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Athlete’s mistake must not be repeated

Last week, the Scout reported on the arrest of Taylor Brown, a sophomore forward on the basketball team.
Nearly two weeks ago, Brown punched an Illinois Central College student in the face, splitting his lip, according to university police reports.
A mutual friend of the men had told Brown the ICC student was talking behind the player’s back, the police report said.
Brown then went to the man’s place of employment and made threatening hand gestures at him at the Bradley soccer game on Sept. 4.
The dispute escalated on Sept. 5, when Brown allegedly punched the other man in the face about 11:30 p.m. in front of Haussler Hall, according to reports.
The man told police he was interested in pursuing criminal charges against Brown and police arrested and booked him on a charge of battery. He was then transported to the Peoria County Jail.
It appears this was simply an unfortunate case of he-said, she-said that escalated to violence.
It’s clear that Brown made a big mistake, one he acknowledged in a statement released late last week.
“I understand what a special privilege it is to be a Brave and I would like to apologize for embarrassing Bradley University, my teammates and myself for being involved in an incident like this,” he said in the statement.
Even though Brown said he recognizes what a privilege it is to wear a Braves uniform, we still feel the need to reiterate that fact. He needs to keep that in mind when considering his actions, as anything he does can cast himself, his team and, most importantly, the university, in a negative light.
Athletes in general, but especially basketball players, are often the only students the public at large hears anything about. So when they make poor decisions, it portrays every other student in a negative light, at least in the eyes of the Peoria community.
In all honesty, Brown’s actions weren’t exactly heinous, and he could have done much worse.
But that doesn’t alter the seriousness or significance of the situation. He still punched another person, was arrested and taken to jail.
In all truthfulness, this incident wouldn’t have made news had Taylor not been on the basketball team. But because he is a representative of the university, his actions are especially upsetting.
Athletes are held to a higher standard, plain and simple. 
Coach Jim Les seems to agree.
“I am disappointed that Taylor Brown was involved in this incident,” Les said in a statement released last week. “Our players have a clear understanding of the standards of behavior that we expect of them. Taylor will be disciplined and it is expected that this will never happen again.”
The basketball team made it through last year without incident, and we would have hoped for the same thing this year.
Since that hope is out the window, we encourage Les to make an example of Brown. The rest of his team must be reminded how privileged they are to play for and represent Bradley.
Finally, to echo Les, it certainly is expected this will never happen again.
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