We've learned a lot about discipline this year. Stealing credit cards is bad. DUI's are bad. Getting caught yellow-handed in a piss and run gets you kicked off the team (which is bullshit).
Sadly, though, the system seems to be ineffective. While common knowledge suggests the punishments meted out have been justly harsh, the fact remains that the number of transgressions have not decreased. We simple writers can sit here and grouse about a broken system. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio is a fixer.
You see, three of his players, including starting cornerback DJ Williams and the impossibly named SirDarean Adams, a starting DE, were arraigned on felony theft charges yesterday in Ingham county court. In addition, Williams faces Missy Misdemeanor charges for assault and battery for the incident. We say Missy Misdemeanor because true players know that when it comes to assault charges, it's go felony or go home, son.
Faced with something like felony robbery, most coaches would instantly jump for an automatic indefinite suspension. Mark Dantonio, on the other hand, realizes that the problem isn't "criminal behavior," it's merely the players' need to cry out for attention. Dantonio is proving himself to be an innovator in sports psychology by merely ignoring the problem; indeed, all three charged players will remain eligible. When reached for comment, Bret Bielema called the tactic "brilliant."
Some cynics may call the move by Dantonio "irresponsible" or say that his decision shows a casual disrespect for the legal process. Not so! As a matter of fact, try to figure out which quote is from Mark Dantonio yesterday, and which is from Kirk Ferentz back when Dominique Douglas and Anthony Bowman revolutionized the American economy:
"In fairness to the student-athletes alleged to have been involved in the incident, the prudent decision is to allow the legal process to continue to run its full course and for the truth to be determined."
"I think the only fair thing to do at this point is let it play out in the courts and we’ll reserve judgment."
Whose is whose? It doesn't matter! They say the same thing! Dantonio isn't placing his players above the law; he's merely ahead of his time in his ability to liberate his young charges from the mental strain of legal limbo and forcing them to continue concentrating on what matters most: intercollegiate sports.
We applaud the new coach's approach to discipline and building character, and we anticipate absolutely no possible way for this to backfire in a mess of rampant misbehavior.