The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison's daily newspaper, which regularly publishes my editorial cartoons, condemned Leckrone in an editorial last week, calling for his firing if the band steps out of line again. Then the shit hit the fan.
Whether it's on talk radio or in the Capital Times, people all across madison are crawling out of snowbanks and defending Leckrone, and condemning the State Journals editorial board. The problem is all of these defenders are relying on faulty argument.
The argument goes something like this: "The band is being unfairly punished, because athletes do bad things all the time, and nobody talks about firing Bret Bielema, Bo Ryan and Barry Alverez."
Here is what Dave Zweifel said recently on the Capital Times website:
"If Mike Leckrone's job is to be held hostage to what a few of those 300-plus band members might crudely do, then let's make coaches and other athletic administrators equally responsible for the students under their tutelage.
After all, Leckrone's kids didn't beat up their girlfriends, didn't start a fight outside a local pub that broke noses and loosened teeth, didn't drive drunk down Langdon Street, didn't buy drugs at a local crack house or commit any of the other infractions of a small minority of UW athletes. Many of those resulted in actual criminal charges."
The problem is these athlete's that are behaving badly are not HAZING, they are just acting like idiot punks. What the immature idiots punks in the band are doing is using the artificial hierarchy to exploit younger members of the band. There is a huge difference.
Individual bad behavior needs to be punished individually. Hazing needs to be handled systemattically because the hazers are using the school sponsored system to exploit there peers.
I am in no way trying to defend UW athletics. UW athletes who break the law should be punished.
Hazing on sports teams needs to be addressed, but I really doubt it's a huge issue for the big ticket sports that are always being attacked. What kind of the idiot would haze 260+ lb. freshman tailback John Clay, really.