Wednesday, October 24, 2007
More mishaps in the Ball State athletic department
Maybe it's because I'm a student at the university so I'm exposed to more of the garbage that goes on in the athletic department.
Or perhaps it's simply because most of this athletic department, starting at the top, is a joke.
The Ball State athletic department suffered another black eye today.
The Daily News reported today that five student-athletes tested positive for banned substances. The test was administered to 25 student-athletes on Oct. 5; two of the five tested positive for a second time.
Ball State's smarmy athletic director Tom Collins said the positive tests do not reflect on his department.
Of course they do. In fact, it adds to the pile of negativity the athletic department has garnered since Collins' arrival in Dec. 2005.
The student-athletes clearly made poor choices. Whether it was drugs, performance enhancers, energy or fat-burning boosters, or something else on the NCAA's list of banned substances - it was wrong.
Coaches and athletic department officials can't make decisions for their student-athletes. They can only educate and reiterate the importance of staying clean.
There are rules to be followed, and not just for substance abuse. Rules that were created to maintain success and inspire respect for self, team, program and university. Ball State student-athletes, coaches and athletic department officials know these rules. But they don't seem to be following them.
In Collins' brief era, men's basketball coach Ronny Thompson quit after one season amid racial tensions and NCAA violations - three when Thompson was coach. That situation is a slimey one, and Thompson lawyered up. A volleyball coach of 18-years was inexpicably fired because of his connection to the men's basketball situation.
New head men's basketball coach Billy Taylor recently kicked two players off the team for violating team policy in separate instances.
The head of women's basketball operations was arrested for DUI in August but retains her job.
In less than two years, this is the state of Collins' athletic department. Leadership is what the Ball State athletic department needs but leadership is not what the Ball State athletic department is getting.
(NOTE: We've e-mailed some local beat writers and hope to post their thoughts on the state of the BSU athletic department. We'll post them if we get them.)