Seems like amatuer athletics deals with this about once a year. A school gets in trouble for having a player who was in trouble and ineligible and is forced to forfeit games.
USC. Reggie Bush and his Heisman. Michigan and the Fab Five. Ben Johnson, Olympics. The record books have been erased, but my memory and your’s have not.
Dr. Phillips high school was forced to forfeit their 6A state finalist season today. 14 wins- poof! Gone. But not really. There is no erasing the excitement and fun for those kids and those fans. There is no changing what actually happened. The teams that were beaten do no feel any better about getting a win now. And they don’t get to take advantage of those wins either.
There just isn’t a real life punishement that works. It’s not like you can find someone who robbed the bank and was enjoying the treasures of doing so, and punish them by throwing them in jail. They can be punished now. Teams, schools, and athletes can not. Unless they are still at school, but that only punishes the individual.
You can put a team/school on probation, but that punishes the kids that never did anything wrong and weren’t apart of the old problem. There is no simple solution.
I write this not to encourage cheating. I just write out of frustration that those that do, can’t be properly punished. So many crimes go unpunished.
If Roger Clemens used steroids or HGH, how do you fix that now? You can tell me his records don’t exist…but they do. You can tell me the Sox, Jays, and Yankees must forfeit those games…but I know they won them.
In sports, almost everything is written in permanent marker. There is no eraser. You can cross things out, but I know what happened. It’s both perplexing and frustrating. What do we accept, and what don’t we. In sports we have winners and losers. It’s usually so black and white. But with all these scandels, cheating, and contraversies we introduce a world of grey.
Logically suspicious, it makes us question even those that don’t cheat, wondering what if? What if’s in sports are meant to be fun, not infuriating. So, even when the job of erasing what happened takes place, I cannot process it. I can only attempt to ammend it. That’s all any of us can really do. We can’t have a redo. We only get something new to remember because forgetting is impossible.