How did you react when you found out that Daniel Hood is receiving a football scholarship with the University of Tennessee?
When Hood was 13 he aided a 17-year-old friend in the rape of his 14-year-old cousin. (You can read all the nauseating details here.)
Yet despite his background, UT recently signed him on. Your knee jerk reaction is probably that the folks at UT are either heartless, stupid or both and I admit that was my first thought too.
But Alabama-based columnist Paul Finebaum, posed some interesting questions on his blog last week about the matter and argues that perhaps UT has done the right thing.
Instead of casting away Hood, now 19, they are giving him a second chance. What I really like about Tennessee's handling of this case is the transparency -- so refreshing in today's cloak and dagger and deceptive world of intercollegiate athletics.
Unlike so many other schools who keep everything under wraps to gain some sort of competitive advantage, UT has made the young man available for interviews -- which he has passed with poise. The school has not run away from the controversy and perhaps, some good can come out of this family tragedy.
For starters, Hood has not been in any trouble since the incident and even the harshest cynics would have to agree the overwhelming fault in this case was on the friend, who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence. Had Hood been older, the case would be dramatically different. And while we can debate ad nauseam the maturity of a 13-year old, I think Hood was clearly not able to handle the situation. Would you have been at 13?
What do you think? Was UT right to give Hood a second chance or was the move foolish and insensitive to the female students of the university?