Opinion

WSU and David Stilley: something smells funny

On its face, the case of David Stilley’s treatment by Washington State University smells funny.

The Central Kitsap High School graduate and team MVP pitcher was booted from the Wazzu baseball team in November after being cited for pot.

That, in itself, is tragic and harsh, but pot is illegal and getting caught comes with a whole slew of consequences of which every college kid must be aware.

But during the last basketball season, three starters were cited for pot. None lost their place on the team, all kept their scholarships.

This is not an argument for harsher penalties. This isn’t the type of aberrant behavior one might expect from, say, Oregon.

It is an attempt to point out a few facts: for essentially the same crime, Stilley got cut and guard Klay Thompson sat out one game and then scored 43 points against the Huskies.

These facts, granted, are taken out of context. There could be a whole dimension to the story that isn’t being made public – the Coug ballers could volunteer their spare time changing diapers on baby seals, for instance, and Stilley could be doing drive-bys on orphanages – but what is known publicly looks ... funny.

Some might say different circumstances call for different consequences. In other words, getting fingered with pot could finally snip a coach’s patience with a problem player. But this way of thinking is slippery, and especially in this case, as it feeds the worst jock stereotype: those who perform on the field and please their coaches can get away with anything.

On its face, it looks like Stilley got a raw deal.

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