Trouble abound for athletes in the limelight

All over the sports landscape, closets threaten to overflow with skeletons and dirty laundry.

All over the sports landscape, closets threaten to overflow with skeletons and dirty laundry.

Each day, it’s something new. Simply take your pick of the indiscretions both big and small: USC finds itself in hot water (again!) over possible NCAA violations; Roger Clemens admits to an extramarital affair; the Patriots may have cheated their way to the top; another baseball player fails a drug test; Roger Clemens admits to another extramarital affair. It’s a never-ending stream of follies.

With the rise of the sun each day, it seems details of another team, institution or athlete’s bad judgement comes to light.

It’s interesting to see the way the Internet has affected these situations. I’m sure the athletes of yesteryear weren’t perfect angels, but after any one of Ty Cobb’s antics in the early 1900’s, the Georgia Peach didn’t show up on the equivalent of Sportscenter minutes later.

Instant access to the Internet, and the abundance of websites that feature athletes’ blunders has caused me to wonder what kind of bad news I’ll see next whenever I fire up the computer.

As I was writing this column, the news broke of Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu’s arrest for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. Tatupu was stopped in Kirkland and eventually was found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .155 and .158, nearly double the state’s legal limit of .08.

Tatupu is a leader for the Seahawks, both on and off the field, a regular community liaison for Seattle. Which is why this could be so damaging to the Seahawks organization, a franchise that has shown little tolerance for off-field antics in recent years.

It goes to show even the most highly respected athletes still make mistakes. When they do, everybody learns about it.

Nowadays, the hot water an athlete can find themselves in comes to a quick boil in the public eye.