A Black Eye For the NCAA
You have to admit, watching University of Miami safety Anthony Reddick sling his helmet at Florida International players was kinda nuts. (Watching the footage did, however, spark a childhoodÂ question I had about why baseball players never charged the mound with their bats.) Honestly, the whole thing was absurd, the actual brawl, the slow response from authorities, the reaction of now-fired U of M TV personality Lamar Thomas ("You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked!"), the tap-on-the-wrist punishments, everything.
Still, it wasn't unprecedented. You remember back in November '04 when Clemson and South Carolina got buck wild in the 4th quarter? It was crazy, too, but it didn't reach nearly the heights of the melee in Miami. A couple of reasons probably explain why: 1) Miami, like Mike Tyson, Cassidy and Enron execs, has a history of getting into trouble, so the fight is basically a tragic "Here we go again" reminder; 2) The scene was ridiculously brutal; 3) Most of the culprits were black.
Yeah, I know, I know. The proverbial race card. It can bite you in the ass if you aren't careful. At times it's used as a lazy cop-out for insubordination. But here, KING readers, it applies, if for only one reason: Why isn't any one talking about the Dartmouth/Holy Cross fight from the same weekend? Oh, you didn't hear about that fiasco? Hmm, wonder why not? Probably has something to do with the fact the fracas was between an esteemed Ivy League school and a prestigious Patriot League one. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
Dartmouth, the home team, supposedly has no viewable footage of the brawl -Wait, no local TV, no coach in the booth making scout tape, no proud mama filming Jimmy, nothing?- so that explains why sports networks haven't looped the 2-minute fight a million times like they did for the Canes and Panthers. But I'm not so sure. It seems to me that the two sad incidents, and the aftermath of both, isÂ just more proof of how things (even in sports) are often incongruently handled. Yeah, Miami is the more marquee institution, but just ask the guys at the bottom of the piles if the fists felt any different.