Athletes damage university’s image while DUI

Editorial by Kernel staff. E-mail

The recent DUI charge UK football player Matt Roark received has brought the issue of athletes’ publicity into the spotlight. And this instance has once again demonstrated how, because of the attention they receive, athletes need to choose their actions wisely.

Athletes, especially those at an institution of UK’s caliber, are idols to not only the students attending the institution, but also to children of all ages who follow them. Because athletes are some of the most influential people on a college campus, it is their responsibility to understand that.

Student-athletes must be aware of and accountable for their actions at all times — it comes with the position they are in.

Yes, the scrutiny placed on athletes’ private lives prohibits them from having such. For athletes, constantly understanding that thousands of people, including your peers, could view and criticize your actions adds stress to an already demanding schedule. But they knew this burden came with the job when they signed the contract.

The same should be said for high-profile staff members (like Rod Strickland) and some former athletes  (like Anthony Epps and Jules Camara). The public associates the university with those individuals, and they should be mindful of that.

Even though student-athletes deserve a break for some of their mistakes and deserve to enjoy their collegiate experience like any other student, getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking — regardless of the reason — is not the right way to enjoy college. Learn from your predecessors’ examples (i.e. Billy G.), and think before you act.