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Thursday, March 3, 2011
Arkansas says crime report misleading

By staff

Arkansas showed up Wednesday in the kind of top 5 nobody in college sports wants to be associated with.

According to a joint investigation by Sports Illustrated and CBS, Arkansas' football team had 18 players with criminal records last season, tying the Hogs for second among the teams in Sports Illustrated's preseason Top 25.

The report said Pittsburgh had 22 players with criminal records, followed by Arkansas and Iowa each with 18.

Calling the report misleading, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long promptly issued a statement and said it was unfair to paint every violation of the law with a broad brush.

For instance, Long said seven of the 18 violations involving Arkansas players were traffic violations that did not involve alcohol or any other illegal substances. Three additional violations did involve driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Five involved illegal use or possession of alcohol. Two involved marijuana possession, and one involved shoplifting.

"It is worth noting that none of these violations involved any acts of violence," Long said. "Unfortunately, the article placed our students in a misleading context, one which failed to distinguish the nature and severity of violations from those featured in the story.

"To reiterate, the University of Arkansas' athletic program works hard to educate our student-athletes on matters of personal responsibility. We have high expectations of those who want to compete under the Razorback name. We will continue to stress those expectations and will continue to hold accountable those who fail to uphold our standards."

In the report, it was noted that 8.1 percent of the scholarship football players on the preseason Top 25 teams last season had been in trouble with the law.

I wonder how that compares to the percentage of fraternity members on campus who've been in some type of trouble with the law, or the marching band ... or even the faculty and staff at that particular school.