The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sports Talk-Cheating allegations newest sport controversy

By John Garces/sports editor

The latest dynasty of the football world has some explaining to do.

The franchise once roundly hailed as the NFL’s “model franchise,” the New England Patriots, has been caught in what is being dubbed as “Spygate.”

The franchise was fined $250,000, and its coach, Bill Belichick fined $500,000 for their admission of videotaping the defensive signals of their opening-week opponents, the New York Jets.

Additionally, the Patriots will be docked a first-round draft pick for their indiscretions should they make the post-season, and a second and third-round pick if they don’t.

The seriousness of these violations probably should have led, and might still lead, to more sanctions on the organization down the road.

It’s the latest in a long line of questionable procedures for Belichick, the leader of the team that recently won three Super Bowl trophies in four years, and is a perennial title contender.

The practice of cheating in professional sports is hardly anything new. However, something as brazen as this offense is cornering the market on arrogance, something that Belichick and his charges have often been accused of not being short on.

For all of his chest puffing when it comes to off-the-field antics of his players, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell missed the boat with the punishment he handed down in this case.

He’s been heavy-handed when it comes to the issue of NFL employees purchasing illegal drugs over the Internet, even if they are trying to better their quality of life with the purchases, calling it “engaging in a criminal activity.”

When it comes to the NFL’s best, and most talented, team trying to gain even more of a competitive edge from its coach, who has a history of shady dealings, Goodell seems to have turned a blind eye, though.

In several media interviews since he handed down his punishment, Goodell said NFL people he has talked to have told him that losing draft picks is one of the stiffest penalties that could be handed down in terms of its effect on the team.

When the majority of a sport’s star players weigh in and say stiffer penalties should have been handed down, though, it should tell Goodell a suspension is in order.

Just imagine for a second the Patriots trying their various “videotaping procedures” (Belichick’s words, not mine) during their three Super Bowl victories, which were, by the way, all decided by three points.

Nobody’s saying they didn’t earn those championships on the field, and it would be nearly impossible to prove otherwise. What’s not impossible to prove is how tainted the majority of football fans believe those titles are because of this scandal.

As the saying goes: “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

Many teams might feel the need to live by those words in order to be competitive.

With the lack of a suspension in the wake of this blatantly arrogant act, Goodell missed an opportunity to prove that, to borrow another phrase, “Cheaters never prosper.”

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