Paul Burka writes:
So [Craig James] wants to run for KBH's Senate seat. Here is the first question he will be asked when he announces for office: What did you know and when did you know it? "It" is SMU's pay-for-play scandal, when the university leadership, including then-Governor (and SMU board chairman) Bill Clements, was paying football players in the 1980s. James himself has never been implicated in the scandal that led to SMU's receiving the NCAA's "death penalty." Still, I find it hard to believe that James (or anybody else on that team, including the coaches) was in the locker room and didn't know what was going on. Kids brag. Or they show up with gold (or diamond) jewelry. Or they are suddenly driving fancy cars. If James knew, he is complicit in the destruction of SMU's football program, just as the members of the Black Sox who knew that the 1919 World Series was fixed and didn't report it were complicit in the dishonoring of baseball. And he shouldn't have a position of public trust.
In the last year that I was away from blogging, the thing I missed most was a forum to comment on some of Burka's posts. Apparently unlike much of the blogosphere, I think very highly of Burka. But this post just makes me want to yell: WHAT? Really?
James may or may not have known/suspected that there were issues. I don't know much about the scandal. But Burka in this post suggests that any 19 year old kid who suspects wrongdoing is unfit to ever hold public office? I use the example gingerly, but if I understand correctly, our current president admitted to snorting cocaine at an age less tender than that. It didn't disqualify him in Burka's eyes, but James' needs to answer for a 30 year old scandal when he was 20?
I just can't buy that. I'm generally in favor of treating teenages more like adults in most instances, but the idea that we are going to parse James' three-decades-old memories from when he was 19 to see if he is fit to run for public office? Ludicrous.
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