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Hansen Unplugged: SMU, education, and cheating

WFAA Sports' Dale Hansen shares his thoughts as SMU is again the target of NCAA sanctions.

I don't know how many times I can write this. I'm as tired of writing about the cheating at SMU as some of the SMU community is that it continues... Not enough of the SMU community, but some.

The players and coaches have changed. The sports have, too. And this latest cheating, I would argue, is not as serious as what they were doing back then. But it's still cheating, and yet, the same old arguments are being trotted out again.

Basketball Coach Larry Brown didn't know. The athletes who play there now are being punished for something they didn't do. While my first reaction is that is a bit unfair, what other punishment can there be?

Coaches move on. Players do, too. And if you don't punish the university and, unfortunately, the kids left behind, there is no punishment.

I actually got an e-mail that says the online course that a former secretary completed to get Keith Frazier eligible was an online course he didn't need. Apparently, it's not cheating if it doesn't help.

This all started long before Keith Frazier wanted to play college ball at SMU.

Why didn't someone make the same demands on him in the classroom that they did in the gym? Why are we so afraid, in Texas, to demand the greatness in a classroom that we expect on a football field or a basketball court?

I do not, and I never will accept the argument a former football coach once made to me, saying, 'I can make 'em football smart, but I can't make 'em smart.'

Well, we can't if we don't try. And for too many great athletes, we don't try.

But this time, SMU has gone too far.

The golf team cheated, too. The golf team — the only sport we have left where the players don't cheat.

Football players seem to take a certain pride in their cheating. Basketball players, too. And many of the cheaters in baseball end up in the Hall of Fame. But golfers don't cheat.

I still believe that. I just can't believe it anymore, when they play at SMU.