It was an absolute travesty that a group of North Dakota State University football players received little more than slaps on the wrist for forging tens of thousands of petition signatures, something that derailed two ballot initiative campaigns that had seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending.
The players received only community service from the courts, and North Dakota State University claimed they couldn’t announce to the public what discipline the players received from the school (this despite NDSU and other universities routinely divulging suspensions and other punishments handed out to less high-profile student athletes).
But now it seems that a few of the football players guilty of the petition fraud feel they’re above having to serve their community service:
Records show the cases have been reopened for the three men accused of not completing any of their community service time: Darren (D.J.) McNorton, Aireal Boyd and Don Carter.
Affidavits from Restore, a nonprofit that administers court-ordered community service sentences, allege none of the three did their community service.
McNorton and Boyd were ordered to appear in Cass County District Court on Monday on an order to show cause, a step that can lead to an eventual probation revocation. Boyd was granted a two-month delay.
McNorton did not appear in court, prompting Judge John Irby to issue a warrant for his arrest.
Carter’s order to show cause hearing is set for May 28.
The fourth ex-player, Joshua Gatlin, didn’t initially meet the April 15 deadline for his community service but has since completed it, according to court records.
Boyd was a member of the NDSU football team when the charges were filed in the fall but is no longer on the roster. The other three were former players at the time.
As the article states, three of these guys were former players at the time of the petition fraud. One was a current NDSU football player, but is no longer.
I’m not shocked, frankly, that a bunch of pampered athletes would feel above completing their sentences for this fraud. That’s the message they get from the special treatment they receive as student athletes. The rules don’t apply to them.
I suspect those players who are still a part of the NDSU Bison football program completed their community service only because it might put their playing careers in jeopardy. Those who needn’t worry about those careers any more (at least not in North Dakota) clearly don’t feel an obligation to the community any more.
This is another indicator for the decadence in higher education. Crimes committed by student athletes aren’t as serious as long as those athletes are bringing home championships, right?