There always have been incidents of fights, stealing, drunkenness and other forms of lack of disciplinary behavior among college athletes, particularly in the high profile sports of football and basketball. But 30 years ago, they were isolated issues. Today, they are breaking out in nearly every program.
Think of some of the troublemakers from the Chicago area...Boo Boo Thompson, Kyle Williams, Phillip Macklin, Yarmo Green, Ryan Hare, to name a few. Just read the sports section daily and you see one example after another of kids who are getting into trouble in college. And some colleges have a long history of troublemakers.
How do you explain it?
There is a feeling among athletes that they have a sense of entitlement in recruiting. They get it from the parents and high school coaches and now the college coaches. They form a buddy/buddy relationship, not a coach/player relationship. The coach is one of the boys.
Lack of discipline shows in many programs. Kids aren't afraid of the coaches or of being thrown off the team. There is a lack of respect for the coaching staff and the university which creates incidents of disciplinary behavior.
Kids feel they can do anything they want because they have been told that while being recruited. They can indulge in all the fun and partying they can. Rules aren't made for them but for other students. They have carte blanche to do as they please. The worst thing that will happen to them is a slap on the wrist, a day without recess.
What do you expect from kids who are pampered and spoiled, who are exposed to private campus housing that can be compared to the Trump Tower?
Coaches become their best friends. There is no fear as there once was. They are peers instead of having fears, no coach/player relationship, no Mike Ditka or Murney Lazier or Frank Leahy or Bear Bryant.
College coaches have to sell their souls to these kids in order to recruit them and it comes back to haunt them when the kids think they can do as they please on campus. Every program has problems and some programs always will have problems. You don't have to check the rap sheet to know who they are.