Friday Mud asks: How can we make sure the Huguely-Love tragedy never happens again?

February 24, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Friday Mud asks:  How can we make sure the Huguely-Love tragedy never happens again?

Like a pitcher who comes into the dugout after 2 innings of work and says to the manager, “I just don’t have it tonight”, I’ll tell you a similar story:  I just didn’t have Friday Mud in me this week.  Not in the traditional sense, anyway. 

I’m aggravated by the Orioles, for starters, so sitting down and crafting a spectacular edition of FM for you seemed almost unfair given my mood.  I just haven’t felt like laughing this week.  But the biggest reason I haven’t been laughing – and thus, not in the Friday Mud mood – has been the conclusion of the Huguely-Love murder trial in Virginia.  To have to read the accounts of that young lady’s mother and sister talk about Yeardley on Wednesday night at the sentencing portion of the trial was a terrible reminder that no one should have that much grief in their life…but sadly, people are saddled with it even when the didn’t do anything to desreve it.  I spent some of Thursday talking to people in the lacrosse community about this horrible story and how it all could have happened.  

And then I decided to write this:  

 

Over the last couple of days as people react to the conviction and sentencing recommendation of George Huguely V, I’ve heard or read more than one person say, “Lacrosse got what it deserved”.  That e-mail came into me on Thursday morning and we talked about it during the show.  ”Lacrosse got what it deserved…”

That, of course, was a reference to the constant criticism lacrosse always hears about its own fiber:  that people involved in the sport are spoiled and entitled because the sum of their parts include family wealth, private school, self-sense of entitlement and, in a lot of cases, superior athletic ability.

Mix those elements together and you have someone who believes he or she is above reproach.

That, some are saying, is precisely what happened to George Huguely V.

But that doesn’t mean lacrosse got what it deserved on Wednesday when the jury handed down its verdict and recommended to the judge that the former Landon School student should spend the next 26 years of his life in prison for the death of Yeardley Love.

Lacrosse had nothing at all to do with the story, per-se.  It just served as the convenient backdrop for a tragedy.

Yeardley Love is dead because no one took the time to help her or George Huguely V when they needed it most.  He could have been a baseball player and she a member of the volleyball team.  The outcome would have likely been the same.

Where on earth were the adults while these two were leading their highly publicized college lifestyle?  Where were the parents and the coaches and the professors?

Where were the friends of those two?

Where WAS everyone?

In the United States these days, we’re sensing that people are actually starting to support one another again.  After a couple of decades of our nation’s dog-eat-dog, make-as-much-as-you can, screw-the-little-guy approach, we seem to have figured out that helping one another and being “in this together” is probably a better way to pick ourselves up from this horrible economic dip of the last five years.

We need help.

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11 Comments For This Post

  1. Julio Purcell Says:

    Drew, Thanks you for your very insightful analysis of a terrible tragedy. Julio

  2. Colleen Says:

    Lacrosse has gotten it’s fair share of bad press in recent years, but perhaps we need to look at another commonality amongst these children.  The private schools in Maryland are among the finest in the country and we are fortunate to have these resources at our disposal.  Attending a private school in the Baltimore – DC corridor, as with many places in the country, is practically a guarantee of lifelong friendships, business connections and a full social calendar.  But perhaps what needs to change in our schools today is the predominant focus on the social.  Perhaps it is time that we move away from what has possibly become an over emphasis on unity in our high schools.  In addition to creating some very positive results, this “team mentality” has also seemed to encourage an abundance of conformity, resulting in children who travel in packs and attend a never ending stream of social events.  Where are the lessons about individuality and the gift of time spent alone?  What about personal boundaries?  Perhaps we have been so busy organizing dances, parties and sporting events for our kids that we’ve run out of time to teach them about the alternatives.  Perhaps we can start now. (DF: Excellent points. Thanks for sharing.)

  3. Oriole85 Says:

    Drew,
    We’ve had our fair share of disagreements about much lighter stuff(yes, the Orioles saga pails greatly in comparison to this). But I think you were right on with most if not all of your points here.
    -Madison

  4. Dave Says:

    Drew,
    Thanks for writing this piece. There are so many lessons to be learned from this tragedy, but first and foremost, pay attention parents!!! Actually have some kind of clue as to what your kids are doing!!! I guess I’m preaching to myself as I have a young son and daughter and this case will forever be a reminder for me.

  5. barry Says:

    drew,
    this was one of your best blogs you have ever written.now if only parents and even more so COACHES will pay attention this might be averted in the furure.
    BARRY

  6. Al Says:

    Drew,

    Thanks to you for talking about this case in a fair and respectful manner concerning all that surrounds this tragedy in a non sensational manner. You really helped me see past this crime and how it’s not specific to Va, lacrosse, or whatever other excuses I used to keep this at arms length. Before you started discussing, I thought this was just a sad story that couldn’t happen, or at least I hoped would never happen in my life or to someone I care about.

    But you helped me look at this in a different light, and that by pretending it couldn’t happen in my world actually increased the possibility it could. I have a daughter who is a freshman in college, and I’ve tried my best to discuss this case, the factors, and warning signs.

    Once again WNST has transcended sports and done us all great service by talking about sports, our communities. Very few understand how those two intersect and reflect on each other.

  7. charlie Says:

    drew, not that you have a lot of free time, but if you ever do, take a look at the novel I Am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe. . . It covers a lot of this ground (and it’s hard on several subcultures, doesn’t focus on lacrosse), especially the entitlement/hard-drinking/no consequences collegian mindset which in this case had such an awful outcome.

  8. Marty S. Says:

    Drew, Very well said. I agree 100% that someone should have noticed the warning signs, and taken action to work with these 2 young people. There were plenty of opportunities to intervene along the way. As a result of this very tragic story, I certainly will try harder and pay more attention and work with my kids.

  9. Cliff Says:

    That was a great blog about this terrible tragedy, Drew.

    Alcohol abuse (prescription abuse, drug abuse also) is a terrible thing. I’ve seen instances where alcohol can turn a ‘nice guy’ into a raging monster. It certainly is not an EXCUSE for some of the things that happened next. But it most certainly is a REASON.

    The only way to ‘police’ it is to police yourself and those in your inner circle. Mr. Tierney is trying to ‘police’ some of those in his inner circle and I wish him every success in doing it. But – there is always going to be that one ‘nice guy’ that is going to ignore his problem until something tragic happens to himself or others. It is probably developing right now somewhere; and if somebody in his ‘inner circle’ doesn’t intervene — the whole tragic story will unfold in the headlines in the future. So sad.

  10. Steve Says:

    Drew, well said…Excellent piece of writing!

  11. Dan Says:

    “Someone with common sense and regard for the law would have turned around and left. Not Huguely. He kicked her door down. And then he killed her.” … ( just like he’s seen on TV a thousand times )since he was 8 years old. There’s a reason Budweiser pays over a million Dollars for 60 seconds of your time during a football game. Their message on TV influences people to do things. Buy their beer. Good luck on reversing what we have taught our young people for the past 40 years . Dan

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. As The World Reacts To The Huguely Verdict, Tierney Knows Best | Lacrosse All Stars Says:

    [...] there have been traditional media stories, and there have been cautionary posts like the one from Drew Forrester on WNST, in which the author feels bad for everyone.  However, NONE of them capture the situation like [...]

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