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May 17, 1999 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1999-05-17

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 17, 1999
students at the ,r * Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan
t IWW a t~ild Unless otherwise noted, uns igned editorials re legit the opinion o *the
420 Maynard Street najoriti of the Dails s editorial hoard. All other articles, lenersand
A nn A rbor, Mli 48109 (SartOOni /s 101 noS nCssii/ re//eiS te oiioni of T/eic igan Daili

T he raid of booster Ed Martin's home
last week by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation once'again raises questions
about the integrity of intercollegiate
sports. Although the focus of the current Boo
FBI probe is on whether Martin ran illegal
gambling operations; the possible financial
connections of Martin with former University basket-
ball players could result in serious repercussions for
the University.
Martin was banned in early 1997 from having any
association with University sports teams after attempt-
ing to provide incentives to athletes and their families
such as offering plane tickets to players' families and
improper contact with prospective players during
recruiting visits. If the outcome of the current FBI
investigation points to impro per payments to former
University basketball players from Martin after he was
banned, this would be a devastating blow to the reputa-
tion of the University. Athletes competing on
University teams need to realize that, because many of
them are relatively well known, they are some of the
University's most important representatives.
In 1997, the University escaped with minor penal-
ties after launching its own investigation into purport-
ed violations on the part of the ind ividuals in the bas-

Booster's bc
ster scandal has negative repercuss
ketball program during a NCAA probe into the events.
Even though this investigation concluded quickly, it
nevertheless caused a lot of problems for the
University basketball program. Recruiting suffered due
to this investigation, leading to the decline in the qual-
ity of the University basketball team. Furthermore, for-
mer University basketball coach Steve Fisher was
The University has since increased its efforts to pre-
vent further incidents that could tarnish the reputation
of the University. The current ongoing investigation
onl involves former basketball players, The University
and the athletic department have taken every step to
cooperate with the authorities - this is reflected by the
fact that none of the current players and coaching staff
on the University basketball team are currently
believed to be involved.
University President Lee Bollinger and athletic
director Tom Goss should be commended for taking the
initial steps to cooperate with the authorities. In doing

so the values and integrity of college
sports have been upheld and the potential
for further damage to the reputation of the
.nUniversity has been at least minimized.
ions aIntercollegiate sports have always been
an important part of life at the Universit
and have been instrumental in shaping t
University's reputation. The success of the University's
participation in college sports relies on the athletes
who compete, but just as importantly, they must honor
their responsibility as the University's ambassadors to
much of the world and uphold the tradition of integrity
in college sports.
Every year, the University's alumni donate millions
of dollars to their alma mater. Gambling allegations
could force alumni to be less generous in their annual
donations. Boosters and gambling may have provided
quick cash for some players, but it is the University
that ultimately suffers from stories of shady exchange
regardless of whether they are true or not.
Whether individuals within the athletic departmlent
were aware of Martin's alleged activities or not the
entire situation paints an unflattering picture of the
University. Administrators must continue to work dili-
gently to diffuse the booster situation in order to main-
tain the University's reputation.

Talking back
Youth violence summit gives hope for dialogue

D2 i4 nn'

46 o one was pointing the finger of
blame," President Clinton told
reporters of the spirit that made last
Monday's youth violence "summit," in
Washington succescful.
Clinton held the three-hour long
"summit" o identify other potentiaI fac-
tort, besides ea:y access to we'pens. that
mayh'yrtri edto t r 1 cme _dra-
maticrie n oo.a yn ln ndto to
the nro onec ad threoup d
ers, industry alf'sentatives and enter-
tainers whooattinded. Among the issues
cited were inappropriate use of the
Internet, movies, parental guidance,
domestic violence, lack of religious
faith, and a culture that has grown desen-
sitized to ruesome violence.
Thank lly, the issue of gun control
was not forgotten entirely. Gun manufac-
turers responsibly endorsed Clinton's
proposals to raise the legal age for own-
ing a han un from 18 to 21, require
backgroun checks of people purchasing
guns at un shows, prevent convicte
juvenilesom ever owning a gun, crose-
cute parents who allow their chil ren to
use guns and expand the government's
gun tracin program. Des ite the cooper-
ation of the firearms inustry, officials
from the National Rifle Association were
not invited to the conference. t
Technically "People may kill people,"
not guns, but the loose laws that govern
the sale and purchase of firearms make it
simply too easy for children to obtain
access to weapons. Guns clearly play an
instrumental role in the frightening
climb in youth violence around the
nation, but many of the smaller elements

