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Editorial: A troubling pattern of misconduct at U
Athletes need to face real consequences for misdeeds.
No Minnesotan should be surprised by the off-the-field screw-ups that have made this an especially embarrassing period for the University of Minnesota's Athletic Department. Deeply disappointed, yes, but not surprised. As long as the university's coaches take chances recruiting at-risk student-athletes in an effort to win at almost any cost, police and lawyers will make frequent visits to campus.
And if the athletes most likely to offend in the future see that the most serious punishment handed out in these cases amounts to a few missed games and extra wind sprints, the out-of-control culture will flourish. Unfortunately, the initial disciplinary response to the latest batch of troubles does not inspire confidence that coaches and Athletic Department officials will come down hard enough on troublemakers to get the attention of the rest of their players.
"It seems to snowball,'' Athletic Director Joel Maturi told the Star Tribune last week. "When you have so many instances at one time, you wonder, what's going on at the asylum?'' That's the right question, but it's one the athletic director and his multimillion-dollar coaches should be answering, not asking.