In disciplining student/athletes, the students at Virginia Tech get it right

In disciplining student/athletes, the students at Virginia Tech get it right

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After Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes was found guilty in June of assault and battery that came two months after his arrest for fighting, school officials were ready to discuss whether to reinstate him on the team.

But the school’s students had a different idea about Holmes, who was in the running for the starting tailback job this coming season. Last month, the Student Conduct Committee kicked Holmes out of school. From the Washington Post:

 In a decision handed down by the Virginia Tech Student Conduct Committee a month ago, Holmes was “permanently separated from the university” and will no longer be on the football team, Athletic Director Jim Weaver confirmed Tuesday. Weaver’s office was informed about Holmes’s dismissal last week. …

Weaver had planned to discuss reinstating Holmes to the football team with Coach Frank Beamer soon, but Holmes’s peers took the decision out of his hands. 

Keep in mind, there’s been a lot of talk recently about college sports programs looking the other way when an athlete gets in trouble with the law. In the post-Aaron Hernandez-era, everyone’s talking about how a school would rather put up with criminal activity than get rid of a troublesome player.

But the student action against Holmes took place before the New England Patriots tight end was arrested and charged with murder. It took place when the AD and the football coach were getting ready to discuss putting Holmes back on the team.

A month ago, the ejection might have generated a debate on giving a kid another chance. Today, it’s doubtful that debate would cross anyone’s mind.