William & Mary has removed convicted rapist Darren Sharper from the school’s Hall of Fame.
Darren Sharper is one of the best players to come through the College of William & Mary but he won’t be remembered for that after he was removed from the school’s Hall of Fame.
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Sharper took a global plea deal after committing rapes in multiple states and was sentenced to nine years in prison in March. Less than a month later, school officials made the smart and correct decision to remove Sharper from the Hall of Fame he was inducted to in 2008.
He played defensive back for the program and after the Green Bay Packers made him the No. 60 selection in the 1997 NFL Draft, Sharper became the highest drafted player from the program since Bill Bowman was the No. 37 selection in the 1954 draft. 13 years later the NFL would hold the first Super Bowl, so that’s how long it was before a player like Sharper made an impact in the NFL like he did.
But no matter the impact Sharper had in college or in the NFL, there was no way the school could continue to honor a serial rapist.
“After a period of thoughtful deliberation, the decision has been made to remove Darren Sharper from the William & Mary Athletics Hall of Fame,” athletics director Terry Driscoll tells TMZ.
“We view induction into this group as the highest individual honor for a former William & Mary athlete, and criteria for selection include both athletic excellence and citizenship. In light of Darren’s recent guilty plea, we decided his removal was the right course of action.”
This was an absolute no-brainer for the William & Mary administration to make and should be applauded for making such a move.
This decision by the school shows that character counts. Whether you’re the greatest athlete since Jim Thorpe and can throw a football 90 yards in the air, if you’re not a person of high character and doing things the right way off the field, then you’re not going to be honored solely on your athletic achievements.
I hope this will set a precedent for other schools to follow suit. For example, O.J. Simpson is in the college and Pro Football Hall of Fame, his jersey is retired by USC and he’s on the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame despite being a convicted felon. Forget about his acquittal in the famous murder trial and he’s still a convicted felon who is still honored because he was a great running back.
How ludicrous does that sound when we preach the importance of values, morals and doing the right thing?
Kudos to the College of William & Mary for showing character still counts and removing Sharper from their Hall of Fame.
If only more would follow their lead.
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