Could pro sports elevate their standards to high school levels?

When I was in high school, the rules for athletic participation were clear: if you didn’t have grades at a minimum level, you were off the team.

My high school basketball team had a benchwarmer who — it was later revealed — wasn’t getting the grades. When, just before the playoffs, the authorities learned that this guy was flunking out of school, they ruled that our first-place team must forfeit every game he had played in. Fortunately our team was so dominant that they had only let this kid play in a few blowouts, but still the resulting forfeits almost knocked the team out of the playoffs.

If the NFL and Major League Baseball are serious about steroid abuse, why not adopt a similar policy: if one player gets caught using banned substances, then the team forfeits games. Heck, make them turn in their Super Bowl rings, if necessary. After all, the player cheated. Shouldn’t teams with cheaters be punished?

Somehow, though, I think the likelihood of the NFL or Baseball adopting such a policy is about the same as me purging dashes from my writing. The NFL just doesn’t have the same high standards as your typical high school basketball team.

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