Originally Posted by Roy Tucker
A 20 yr. old young man is going to have a hard time standing up to these kinds of pressures. Should have known better? Sure, but I've got a 22 yr. old and a 20 yr. old and I can completely tell you that decision making is the last thing for them to develop.
They can write a brilliant essay, solve a difficult calculus problem, or create a wonderful pice of art. But when it comes to making consistently good, principled, and well-thought out decisions, that doesn't always happen. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times to them, "what in the world were you thinking?".
The coaches should have this kind of decision making capability and they should have been the one to make the call "don't go up there, kid". Its 1000% on their heads.
Well, yes and no. I agree that decision-making isn't always the strong suit of a 20-year old. Lord knows I made some regretful mistakes when I was 20. I kept clear of drugs, alcohol and most of the stuff that could get me in a lot of trouble, but I still made some stupid mistakes.
But two things: the kid appeared to be thinking very clearly about it. He knew what he was doing was dangerous. Knowing the potential consequences of your actions is half the battle. And secondly, I also believe that we still have to be accountable for our actions at that age. You're right that we don't always make the right decision, but is that really an excuse? Does that let us off the hook if we made a bad decision?
I was raised to believe that you should know the difference between right and wrong, and you should make your choices based on that knowledge. It's not easy standing up to pressures of authority figures at that age, but if we're to expect them to make smart decisions and avoid bad influences at that age, we should also expect them to be able to know when to take themselves out of harm's way.
And again, that's not saying Notre Dame shouldn't have taken that decision out of the kid's hands. But the kid unfortunately knew of impending danger... really just wish he had brought his concerns to ND's attention, at very least. Perhaps it would have caused additional reflection on the safety risks and a better decision would have been made by the coaches.