Role modelz do the right thang

17 Nov

This morning news broke that MU head football coach Gary Pinkel was arrested on charges for a DWI. Naturally, his name was trending on Twitter most of the morning and everyone I know was letting their feelings out in both respectful and totally moronic manners. Thanks to Mizzou (and probably the J School in particular), Columbia news gets dissected at the speed of social media by thousands of people with well-informed opinions. Ok, minus the well-informed part.

Our athletic department has been under fire a lot in the past few months. We hired a basketball coach out of obscurity who turns out to have probably broken some NCAA laws involving jet skis and donors at his previous job. We left the crumbling Big XII conference in search of greener, southern pastures in the SEC. Students, alumni and community members have been mad about all of this. No matter what, I’ll always be a tiger fan and I’ll root for Mizzou no matter who’s calling the shots or what I wear to a tailgate. I have to say, that I’m really disappointed by this.

Gary always seemed like a cool guy even though he wore visors. He seemed pretty down to earth and held high standards for his players. Last season two players got DWI’s (or D-dubs as they say on the streets) and they each sat out two games. I respect that. Will Gary sit out the final two games of the season? Maybe he should.

Public figures and non public figures alike have to constantly remember to do the right thing. Making good choices is so so so so so important. Not only should you not drive drunk because it is irresponsible, dangerous and if something happens you are responsible, but also, if you do get caught do you want to tell grandma that you got a DWI? Your little sister and brother? Your boss?

Little decisions are little, but some of them become big in the wrong light. Drunk driving for example. We can always say, lapse of judgement. Bad day, whatever.

Big decisions, like Joe Paterno’s case are even less excusable. Don’t you think at some point he sat down and thought about what he should do and what the consequences for his decisions would be? It goes to show no matter who you think is watching, you still have to do what’s right and not always what’s best.

Any public figure is a role model. If people know your name and your face, you should act like a role model. I’m not famous, but I know Julie and Will know what I do. I can’t say if they look up to me for sure or not, but I’d be most embarrassed to tell them if I ever got a DWI.

My parents are really against tattoos. They really don’t like them and have made threats about all kinds of silly things if I ever got one. Honestly, it means a lot to me that they don’t have them either. How easy is it to say, “Why can’t I, you did?”

But in Gary’s case, it’s too late for that. He will need to earn back the respect of his fans, his colleges and most importantly, his team.

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