We fault Chicago’s public schools for not preparing a kid to record a very reasonable score on his SAT to get into college. We shake our heads at the adults who stand by and watch it happen. We chastise David Stern, the white millionaire who believes he knows what’s best for poor kids from the inner city. We wave our fingers at the slick-talking coach who never seems to be on the up and up when it comes to recruiting.
Everyone gets blamed. Everyone, it seems, except the one person who let it all happen, the one person who knowingly allowed another person to take his SAT for him: Derrick Rose.
This wasn’t about Rose having the wrong interpretation of some vague NCAA recruiting rule. It wasn’t taking a little bit of cash to help his family or accepting free sneakers and apparel in exchange for something down the line. Athletes can usually talk their way out of something like that. They play the naïve kid card. This was a crystal clear line that Rose crossed all on his own. It probably wasn’t his idea to cheat on the SAT, but it was his okay that made it happen.
Everyone, whether they go to public school in Chicago or some pretentious private school here in the New England, knows about the SAT. They know that many universities still use it as the key factor during the admissions process. It’s the difference between Harvard and Holy Cross and state school and community college. But none of that mattered for Rose. His ability to play basketball gave him the opportunity to go anywhere, so long as he could score in the mid-700’s on the SAT.
Yet despite the fact that all Rose had to do was perform significantly below average on his test, he still felt the need to find someone else to get the job done. That means one of two things: 1) He doesn’t know or care about the difference between right and wrong. 2) He was just that lazy.
Either way, this falls on him.
Look, I realize that school is secondary for the top athletes in this country. And that’s not just true for kids from the “ghetto;” it’s true for the hundreds of high schoolers from all over the country, suburbs and projects, who will be drafted in baseball’s Amateur Draft next week. It’s true for the elite gymnast or tennis player who gets shipped off to some academy in Florida before their tenth birthday. And if there was some highly profitable profession for incredible spellers, those kids you laughed at last week on ABC would be pushing math and science and standardized testing to the side as well.
But that doesn’t make it okay for anyone to cheat the system. Especially not when you’re someone like Rose, who was given every advantage a kid could ask for and still expected a handout. That’s just selfish.
And last I checked, that’s not what you want your point guard to be.