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Rutledge rant: Mixed messages at Memorial?

Mar 01, 2012 -- 12:56pm

Mixed messages at Memorial?

By JIM RUTLEDGE
jrutledge@espnwisconsin.com

Madison Memorial basketball players Junior Lomomba and Jamar Morris are facing misdemeanor theft charges.
They were suspended from one regular season basketball game as a result of their actions.

Former Florida State star Peter Warrick plead guilty of petty theft for a very similar situation back in 1999. He was suspended two games including one against FSU's arch rival Miami Hurricanes. Florida State was No. 1 in the country at the time and Warrick was a Heisman Trophy frontrunner. Still, the Seminoles saw it fit to suspend Warrick and risk their National Championship.

Warrick was 22 at the time of his arrest and he faced his suspension, moved on and turned out to be a productive member of society. I have no reason to believe that Lomomba (19) or Morris (18) are anything but good young kids but that doesn't mean they shouldn't face harsher on-the-court consequences for their actions.

Former Arizona forward, Miles Simon, recently said "you are either on a team or you're not a team. If you break team/school rules then you chose not to be on the team and you should be forced to miss time with your team."

Steve Collins has turned out good kids and has won a lot of games for the Spartans. So I don't doubt Memorial's administration is doing what it thinks is right and Lomomba's and Morris' suspension do fall in line with what is required.

But I wonder what message it sends to these young men when they only got one game for theft.  

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