While these young men must deal with the repercussions of their actions, it is never a happy moment to see two young men make a mistake of such gravity that it could, literally, destroy everything that they have worked so hard to attain. There is the very real possibility that Jefferson may not graduate from LSU. There is no joy in his pain. And, though the alleged actions were despicable and scary, that does not diminish the anguish a young man goes through when he has to look in the mirror and realize just how much a little bit of anger, pride and/or bad judgment may end up costing.
From my personal perspective, I wish to commend the Duck fans that took the high road and went beyond how this impacted the game to being empathetic for the devastation that this action has caused so many people. Regardless of what happened that night, there are victims. This goes beyond how a football team is affected. Football is a sport where players go down to injury all the time; teams rally behind the back-ups and the season moves along.
A year ago, the Ducks were facing a season with a similar beginning. Let us not forget that not too long ago, Jeremiah Masoli was a Heisman candidate and unquestioned starting QB for the Oregon Ducks. That all changed very quickly and the Ducks entered a 2010 season with considerable uncertainty at QB. Though the timing in the Ducks case was a little easier to deal with as the two QB's vying to replace Masoli had several months to prepare and battle for the role, they still faced a dilemma similar to LSU.
When the Ducks were faced with turmoil, many fans from rival schools took great pleasure in our pain; and this caused many Duck fans quite a bit of anger. How was it, we thought, that other fans could be so callous? Let us not forget that pain; let us approach LSU's troubles with the dignity and class that we hope others show when we have troubles. Let us be better than those fans.
With Dallas only a week away, let us remember that there is never joy in the pain of young men. Everyone loses when we revel in the pain of young men.