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False Dichotomies

UCLA fans most certainly took notice of the Seattle Times' withering expose on the complete lack of institutional control on Rick Neuheisel's Washington teams. There's not much we can say about it, other than that Jerramy Stevens is a vile, horrible human being who doesn't deserve another waking moment as a free man.

This never should have happened.

Should we sacrifice class for success? reads the headline in the Daily Bruin. The article itself is either pedantic or brilliant, depending on whether you take any of the last half of the article at face value.

But it's a weird question to ask: Is winning or discipline more important? And the answer is, well, "yes." They're both hugely, vitally important. The notion that one comes at the cost of the other is flatly ridiculous, and one that ought to be retired soon.

For proof, look no further than, well, Iowa. The Hawkeyes just slogged through their worst season since 2000, and their off-field transgressions were every bit as poor as their gameday "performance." Further, there's nothing to suggest that better athletes are more predisposed to run afoul of the law; most of the players arrested were lesser-known recruits, and Iowa's Big 7 from the 2005 All-American game all stayed clean. We're actually a bit surprised that nobody has tried to frame Jake Christensen for robbing a bank with a rocket launcher just to get him kicked off the team. Then again, the off-season has just begun.

We know great teams can maintain a high level of character. We know lousy teams can fill up rap sheets at a dizzying pace. Failing on either count is unacceptable.

Have fun with Uncle Ricky, UCLA!

(H/T: The inimitable Wiz.)