I hope this isn’t a trend
Last week, I mentioned how NASCAR could grab attention only from fights and crashes. I proceeded to bash the NFL for media coverage on its woman-beating ways. Now NASCAR has joined the party by suspending driver Kurt Busch after a hearing involving domestic violence.
Admittedly, I wanted to tear into Busch like the vandal who wrote “41 Ray Rice” on Busch’s racing stall. However, after using this revolutionary technique called critical thinking, I found that Busch’s case is a lot blurrier than Rice’s or most of the other infamous cases from the past year.
NASCAR’s indefinite suspension of Kurt Busch came down after a restraining order hearing. In the hearing, Busch’s ex-girlfriend claimed Busch strangled her, while Busch claimed he did no such thing. In the trial, the woman cited a picture of bruises on her neck, but nothing was proven to be overwhelmingly conclusive. To err on the side of caution (as is the norm in restraining order cases), the judge granted the woman the restraining order against Busch.
After the ruling, NASCAR swiftly descended upon Busch with its arm of punishing justice by suspending him indefinitely. Notably, Busch was never convicted, indicted or even charged with a crime. There was never a civil suit between Busch and his ex. Yet NASCAR condemned Busch for domestic violence.
A heartwarming tale
If this same case happened a year ago, I imagine that the entire incident would have passed unnoticed by NASCAR or the media. But since Ray Rice’s knockout punch to his wife, American professional sports have been on a witchhunt for woman-beaters. Rightfully so, the public and the media no longer tolerate athletes who strike women. Nonetheless, public perception needs to pay heed to due process.
If Kurt Busch is guilty, I hope he never drives around in a circle really fast ever again. But if Kurt Busch is innocent, it’s a shame that his career may be over because of NASCAR’s all-too-swift justice. Without any sort of process, NASCAR suspended Busch immediately because it’s the “cool” thing to do these days.
On a far less depressing note, college basketball likes to cheer us up with not only its lack of woman-beating but also a few heartwarming stories. Former TU and current Kansas coach Bill Self rewarded Chris Huey for his work as manager. Huey, who stands at 6’ 7”, is a team manager at Kansas who formerly played NAIA basketball before three instances of a collapsed lung ended his career.
In addition to being featured in the game’s programs and on the roster, Huey was cheered by the home crowd as he walked onto the court.
The passing of a legend
UNC coaching legend Dean Smith passed away on Feb. 7. In a testament to Smith’s greatness, the UNC and Duke men’s basketball teams linked arms before the archrivals’ matchup at Duke. Duke’s Coach K even wore a Carolina blue tie to Smith’s funeral. When UNC returned home on Feb. 21, the team honored Smith by running his trademark “Four Corners” offense for its first possession against Georgia Tech.
The formation looks about as odd as you would think, with a player in each corner of the half-court plus one player with the ball. Smith utilized the formation to waste time near the ends of games; Smith’s innovation directly led to the NCAA’s adoption of the shot clock.
Faking them all out
Speaking of which, VCU fans tricked both the refs and the UMass players with a fake shot-clock chant. The fans shaved a couple seconds off the shot clock, forcing a UMass player to take a ridiculous shot, just after the refs charged UMass with a shot-clock violation. Eventually, the whole mess got cleared up, but the incident served as a heart-warming reminder that my ceaseless yelling at the Reynolds Center really does make a difference.