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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Citation not easily forgiven

    Hassan Adams
    Hassan Adams

    Citation not easily forgiven

    It is time to step up to the plate to show that drinking and driving is not OK and that even the biggest man takes responsibility for his actions.

    Instead Arizona head coach Lute Olson hid behind a statement and hid his star athlete, senior guard Hassan Adams, from the public after Adams was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, showing that winning is more important than the morals Olson tries to instill in his players.

    Olson said Adams signed autographs for an hour and a half after Saturday’s game and that he has never seen Adams refuse an autograph to a child. Those same children look to Adams as a role model, and when Olson suspends Adams for what could turn out to be as little as one game, those same children will not understand the real consequences of driving under the influence.

    If Adams had asked for a ride, all Tucson residents with valid driver’s licenses would have raised their hands to accept the task or dream in many cases.

    Precedents have been set in other DUI cases around college athletics:

  • – Kentucky forward Jules Camara was suspended for the entire 2000 season for driving under the influence.
  • – That same year, Kansas forward Lester Earl was suspended for seven games for driving under the influence.
  • – Last year former Cincinnati guard Ryan Patzwald was arrested on suspicion of DUI and quit the team.
  • – Vanderbilt fullback Zach Logan was dismissed from the football team Feb. 22 following a DUI arrest.
  • – Connecticut guard Marcus Williams was suspended for half of the season for his role in stealing laptop computers. While that may be a very serious offense, it’s an act that did not endanger him or others physically.
  • A lot of women in Mothers Against Drunk Driving would beg to differ when it comes to drinking and driving.

    Last year Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis installed a policy making the minimum suspension for anyone charged with

    Good people and good players make mistakes and should have to pay for them just as much.

    driving under the influence 10 percent of the team’s games, making it at least three games for basketball players.

    There have been so many recent DUI charges against coaches, from former Oklahoma State head coach Eddie Sutton to former Cincinnati head coach Bob Huggins, that you would think drinking and driving is synonymous with double dribbling. Even Arizona football coach Mike Stoops was once charged with DUI – in 1996, when he was a co-defensive coordinator for Kansas State.

    With all that history, it is preposterous to hand down a suspension for only the Pacific 10 Conference tournament. The bottom line is the Wildcats would be on the verge of missing the NCAA tournament all together without Adams in the picture because the NCAA committee does take into account all players no longer with the team.

    When former Cincinnati forward Kenyon Martin broke his leg prior to the 2000 NCAA tournament, the Bearcats dropped from a surefire No. 1 seed to a No. 2 seed.

    Olson must have taken his streak of 21 straight NCAA tournament appearances and the pride of salvaging the season into account, or Adams would be done as an Arizona basketball player.

    Don’t get me wrong, by all accounts Adams is a good person, loved by teammates and fans alike. The law, however, does not distinguish between those well-liked and those who are not.

    Good people and good players make mistakes and should have to pay for them just as much.

    Part of being a college basketball coach is teaching boys how to be men. Men own up to their responsibilities, accept the consequences and suffer the penalties.

    Olson is setting the wrong precedent with his light suspension of Adams. For all those who look up to Adams, a suspension for the rest of the season is the right message to send.

    Winning is important, but nothing is more important than doing the right thing.

    -Roman Veytsman

    Adams’ mistake common

    Talk about a bad night.

    You are leading your team in your final game in the fans’ last live view of you against a ranked opponent. You let the game slip away, miss a game-winning 3, go out and have some drinks and then look back and see those eerie lights flashing in your rearview.

    If senior guard Hassan Adams was picking a night to make one of the biggest mistakes of his life, I’m sure being on the cusp of the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament and NCAA Selection Sunday wasn’t his best timing.

    So with that, Adams did what a lot of people do when they have a bad day.

    He went out, he had some drinks and he got behind the wheel when that was certainly not the right choice.

    After all the bells and whistles that the Tucson Police Department sounds and what a person pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol goes through, I can guarantee you that a whole lot of things were traveling through Adams’ mind.

    He was thinking about his family, his friends, his coaches, his players, his fans and probably, above all, his own well-being.

    So after Arizona head coach Lute Olson announced that Adams would be suspended for the Pac-10 Tournament, you have to understand the significance of the suspension.

    Right now, Arizona is one of the four Pac-10 teams looking to make the NCAA tournament, but two loses in a row, especially one to a team like No. 5-seeded Stanford, won’t do anything but hurt the Wildcats’ chances of making it to their 22nd straight NCAA tournament.

    Olson understood the importance of an intense slap on the wrist, and did just that, possibly holding Adams out of his final chance to sport No. 21 as he flies through the air.

    I’m not condoning drunk driving, nor am I saying in any way that I’m disappointed in Adams.

    He is, if you take out the incredible vertical and the fact that he will be making millions next year, just like one of us.

    Adams is a young kid who made a mistake that he can’t change, so he is going to have to take his lumps just like Kansas State guard Jarrett Hart did during the 2002-03 season.

    Hart was arrested for DUI and suspended for just one game, exactly what would be the minimum amount Adams will be out if the Wildcats fail to beat the Cardinal.

    There is no question about Adams’ character or his determination; you can get those answers from his coach and teammates.

    Olson told a story of a trip his players were asked to take to a children’s hospital over Christmas.

    Olson said he was told that after Adams and a few other players had visited and signed autographs at the assigned hospital, they took a trip to another children’s hospital to do that same service to a place the coaching staff hadn’t assigned.

    As you can see, Adams isn’t the worst of guys.

    Another thing you must understand is that Adams’ only punishment won’t come from basketball.

    He will serve his time in jail, pay anywhere

    There is no
    question about Adams’ character or his determination; you can get those answers from his coach and teammates.

    from $1,000 to $2,000 in fines and spend more than 36 hours in counseling depending on his punishment.

    Being a public figure, Adams will be tried twice, once by a judge and then by the public.

    Adams is just another example of the problems with driving under the influence, a huge problem at the UA and around campus.

    Maybe for Olson, doing the right thing was protecting a player that has been under his tutelage for four years.

    Isn’t a coach supposed to back his players first?

    -Shane Bacon

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