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Keenan story was overblown

I've read and heard a lot about Boys' Latin faceoff specialist R.G. Keenan being charged with a DUI. The story has made it on radio talk shows and in newspapers. Wow, what an overblown story.

First, I was surprised how The Sun treated the story. From the headline to the length of the story, I was surprised that Keenan, 18, was treated more like a professional athlete than one in high school. He made a mistake, lied and has to suffer the consequences, but he is a high school athlete.

I've coached high school-age kids in lacrosse for four years now, and I'm also a parent. I realize that these kids do make mistakes, and every parent and coach just hopes it isn't his or her child or athlete that gets in trouble. I've known R.G. for four years because my son plays lacrosse for Boys' Latin, and R.G. is a great kid. He is a good student, has good grades and is well-liked by his teammates. He will someday make many positive contributions to our society.

I know a DUI is a serious offense and the serious results that can come from it, but I also realize the Keenan is a young man first and an athlete second, even though he was the most dominant high school lacrosse player in the area.

No high school student, regardless of whether he is from Boys' Latin, McDonogh, Dundalk or Parkville, deserves the kind of scrutiny that Keenan has been under.

-- Mike Preston

Posted by Mike Preston at 3:56 PM | | Comments (18)
        

Comments

C'mon Mike
This shows your stupidity again. Question: why did it take a month for the school to recognize his DUI? Answer: it was waiting for the MIAA lacrosse season to be over so they didn't have to suspend there star player for the season and risk losing the championship. Here goes Mike again with his narrow-minded blinders on and thinks he is the end-all know-all of lacrosse. Mike I wouldn't believe you if you told me the sun was out

Mike - Good for you for standing up for a good young kid who made a mistake. He's a student athlete and one who is still maturing as a high school athlete. You're a class act putting your views out there even if they stand in the face of the coverage by your employer. Keenan made a mistake. One he will learn from. Thankfully, no one was hurt and this should represent a teachable moment for anyone who has contact with school age kids.

Totally agree with article and Anonymous. Only wish this blog by Preston could go out to all to all the BL Alumni like the letter from the Headmaster which probably was the impetus for the Sunpaper's article. I hope he gets to go to UNC and have a great carreer.

Mike-funny you should write a column like this when you where the one years ago who wrote an article on a Washington College incident. It had nothing to do with the sport but it was sensational enough to catch your attention. It cost players to lose their eligibility. Much like you writing more about this column which is only adding fuel to the fire. You are an ambulance chaser with a pen, nothing more.

THANK YOU......Mike!
Good thing all of the Social media wasn't around when we ruled the world!

Kenwood HS & North Harford HS are probably still in topsy turvy frome the things we did in '71-76!

We turned out OK!.....Ya Think?

Thanks for taking up for the little guy!

Hey Mike,

Are you kidding me? One of the things you should have learned in journalism school is to stay away from topics where you have a conflict of interest. You have a son playing on the BL team, right? Best you sit this one out, especially when you say stupid stuff like this.

Mike - Like above, thanks for stading up for this kid. I don't think the beef of this issue lies with the kid as much as it does with the school. If the kid was charged in April, why did the administration wait until AFTER the MIAA season to do anything? I think that's the biggest atrocity here - what kind of message does that send to younger lacrosse players, or any younger athletes for that matter? If this is such a "teachable moment" then why didn't the higher-ups at Boys Latin use it as such??

I have been beside myself about this situation...is it really necessary for a boy to pay for a stupid, irresponsible mistake with his entire future? I find it hard to believe that NC may take away his place in their school next year (if I read the article properly). I also find it questionable that BL conveniently didn't have all of the deatils until after the game against St. Paul's. I truly hope that this young man learns from this (I am sure he will) but I pray that it does not cost him his entire athletic and scholastic future. I can't imagine what some of our lives would have become if we had to pay so dear a price for our 18 year old "wisdom."

The thing that bothers me was I heard that the school lied to the general public in hopes to win the coveted championship. I agree that it was one mistake, but the parents, the school lied.

Long before he was over the limit he knew better. He still chose to risk not only his life but others. It is what it is...a criminal act. he gets the attention both positive and negative because of his productivity on an elite team. Very easy for Preston to take this stance after all the smoke has cleared and no one is dead maimed for life

Shame on you, Mike Preston, for minimizing the seriousness of this offense. I find it deeply troubling that BL and it's administrators chose to keep this quiet (along with the lap top scandal that involved varsity lacrosse players) until after the MIAA championship game. If everone else knew about this in late April, why did it take the powers that be until 5/24/10 to figure it out? In light of recent events in the lacrosse community, there must be accountability. This incident,and the cover up, only adds to the debate that the "culture of lacrosse" is having a negative impact on the game and the students who play.

