According to an August 15 article on the website NFL.com; the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” football team is now under investigation for academic fraud. Even though the investigation is ongoing; 4 players have already been removed from the team. The article does not say what other teams or players are believed to be a part of the investigation. The student athletes are believed to have turned in assignments that were written by other students.
According to Fox Sports.com, even though the investigation is not final, critics are already talking about the “hit” that the Notre Dame brand will take. The school has agreed to vacate wins from last year; if necessary.
The Bible offers a number of scriptures that address the issue of cheating. Proverbs 11:1 calls cheating an abomination in the Lord’s sight. Jeremiah 9:8 calls the tongue an arrow of deceit, and the Apostle Paul encouraged hearers that the ox should not be muzzled while he is working. The underlying message in each of the scriptures was twofold: God does not condone cheating, and cheating is not esteemed above any other sin. Your message and consequence for cheating should not change just because you play sports for a living.
100 people were asked about their familiarity with the Notre Dame scandal. Of them, almost 80% (76) had either read about the story heard about it. When asked if those involved should be kicked off the team, almost 70% (68) said no. Almost 60 percent felt that expulsion would be too harsh. Almost all of those polled felt that the students should receive a failing grade for the class and be forced to take the class over again.
There is a “questionably” renewed focus to cleanup college and pro sports. From the steroid issues to the NFL’s conduct policy to Donald Sterling; the standards governing those on and off the field are being raised. Is it fair to have a disciplinary policy for an athlete that is different from non-athletes?