I’ve had the privilege to work in collegiate athletics for more than 20 years, 11 of which have been at the University of Georgia. I love Athens. I have three boys that attend Clarke County schools. Athens is woven into the fabric of my family’s life, so I was both saddened and disappointed to hear that an Athens-Clarke County commissioner recently made inaccurate, overgeneralized, and hurtful statements about our football student-athletes in a public meeting — statements that she has continued to defend in subsequent comments.
… The fact is, most of our student-athletes excel in all aspects of life, and while that does not excuse any instances of wrongdoing, it certainly underscores the fact that those transgressions tend to be the exception — not the rule. The insinuation that a disproportionate number of our athletes are committing violent crimes is not only grossly inaccurate, but also woefully inappropriate and reckless. The idea that an overgeneralized, hurtful, and inaccurate statement should be accepted because it was in response to sarcastic quip about players drafted in a small room, is distasteful and careless. Misinformation and divisive rhetoric made public in any way is irresponsible, particularly coming from an elected official, as it provides a spark that can and has spread quickly.
Somebody from UGA needed to let Melissa Link know her comments about the football team were over the top. Well said, sir.