I rarely agree with Preston, but he has hit the nail on the head with this one. The kid is 18 years old, for crying out loud. He made a mistake. He was lucky. No harm, no foul. That said, what BL did, stinks. No way they didn't have the info BEFORE the MIAA tourney.

Mike,

He's an adult (18)...let him deal with the consequences like a man. He decided to drink (againstthe law), he decided to drive under the influence (against the law. The reason it's news is because of the issues with lacrosse players behaving badly.

Lauren, Florida State took away a scholarship from an Arundel HS baseball player a few years back for a similar offense (pot possession). Why can't UNC? They are making a $120,000 investment (4 years of free tuition, room and board) in this young man so if they decide he's not worth the risk, it's their call.

You have a son playing on the BL team, right? Best you sit this one out, especially when you say stupid stuff like this.

Shame on you Mr Preston. How convenient for you to leave that part out. They should have to give the title to the second place team, since they fielded a ineligible player.

I find this story troublesome on some many levels.
1. First if we are to cover high school athletes when they do well then we are to cover them when they do poorly. It is possible this kid and his family enjoyed seeing his name in the paper when he did well on the field. Well the same rules apply when he did poorly off the field.
2. What type of message did the parents send by letting him finish the season? It was DRUNK DRIVING not something small. The heck with the school, his parents should have pulled him off the team that day. If the parents had quietly removed him from the team that day chances are the crap storm we see right now never would have happened.
3. Of course we get the usual comments here, "he is a good kid" "he made a mistake". No folks, he willfully broke the law. I am tired of hearing the excuses and the cover ups, he broke the law and may soon have a new title, convicted felon.
4. I realize a blog is different then a article, indeed this type of writing is just what a blog was meant to be used for. I just question the fairness when a friend of the family is trying to set the record straight.
5. At some point we as a community have to say enough is enough. What this kid did was was dangerously wrong, and if holding him up for public embrassment helps keep hiom from doing it again, or stops someone else then I say good!

MIKE, I applaud your spirit.
Aside from the principle of American Justice, "Innocent until proven guilty",
it's difficult to remember that an 18 year old can die for our country, marry without parental consent, and yet is, in some ways, still a kid.

It is unfortunate that a great high school lacrosse player made a poor decision to drink and drive. It is even more unfortunate that he chose to alledgely lie to his coach, and wasn't able to foresee the consequences of being dishonest would bring. And if his parents did not speak up either, well then, who are our childrens first and foremost role models. But the important point is that this young man because of his outstanding faceoff talents was splattered all over the press in a bigger than life picture because of the MIAA and the even bigger press attention that BL received. And I am all about understanding that on an given day it could be my son a SP player, or your son, a Loyola player, or a Dulaney player, or a Loch Raven player, that could make a bad decision and screw up. What I can not understand is a 18 yr old with all the cards in place for a promising future in college and lacrosse, being able to look a coach like Shriver in the eyes and lie. And for that reason, there is an even bigger worry, that he did not learn the outcome of what making a poor decision can bring. More troubling, is that the buzz in Baltimore a week before the game, was that everyone knew of this DUI. Anyone can check any person in Marylands status by going to mdjudiciarycase search.com. But i guess no faculty member or coach at BL knew about this website, or that everyone was talking about him being possibly suspended from the team before the championship game. Do our privateschool institutions put their athletics above what's fair and what is the law? Were there trainig rules that were broken? don't know but heard there were. Would a public school alter MSA scores by erasing answers that were wrong answers to right answers so that they could acheive 100 percent in verbal scores and then become a blue ribbon school? Did BL accept a student weeks after he was expelled from SP for dealing drugs, who happened to be a phenomenal athlete? Don't we as coaches always talk about the experiences of being on a team teach life's bigger lessons? sportsmanship, winning gracefully, losing gracefully,, striving for a common goal, being a team player, accountability? Don't show up for a practice? you sit the next game. Accountability. You get in trouble, you make sure you are accountable for your actions, even if you are not pressed by coaches, parents, or peers to do so. That is the important life lesson that this player may or may not take away from this experience. But all of our kids, who think that they are so entitled, some more than others, should realise that if you screw up, anti up, accept your consequences, learn from it, build upon it, and grow. And we as parents, teachers, coaches are accountable to do everything that we can to guide these young ADULTS to make right decisions, but if not, to accept the consequences. And I wonder, Mike Preston, did you know about the rumors prior to the championship?

Coward

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.
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