The past couple days, Sean at TNIAAM has been talking about the possibility of the Barton brothers joining the Syracuse basketball team in the future. He noted here http://www.nunesmagician.com/2009/6/6/901080/everything-i-just-said-about-the that they have now decided to sign with Memphis so that will not happen. Well fine then, we didn't really want them anyway, though I guess it would have been nice since they were good prospects. Of course, Memphis is having enough issues right now with eligibility so if that's the boat you want to ride, sail away.
Today though, while checking out one of my favorite websites http://www.syracuse.com/ , I noticed something kind of similar from Dave Rahme about the lacrosse team potentially recruiting two brothers from Onondaga Community College named Jeremy and Jerome Thompson. You can read Dave's full column here http://blog.syracuse.com/orangelacrosse/2009/06/syracuse_university_mens_lacro_44.html if you would like. Dave gives a great breakdown of both of their situations with help from O.C.C.'s head coach of the men's lacrosse team Chuck Wilbur and why they would be great additions for this team next year, especially considering how many players have graduated after getting that glorious national title recently.
One brother has already graduated and is in the process of applying while the other is taking summer classes in order to be eligible to apply in time. Much seems to be made in the comments section about them struggling at O.C.C. and passing on them because of it. I think this is one of those situations though where unless you are in their shoes, you don't know the whole story. Syracuse has an admission's standard and if these two young men meet them, then they should be eligible to play. Not everyone will excel as quickly as others and it's entirely possible they had personal reasons, learning disabilities or many other reasons for staying as long as they did at the school but it is not for us to judge as long as they meet the standards and I am sure Syracuse will be sure they do before admitting them. We seem so jaded anymore about anyone who may struggle that many enjoy judging them before giving them a chance.
I am not saying this as a Syracuse apologist because I bleed Orange, I am saying this as someone who flunked out of college himself knowing that it can be difficult for some for reasons that we may be unaware of at this time. Many of us make bad decisions in our lives when we are young and if the worst they did was struggle some in class then I think we should not only give them a break but ask ourselves have we not had times where we struggled and just needed that one boost to help make us better (for me it took joining the Army even though I may not have been all I could be there either).
I wish the brothers luck and hope that if Syracuse deems them eligible, we welcome them to campus with open arms and hope they become better people for it and maybe, just maybe, help guide this team to it's third straight NCAA lacrosse championship along the way. I know my daughter is in college and I would hope that if this was her, people were not taking shots to justify their superiority over others or matching what they deem to be worthy enough despite standards already established by the school.
Dave Rahme posted this in the comment section for those interested in knowing more about the situation:
"The Thompsons only spent two years at OCC. The original plan was for them to play and go to school one year and then go to school and not play the next, giving them three years of eligibility when they transferred to Syracuse. That was the plan. For whatever reason, they not only didn't play their second year at OCC but also did not attend school, choosing instead to play lax in Canada and supposedly attend school in the North Country. The second part they did not do, hence their return to OCC after a year's absence."