discussed at the summit have also con-
tributed to the recent outbreaks.
The Administration pledged a cam-
pain agaitnst youth iolence. which will
incue sugestions for parents, schools,
cossmssunitie the mdia, aid un iman
f 'Leers to adsi aid xotk to th
constrctively tsw rd Ic chin s cois
ing th cle.telaewoc~ry
oris poierstoneSI or tso imadxn
thie attit eds ofchild tiioxareds vio-
lence must take the time to seriously
reevaluate how their products are
received by youth. A rational discussion
free of blame and emotionalism is the
only effective way to address the com-
plex factors that contribute to juveile
While the role of culture in the recent
shooting tragedies is undeniable, but
lawmakers must first act swiftly to
address the most immediate issue - the
availability of firearms. There are no
quick fixes to society's destructive
fehaviors. The social olls that cause
youths to act violently should continue
to be addressed in the productivenspirit
of Clinton's youth violence summit. By
maintaining the types of constructive
dialogue between social and industry
leaders, long term solutions will be
arrived at sooner. As long as industry
leaders, lawmakers and community
leaders maintain an apreciation for the
complexity and dets of the cultural
issues that contribute to violence rather
than relying on politically charged
scadegoats, a comprehensive solution
will be feasible. t

Seat belt law could
Last week the state snat passed a bill
enabling police 0ficers to stop
motorists for sot wearnag ilheir safety
belt. Tshemasni nox les iIhlc ands
of iox. Jisaihn msgl 'r xwls isaist elceue
xxleiticm he xwml xi'n ma mino law Atfs
Igl5uI lh' bill seias bh~mem 1tmi
le s lie mt was propxed xx ils"i
meiat am is The ilmo mril tib lx sl
rs athe The xxaill oi ea
belts, miakinalaw b1 iso t eIns rces
use to this exhent is ridiculous and unnc-.
essary. There are already laws that aro-
mote the use of safety belts. Currenty.it
is illegal to ride in the front seat of a car
without a seat belt. In the back seat, all
passengers under the age of 16 must be
strapped in. If either one of these laws is
violated, the driver or adult passenger can
be ticketed if stopped by a police officer
for some other violation. The proposed
law does nothin more to promote safety
beyond what older laws already cover.
Considering that officers can stop drivers
for anything from driving a few miles
over the s eed limit, to changing lanes
too abru e y on a freeway, givg police
an addiional reason to sto stofeanea
wIf a person decides to drive without a
seat belt, they are only putting their own
lives at risk. Their decision does not make
the roads any more dangerous for others,
and if violators get caught drivig too
fast or recklessly, they will et an extra
ticket for not buckhngi d fese drivers
know that they are brea tig the law by
not wearing a safety belt and shoul'

invite police abuse
alr ey realize that they are jeopa'rldiimg
their Sifty 'l'awhen they drive withoutione.
C nsi dering the media's alenlin to
recem mivil rights violations oms he part
Spisice fflicers, one is Lead ho xondrm if
lme pmpose of the bill is toe" ii i'se
hilme shopss by 'isw emahameemeistendm
'e ol lel mlimay Aimo tme
_ y pub1'i. {
' m a uity ii Iuie m lasrl x l a i
i er Is ix i e s i eno m ;btm
epatc ponce more carefulhyis iepro-
posed seat belt law could prove invalu-
able to any polce officers accustomed to
ldss than professional behavior on the
To characterize the new law as a plot
by unscrupulous pofice officers would be
irresponsible and sensationalistic, but
there can be no denying that most police
forces suffer from a degree of corruption.
If signed, the bill will make it easier for
bad cops to conceal illegal or abusive
actions and the problem will only
exacerbated. Lawmakers should be work-
ing on legislation to root out corruption,
not hide it.
Michigan motorists should always
consider the obvious downsides of any
legislation that grants law enforcement
greater powers it the name of safety. Not
only is this measure intrusive, but it is
unlikely that, given the motor safety laws
currently im lace, a reat number of Iives
will be save . Consi ering the abuse suO
a law could invite, and the likelihood t
it will Ihave little impact on individuals
attitudes towards seatbelts, the benefit of
this measure would be negligible.

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