Surprisingly, well to the regular readers of this fabled column it may be a shock, this column is about to be mildly serious. And relevant. And maybe controversial.
But hey ho, that is for you to decide. All I have to do is have an opinion. Articulating it well may help but you never know.
Talking about relevant, ironically, there’s Ched Evans. The ex-Sheffield United forward was recently released from jail after serving a two year sentence for allegedly raping a young woman in a nightclub.
However whether he committed the offence is irrelevant to us. We’re focusing on the punishment. Being in prison is a punishment unto itself and he therefore should not suffer once he gets out.
Now you may be questioning the use of the word relevant at the top of this spraff but bear with me.
You may have seen in the slightly more serious pages of the Saint a story about the Men’s Golf Club. I’m not going to reel off the whole thing but in short during pub golf they entered Macintosh hall, were quite noisy and rowdy and when all was said and done the Athletic Union have said that the club have to re-elect the committee and have banned anyone involved in the incident from taking part in BUCS fixtures until at least after the upcoming EGM.
Now this is distinctly unfair. The Athletic Union have overstepped the mark regarding discipline and it almost seems as they are pursuing some sort of vendetta against the Golf Club. Just a perception, however.
Yes the club behaved appalingly. No one likes drunken disruptiveness and especially not in student halls at times when people are trying to work or sleep peacefully. They were quite selfish in pursuit of their own fun.
That said, for the AU to punish them both on and off the golf course is excessive. This was a matter that occurred away from the golf course and has nothing to do with the team event. The punishment is excessive.
For causing disruption in halls and in public by all means get the police, the Deans or the wardens involved but for crying out loud leave the golf alone. With all committee members stepping down, at least temporarily and possibly more permanently, it’s not as if they haven’t felt the consequences of the actions.
Taking some very gifted players out of BUCS matches is plain wrong. When all is said and done the club win and lose as a team. Surely it is owed to those who weren’t involved in the raucousness to keep their wonderfully talented team-mates alongside them to try and drive them to success this year.
Furthermore, this incident is not exactly national news. It has been kept within the university and thus why should these members not be allowed to represent the university? It’s not as if everyone who has ever done anything wrong is locked away in a small basement of St Salvator’s quad hidden away from the prying eyes of any visitors.
They can’t be locked in the bubble permanently. This, after all, is not prison.
Finally, and admittedly the least moral of my assertions is that golf is the pride and joy of this place. Yes our hockey, rugby and riding clubs- to name but a few- are exceptional but golf and St Andrews go hand in hand. They are more compatible than falafel and hummus.
We should take the most pride in doing well at our sport. This is the home of golf and therefore we surely belong at the pinnacle of the university golfing tree. Obviously it is not a divine right to get there but we shouldn’t be holding ourselves back.
Everyone makes mistakes. Most of these mistakes are made on a Wednesday night but usually they are not held against you to the detriment of your sports club.
Yes we all acknowledge that the club shouldn’t have made their way raucously uninvited through a university hall. Yes it is wrong and they do deserve to be punished. But for god’s sake, punish them with something in keeping with the offence.
Supervise their socials. Give them community service on a Wednesday night for all I care but don’t strike at the heart of the golf team. Don’t undo the good work of a whole team. Don’t let vendettas blind you to the need of others.
Don’t ban them from golf.