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The Breakdown: Sticky fingers

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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Doughnuts are a pretty interesting food when you think about it. Besides being delicious, they’re also a little symbolic, being a circle and all. You know, what goes around comes around and all that type of stuff.

Well, the reason I bring this up is that a couple sports figures this week have been caught with some pretty sticky fingers for things that happened in the past.

The two incidents aren’t really related, but they do have to do with pastries – sort of.

The first of these is probably one of my favorite stories to come out of sports – or at least the NFL – in quite some time. It’s involving a certain “Golden” wide receiver and, well, a couple doughnuts.

Seattle Seahawks rookie Golden Tate was caught by police the other night after he and his buddy popped into a doughnut shop and had a few maple bars – a local favorite.

The problem with this? It was 3 a.m., and the shop was closed and locked up.

He was let off the hook with a warning, because, really, the whole incident was fairly harmless, seeing as he lived above the shop.

My favorite part: In an interview the following day, Tate told reporters that the main problem in his decision making was that the long-John style pastries were simply “irresistible.” The guy sounds more like Homer Simpson than a former Notre Dame standout.

(Note: Can you really be called a standout when, if you were put in a group of people taller that 5-11, no one would be able to see the top of your head? I know that we’re referring to what he did on the field, but, come on, the guy is almost as small as his alma mater’s leprechaun mascot. I’ve always found the term “standout” to be a bit meaningless, because really, you can also stand out by being the worst player on a team. Not sure what this has to do with anything.)

Now, lighthearted late-night munching aside, I’m still pretty surprised that a pro athlete wouldn’t foresee any sort of negative repercussions from trespassing and stealing. Sounds like a bad mix.

Speaking of things that aren’t supposed to go together: Being paid and being a college athlete.

This week, the hammer was not only dropped on the USC football program for its look-the-other-way approach to NCAA violations, the hammer smashed the program to smithereens. A two-year postseason ban, 30 lost scholarships and vacating wins from the entire 2004 season – a year in which the Trojans won a national title – are just the beginning of the punishment, because, through all of this, USC is likely to be crippled for the unforeseeable future. Having two straight years of virtually playing for nothing – both in terms of titles and scholarship money – for a player doesn’t sound very appealing. A lot of players may jump off the Trojan ship and transfer. New recruits may look to another school. It’ll be pretty ugly.

And all of this, basically, because of one guy: Reggie Bush.

All of the violations stem back to the former Heisman Trophy winner (and current NFL gimmick player). Allegedly, Bush took whatever anyone offered him, be it a house for his family, money, cars, maybe even free Krispy Kremes. (Sorry, that’s the only pastry correlation I could make in this story. I had to try.)

The main idea here, with both stories I brought up, is one of the great things sports can teach someone: You break the rules, eventually, you’re going down for it.

Whether it’s a light slap on the wrist in Tate’s case or a dismantling of a dynasty and legacy for Bush and USC, there isn’t anywhere to hide from you’re negative actions. Sports teach you to own up to what you’ve done, even if it’s not you’re choice to do so.

What I’m saying is, what goes around comes around. Just like a doughnut, well, unless it’s a long-John. Anyway, you get the point. Now, enjoy your breakfast.


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