It’s August, and college football players across the country are gearing up to start another season.  Apparently, they’ve been a busy bunch over the summer, and I’m not talking about optional summer work-outs.

No, unfortunately, we’re talking about arrests.  Over the summer, there have been a slew of college football players get arrested for various offenses (and not the Wishbone kind of offense).

In California, three UCLA football players were arrested on felony theft charges.  In Tennessee, several UT players were involved in a drunken bar fight, which led to two of the players being arrested, and left two police officers hospitalized.

Eight Notre Dame football players were arrested in their own incident.

Probably the most high profile case involved former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who was arrested for possession of marijuana in June.  (His second arrest– the first was for breaking into a house).

The latest incident involves Oklahoma State Defensive End, Jamie Blatnick.  Blatnick was at a bar when he got into a fight, and used a beer bottle as a weapon.  See the damage he caused in the picture to the right.  This incident came one week after one of his team-mates was arrested on drug possession charges.

But, wait—we’re not seeing the whole picture just yet.  These past two summer months are just the tip of the iceberg.  In fact, if you haven’t noticed, college football players get arrested right and left all the time now.  It’s almost a rite-of-passage.  If you’re going to play college football, you just have to go out and do something stupid!

Take the wonderful University of Florida for example.  They’ve had 28 players get arrested in the past five years.  The charges against these players range from the simple (driving with a suspended sentence) to the severe (date-rape).  As I ran through the list of Florida arrests I also found charges of drug possession, burglary, assault & battery, larceny, domestic violence (he strangled his girlfriend) and unauthorized use of a credit card (over 70 fraudulent charges made with the card).

These are the players you’re cheering for every weekend.  Makes you feel good doesn’t it.

For me, the most infuriating part about this is… most of these guys don’t get in trouble.  Or, better said, they don’t get in as MUCH trouble as you or I would, if we did the same thing.  Most of them don’t get kicked off their respective teams and in fact, many don’t even get suspended or miss any playing time.  For a lot of these players, it seems that being a college football player is a “get out of jail free” card…..literally.

To be fair, some of them DO get kicked off the team.  For example, Jeremiah Masoli was removed from the Oregon squad.  But, have no fear… this is America, and in America we believe in giving people a 2nd—I mean 3rd chance… not long after being kicked out of Oregon, he became a hot commodity, with several schools interested in his talents.  Just the other day he decided to go to Ole Miss.

But, as I said, most of these guys get in very little trouble at all.  For a good example, we don’t have to look any further than Enid’s pride-and-joy, Austin Box.  Box has actually been arrested MORE times than Masoli (with comparable offenses), and he’s fighting to be one of OU’s starting linebackers this season.

And here’s the real kicker.  We’re paying for their college!  Every time you buy a t-shirt, every time you go to a game, every time you donate to a University, and on and on, you’re helping some delinquent to continue terrorizing his college campus.  They couldn’t do it without you folks!

Yep, these kids get a free-ride to college.  Meanwhile, I have a friend who had to work two jobs and take out massive student loans to work his way through school.  (And guess what? He DIDN’T get arrested while he was in college).  I assure you, he’s not an isolated case either.  How many thousands upon thousands of smart, deserving kids don’t even get to GO to college, because their parents don’t have the money.

When I consider that, and then hear these stories about countless athletes getting in trouble, it seriously makes me want to turn the TV off, and never watch another game again.