Friday, March 4, 2011

Background Checks in College Football

Sports Illustrated and CBS News created a stir this week with their Top 25 college football teams based upon police records.

Here in my state, Iowa made the list. That’s no surprise. It only seems that Iowa holds a press conference every couple weeks to deflect more negative news.

The report stated that only Oklahoma and TCU perform criminal background checks on potential recruits. My question is why other schools don’t do the same thing?

Football is a million dollar sport at most Division I schools. Money is available to do background checks. Recruiting is a full-time process and the background check could be adding to the list.

Could a recruit do a reversal of his criminal background check? Yes, it is definitely possible. But overall, past behavior usually influences present and future behavior. Let’s face it: college football players are investments to their schools. So wouldn’t schools save themselves some possible heartache and bad publicity with the checks?

There are roughly 100 college players involved in a Division I program. There will be bad apples in the bunch—that’s simply the law of averages. But a screening process such as criminal checks would keep those apples to a minimum.

Doe you think colleges should perform criminal checks on football recruits?

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