It's a cycle as familiar as any in life. A New York celebrity or athlete gets in trouble and the New York media covers story with the doggedness of squirrels trying to get nuts. That leads to story after story covering any angle that pertains to the original incident until the stories begin to strain the reader's credulity. In the internet, 24-hour news age, that cycle has sped up. As evidence, take a look at Phil Muschnick's contribution in the New York Post.
Muschnick is not content to cover any of the salient details of the case, nor simply write a piece slamming Burress for using abysmal judgment for his decision to bring a gun with him to a nightclub. No, New York's favorite curmudgeon goes a step further and blames Michigan State University for creating a monster.
"With American colleges, in anything-it-takes pursuit of winning ballgames, increasingly serving as the welcoming homes to criminals, it's time the media finally put some heat on them by stressing their attachment to the bad guys," Muschnick writes. "If 'the college experience' is designed to raise one's ability to better serve one self as well as society, why are so many athletes, often recruited from great distances and at great cost and awarded full scholarships, departing colleges as dangerous criminals?"
Lord knows that college athletics are rife with flaws worthy of being attacked. Recruiting questionable characters because they are good at sports is one of those flaws but this isn't one of those instances. Burress is 31 years old, has been out of Michigan State for nearly a decade and, while he's been a behavioral nightmare, hardly fits the bill as one who was a dangerous criminal from day one.
Muschnick neglects to mention how this act be attributed to anything that went on while he was in East Lansing, probably because nothing ever happened there that would shed any light on Burress' likelihood of breaking the law. Does USC owe the Brown and Goldman families restitution because of O.J. Simpson? Michael Milken went to Berkeley and Wharton Business School, where is the article admonishing those schools for raising a felon? Of course not, and Michigan State has nothing to do with what happened at the Latin Quarter on Friday night.