Saturday, June 19, 2010

I don't want to be like Mike

He was a giant in Pennsylvania politics, but his greed and lust for power did him in. Now, Mike Veon, the former House Democratic Whip, will spend the next 6 to 14 years behind bars for his mistakes.

I followed this case intermittently, so I can't comment on whether the trial was fair or about anything associated with it, but I can tell you that I saw an unfortunate parallel -- college sports.

One of the messages that came from the judge's sentencing was that Mr. Veon's actions and behaviors demanded that he be made an example of how not to be a politician. But isn't that same "we need to make an example of this school" inherent every time the NCAA imposes sanctions on a collegiate athletics program?

And how often has that message gotten through?

Mr. Veon has a choice: He can offer to make regular speeches to political groups to warn them that unchecked power and greed can lead to what he is -- a disgraced former politician. Perhaps if he does that he can ask countless numbers of current and former college athletic directors and coaches to join him.

I'm not holding my breath.

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