Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Three Rules of Contract Law?

Winning covers up problems and losing brings them out of the woodwork. Al Groh was supposed to lead UVA to the promised land of a big time successful football program like instate rival Virginia Tech (perhaps with less tolerance for criminal activity). Poor Al works to balance the demands of putting a team that can contend with student-athletes and when the classroom does not measure up must be the heavy.

Keeping in mind that we are dealing with young men in the 18 to 22 year old range, there comes a time in our live when we grow up and begin to accept responsibility to the outcomes of our actions. Such may be the case of Chris Johnson who was suspended from the UVA team for poor academic performance and then charges that Mr. Groh stopped caring about him. The exact meaning of , “[Groh] said, ‘Get your academics straight and come back to me,’” was vague with Chris and his father seeing as a promise to keep a scholarship open while Al Groh intended of a ”We will see.”

Like much of the rest of our society managing the players on a big time college team can no longer be done with a handshake. We will need endless forms that detail the exact terms of the agreement. At risk here, for the vast majority of those college players not going on the NFL, is the valuable education that should be the primary goal of the student that just happens to play football. A sheep skin with the University of Virginia name on it has considerable value when you are seeking a job.

Chris Johnson should be the poster child for the student athlete at the 119 D1A schools with the education being the centerpiece of the college experience. Given the cost of a college education and the potential future earnings for those with a degree the economics would dictate that the players see graduation as the goal. Unfortunately, players are drawn to the sizzle of the program rather than the steak of the education.

Mr. Groh, Mr. Johnson a student from any college business law class could answer the question posed in the title.

1. Get it in writing
2. Get it in writing
3. Get it in writing


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