Are You Really Surprised?

“All-Met Linebacker Said To Be Robbery Ringleader” as big as life in The Washington Post.    “All-Met linebacker Pat Lazear played a prominent role in the planning and execution of an armed robbery in March…”

Should we be surprised by this revelation? No.

Entitlement.  That is what is at the root of this.

“Why were they engaged in this type of activity?” Assistant State’s Attorney Tom DeGonia asked the court. “They don’t need the money. They clearly don’t want the notoriety. The state is left with the explanation that these are young men who feel for whatever reason they can get away with this. That’s the most disturbing aspect of this.”

Entitlement.  That’s why. 

Too often he saw other athletes given special treatment, allowed to break rules and not face the consequences. That’s why.

If you are gifted in something that will bring other people success the rules don’t apply to you. You are entitled to special privileges.  That’s why.

But Lazear mistook what that meant or what that entitled him to.

He has/had an outstanding football career waiting for him in college.  He was/is one of the most heavily recruited players in the country and all by big name programs.   He was made to feel “special”.

He was made to feel special not just by the college coaches who wanted him but his own high school coaches and fellow students.  The Washington Post article quotes Robert Warren, one his armed robbery accomplices:

 “To be around this kid made me feel good,” Warren said. “Kids looked up to him like they looked up to me at Kennedy. He was a god. It was ridiculous. I wanted that feeling. People would look up to me because I was friends with him. They were like: ‘You’re friends with Pat? Whoa.’ I think that has a lot to do with all the other kids. That’s kind of sad.”

He’s right.  It is sad.  And even sadder is what lies ahead for him.

In a article from September 8, 2006 in The Washington Post, Lazear is quoted as saying, “I am just trying to put this all behind me.”  Too little, too late.

But is it really his fault?  On one hand it is because we are all responsible for our actions.  But on the other hand, was he only acting by example?

Is anyone looking at his coaches or the administration at Walt Whitman High School?

Another article in The Washington Post in today’s same edition, “8 Schools Used Ineligible Athletes, Officials Say” reports:

 “46 athletes at Einstein, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Winston Churchill, Quince Orchard, Walter Johnson, Watkins Mill, Wheaton and Walt Whitman were playing on sports teams while not having the minimum 2.0 grade-point average or possibly having more than one failing grade in the previous quarter.”

Walt Whitman High School.  The same school that Lazear and all the others involved in the robbery attended.  The same football team  that Lazear and two of the alleged perpetrators played on.

Is anybody looking at the tie between these types of activities?  Is anyone going back through Walt Whitman High School history to see their record on enforcement of school rules and how it is applied to athletes?   We need to look at the coaches and school administrators who turn a blind eye when a star athlete is caught drinking underage and they don’t suspend them. 

Lazear and every other person in the armed robbery, if found guilty, should be held accountable for their actions.  But we should also look at the root of the problem and see who is setting the example for them.


Ok, I normally wouldn’t come back and add things like this but it just adds to my point.  Another article today in the The Washington Post, “Vandalism at Prep Stadiums Probed”.

Apparently, following the Whitman v. Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School  game last week, someone, presumably, Whitman fans/students, vandalized the B-CC stadium.  While this appears to be in retaliation for  B-CC students spray-painting at Whitman’s stadium the previous night, the vandalism at B-CC consisted of anti-Semitic messages.

 What is going on at Whitman?  Read the page on “Sportmanship” on the Whitman High School website.  Someone must have forgotten this exists.

Dr. Alan S. Goodwin, Principal should resign

David H. Magathan Jr,  Athletic Director should resign.

Eric Wallich, Varsity Football coach should resign.

Andy Wetzel, Asst. Athletic Director/Varsity Wrestling coach and former assistant football coach should resign.


12 responses to “Are You Really Surprised?

  1. Warren arrived at Whitman with several prior convictions including possession of firearm, discharge of firearm in an urban area, burglaries and thefts. Josh Barr ought to dig into those cases to see which high-profile athlete cast their spell over Warren to coax his crimes. Maybe it was Maurice Clarett, Lawrence Phillips or the Duke Lacrosse Team. Josh must seems to have omitted this aspect of Warren’s deal-cutting story. Pat Lazear is a young man who hasn’t been convicted of a crime but has been tried, roasted and skewered in the media. Because a lazy Josh Barr finds an irresistible thesis in a local story. Not orginal but impossible to argue against – athletes in our society receive preferential treatment. Whoa – that’s courageous and original journalism. Don’t forget – Pat Lazear is one person, one kid really, who has yet to tell his side of the story. He has rights. He has a future. But why does that matter? We’re angry and we’re not going to take all this preferential treatment for athletes nonsense anymore. What would I do with this soapbox? Just pile on cowards. Pile on.

  2. As Mr. Gundling points out, the past history of Mr. Warren would be good to know before passing judgement.

    In fairness then, I think I should let you know that Pat Lazear was previously convicted for the use of a stolen credit card to buy a $130 pair of sneakers in November 2004 — and the ensuing 90 days of court supervision.

    From his comments it appears Mr. Goulding may not be aware of this.

    As Judge Joseph A. Dugan Jr. said at Lazear’s hearing his track record contradicted the depiction of many of the people who testified to his character.

    “Ten months later, not only is that all forgotten, but you’re involved in a robbery with a dangerous weapon,” Dugan said while delivering his verdict.

    Is that fir enough for you Mr. Goulding?

    Actually, let say this. The point isn’t really about Pat Lazear or Robert Warren or any individual student. The point is the administration and coaches at Walt Whitman High School need to be looked at very closely.

    I am sorry that Mr.Goulding’s “golden boy” Pat Lazear is in trouble and has possibly ruined his future. I am sorry that people have , as Mr. Goulding call it, “pile on”. But the truth is there are problems at Walt Whitman and if people like him would stop long enough to notice the bigger picture they might see what I am talking about. Then maybe they will use their energy and their email skills to attack the real problem.

    Dr. Alan S. Goodwin, Principal should resign

    David H. Magathan Jr, Athletic Director should resign.

    Eric Wallich, Varsity Football coach should resign.

    Andy Wetzel, Asst. Athletic Director/Varsity Wrestling coach and former assistant football coach should resign.

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  6. Has anyone forgotten this kid has parents? Where were/are they? You can’t put all of the blame on the administration of the school. The judge asked Mrs. Lazear if she ever thought of taking football away from Pat — she said something to the affect that they saw this as a tool for his future….. Mr. Lazear was his coach or helped coach through Pat’s little league football too — my kids looked up to him as a god — all I saw was a cockey kid who everyone thought could do no wrong becuase he was a good football player – someone who treated the younger kids like they were nothing. As a parent of athletes I would hope my children realize that playing sports is a privlidge – not a right — no matter how good of a player you are.

  7. Hey Jay, why did you see a cockey kid? Was he beating your kid? I see a dedicated kid, focused…football focused. Every kid in sports loves the kid that has heart. Pat has heart. Don’t ever even think he treated kids bad, he loves kids, and is well respected and treats my kids well. Bottom line…..another opinion of a wanna bee!!!!!!

  8. I know pat personally and he is not a bad kid… and all the things you are saying about whitman is untrue.. he is an outstanding football player and he just made a stupid decision. oh and for your info, Wallich did resign( said he lived too far away, but real reason was that we suck at fball). Magathan also resigned and Wetzel is now the head. and i wish dr goodwin resigned. Anyways i really think you should accept Pat and keep in mind that he merely drove the get away car =]

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