A lesson in how the sportsworld understands character, integrity and maturity, told through a few quotes.

Leading off, Cardale Jones, tweeting in 2012:

“Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL,” Jones wrote. “We ain’t come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS.”

Famously, Jones’ twitter account was deactivated and this tweet is now, literally, a textbook example of how *not* to use social media, a “24-word lapse in judgment” as cautionary tale.

Cardale Jones, December 2014:

“It was just something so stupid; of course I didn’t feel that way about academics, and I don’t. Nobody in this program feels that way, we actually take that stuff very serious around here.

“It was just a dumbass thing to do. I definitely didn’t think that would happen. It was just a stupid thing to do at that time. It was something where I just got pissed because I studied my ass off.”

Danny Kanell, January 2015: “Yeah, he (Jones) has grown up a ton since he sent out that tweet.”

Mike Golic, January, 2015:

“Yeah, he did have that tweet a couple of years ago…that’s a tweet he has to ‘own.’

By which, of course, Golic means “disavow,” that is, to pretend to claim that when he made an undeniably truthful statement, he was being untruthful. And that, having ‘grown’ and ‘matured,’ Jones now realizes that what is required is to pretend to believe that which, as a 19-year old freshman, he knew to be untrue.

A friend, on Facebook this morning:

Well to the extent that college also builds practical skills, [Jones] is demonstrating his ability to say the right things in a post game press conference whether or not they are true.”

George Orwell, 1984:

[“Blackwhite”] has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary….
Jones, having learned to practice “blackwhite,” is now a real man, a man of character. So sayeth the Ministry of Truth at ESPN and among college football’s defenders.


  1. Many years ago I taught remedial math at a University. I had a student who insisted that he didn’t need to attend my class, because he was in the sports program. His truth was “I don’t need to attend, you have to pass me”. The coach requested an exception for the school’s strict attendance policy, since normally three absences equals a failing grade. “He’s missing class due to travelling to competitions, ” they told me.

    So, I made an exception for his attendance. Thankfully nobody complained when I failed him for his performance on exams.

    1. Janet,

      it’s an endemic issue. There are, of course, lots of athletes, including in big time sports, who take studies seriously. But that doesn’t change the bottom line – it’s not what the major recruits in the big-time sports are brought to campus for. Everyone knows this. You’re just not supposed to say it out loud.

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