We have had a rash of high profile injuries to UGA football and baseball players, and the area around Stegman Coliseum is crowded with athletes’ scooters on any given day. High-profile UGA football player Ray Drew is the latest UGA scooter injury. What gives?
According to estimates given over at Fannation, “going by (a) rough estimate, well more than half of the team’s 125 players (scholarship and walk-ons) are scooter users.”
Put bluntly, scooters driven by poorly-trained college University of Georgia students (and student-athletes) in Athens are endangering their lives. I am amazed that injuries from scooter accidents have not been more prevalent. I am even more amazed that athletes at the University of Georgia are allowed to use scooters at all.
Living in Athens, it is not unusual to see scooters buzzing to and fro around town. Sometimes they come buzzing by in groups, like angry bees. As a motorcyclist (retired these days to a more sensible Prius…but I have driven twice to the west coast and back on a Triumph) it has long troubled me at the bitches brew simmering dangerously in our peripheral vision.
Specifically, it seems that the collective conscience of Athens is blind to an obvious problem: a cavalier population of youngsters needing to get to classes quickly combined with the lack of governance over scooters of less than 50cc’s has created a lethal combination.
For me to drive a motorcycle with a passenger, I have to pass both a written and driving test (the driving test can be challenging…I failed it the first time I took it). Wanna drive a scooter? No problem, a thousand bucks and a helmet (no license or tag required) and you are on your way.
UGA Football Coach Mark Richt “not ready to say no to scooters”…really?
Mark Richt said that despite their danger, he is “not ready” to ban the players from owning scooters. “I always think about it but it’s very difficult for some of these guys to get where they have to get,” he said. “The scooters have allowed those guys to get around. I’m not ready to say no scooters, but they need to be careful.”
What? I’m a still a Richt supporter but this is ridiculous logic. A player has to get where they have to get, so danger is part of the equation? We’re not talking about climbing Everest (which is Dangerous)…we’re discussing getting to class on time. They need to be more careful? There’s the answer…asking 19 year olds to be ‘more careful’. How did ‘being more careful’ work out with those penalty ridden seasons of 2008-2009? How did “being more careful” work out with the fact that at times during past summers there seemed to be more UGA football players in jail than in summer school?
The system is the problem. Considering the expanse of the University of Georgia campus are the times between classes too short? Should practice start 10 minutes later and end 10 minutes earlier? There is much lamenting that college football is has been corrupted by big business…in following articles, we will explore how the University of Georgia has slowly been transformed as a whole into a profit center. At what lengths are students being asked required to go to in order to survive (in this case ‘survive’ is accurate) their college experience.
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