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Jeff Fox, Published January 08 2013

Letter: ‘Win at all costs’ seems to be the formula for NDSU football

Now that everyone is happy that the Bison won their national championship, I wonder if anyone has taken away a lesson from the victory.

The lesson I have learned is that it appears North Dakota State University football coach Craig Bohl believes in the win-at-all-costs school of coaching. He has taught his players that as long as they perform on the field, they can get away with anything off the field. Disagree with me? Let’s look at the facts.

Last year, linebacker Brandon Jemison was dismissed from the team due to a criminal charge. Jemison had been a starter at one time, but at the time of the incident he was injured and had not been playing. In 2010, two other non-starting players were dismissed from the team because of a shoplifting charge. Both players were reserve players, not starters.

During the 2012 season, one player was arrested for underage drinking and resisting arrest. He was not disciplined by the university.

And probably worst of all, during this season eight players were arrested and charged with election fraud. They took the time to sit down and enter over 24,000 fraudulent signatures on several initiated measure petitions – a calculated and fraudulent act. But because at least four of the players were starters, none were disciplined by the university.

During this same season, several members of the NDSU softball program were suspended because of their participation in an underage drinking party. But it’s OK to suspend them. After all, they’re only softball players, and that program doesn’t pay any bills at the university.

So yes, the Bison got their national championship. Undoubtedly, most of the players will receive a diploma from North Dakota State University. Congratulations to them all. But what will they have really learned from their time at the university?

My guess is that like so many other star athletes who’ve come before them, they will have learned that as long as they can perform on the field, they don’t have to be law-abiding responsible adults off the field.

Fox, Minot, N.D., is District 5 Republican chairman, and represents Region I on the party’s executive committee. This commentary first appeared as a post on SayAnythingblog.com

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