Football coach’s words on underage drinking raise a few eyebrows
Let’s start this post by being clear: It is not acceptable to drink if you are under 21 years old. We have laws in place regarding underage drinking and they must be respected.
But the way some people talk about it, it’s easy to see how Greeneville teenagers could think otherwise. So many people treat underage drinking like it’s nothing to worry about that, in many cases, it is not until the police show up at the house party or the dorm room that kids realize what they’ve been doing actually is wrong.
Take, for instance, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier. After his backup quarterback was arrested in North Carolina last month for underage drinking, he suspended him per team policy, but made it obvious he did not think underage drinking merited a suspension.
“You want him suspended for having a beer and he’s underage?” Spurrier told a newspaper reporter. “How many football players would be playing if they had a beer and they were underage?”
Now, what he is saying is true — underage drinking is extremely common on college campuses. That being said, that doesn’t mean it should be tolerated.
We all need to present a unified front for young people and be consistent with the message that they may drink alcohol when they turn 21, but not before. Right now, we’re presenting a patchwork quilt of opinions, admonishments and wink-wink , nudge-nudge statements: “It’s not okay to drink underage…. but everyone does it.” How are young people supposed to interpret that?
Remembering: we can punish the concept of underage drinking without vilifying the individual involved, and it is fair for young people to expect consistentcy and reliability from the people they look up to.
Source: Yahoo News, “Steve Spurrier isn’t a fan of suspensions for underage drinking,” Graham Watson, Aug. 7, 2012