Monday, November 8, 2010


Loyalty is defined as a feeling of faithfulness (dependability and fidelity) or allegiance to a person, place, or thing. I bring this topic up upon hearing, this past spring, that 5 players, on one of the top-ranked basketball teams in the country, are jumping ship and applying to the N.B.A. draft and, therefore, are abandoning their school scholarships. In fact, one player, All-American John Wall, is leaving after only one year at Kentucky.

What a joke! Here we are giving a valuable scholarship to an individual(s) to get an education in addition to have him (them) play the sport of basketball for the University. Did these players really desire to get an education or did they use that scholarship as a stepping stone to playing in the N.B.A. and becoming a millionaire? I’m sure we all know the answer to that question. I have no quarrel with anyone using his athletic ability and skills to better himself financially, but why go through this charade of giving the school’s scholarship money to “non-scholars” when that money could’ve been used by a deserving, financially needy “student scholar” who will actually add something positive to our society other than a three-point field goal?

I heard, during the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament, the two finalists – Duke and Butler – that those teams graduated more than 80% of their basketball players. Great news! Conversely, other teams like the Univ. of Maryland had a graduation rate of 0% and now the Univ. of Kentucky has had 5 starters leave for the N.B.A. without them getting a degree. These are, by no means, isolated schools that have horrendous graduation rates. Those players who “used” these duplicitous schools to further their careers are just one injury or one criminal conviction or incident away from becoming a burden on our society by not having that valuable “sheepskin” to fall back upon when their athletic talent fades away and they are no longer needed or wanted by the sport. The N.B.A. teams don’t really need a General Manager, they need a probation officer. What a disgrace to listen to these “school dropouts”, who were representing schools of higher learning, in trying to articulate a sentence in understandable English.

Most of these dropouts happen to be minority students who are recruited by these schools, not for their brains but for their brawn. So we not only have the athletes (I don’t use the word student-athlete because in most cases they aren’t even students) exploiting the University, but then you have the University exploiting the athlete – all for athletic glory and the dollars that will follow this inglorious arrangement. The old adage of, “Follow the money” really applies here. Money is king and academics take a back seat.

What a shame and what a waste of time and money.

Loyalty seems to be a forgotten virtue in the lives of many of our citizens today. On the one hand, loyalty can also be abused by some (mainly politicians) to go along with policies that they know to be false or destructive, but, on the other hand, because of the “blind” loyalty that they have for a particular political party, organization, or group, they would sell their “soul” to go along with devious leaders who were advocating those ideas rather than voting their conscience or voting with the prevailing opinions of the electorate.

The recent health care debate and passage is a perfect example of the abuse of the virtue of loyalty being used in a destructive manner. Under the table deals, bribes, and coercion were rampant in order to get the “loyalty” of some members to cast their “vote” the right way.

Will we ever regain the need to be loyal to our country, our faith (if you have one), our employer, our spouse etc.? I don’t know that answer, but I will always look favorably upon someone who shows loyalty when it is shown to be needed and shun those whose loyalty can be bought for nefarious reasons.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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1 comment:

Betty Geiger said...

Look what happened in Wash. D.C. The Mayor and the School Superintendent tried to upgrade the schools by getting rid of deadwood teachers, closing failing schools, and championing a charter and voucher program for low income minority students, which seemed to be succeeding, but a fuinny thing happened, the Mayor was voted out and the school super quit as a result. Now Wash. D.C. has what they seemed to have wanted, to be #1 in the country with the worst performing schools. Chalk one up for the teacher's unions in helping Wash. D.C. regain that very pretigious dubious designation. Loyalty came back to bite them big time in the butt. By the way, isn't D.C. run by the Democrats?