Deandre Johnson hitting a woman went public in 2015 and he was quickly dismissed from the team. For those who do take situations such as these serious, kudos.

There needs to be some accountability with regard to the wide world of collegiate athletics. Unfortunately, money and winning are more important and that doesn’t look like it will change any time soon.

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