Focus on Ethics Video: Student Athletes and Crime

The public is more likely to learn of student athletes who break the law because of increased media attention. Offenses committed by student athletes are often treated differently than those committed by the general student population. A main factor is the legal assistance student athletes receive. Additionally, athletic departments are often more likely to support rather than punish the student athlete. Responding to the criminal offenses of student athletes is a challenge for the criminal justice system because of the danger of treating student athletes either more harshly or leniently than other offenders because of their celebrity status.

Video source: Outside the Lines Investigation on YouTube

1. Are student athletes more likely to get into legal trouble than other students?

2. According to this video, what types of offenses are student athletes known to have committed?

3. Give some reasons student athletes are more likely not to be charged with a crime than are other students.

4. In your opinion, how should student athletes who break the law be penalized? Should student athletes be treated more leniently or more harshly than others who commit the same offenses?