Recent incidents of athletes being caught drinking and driving have captured my attention. This summer, former fab 5 member, Jalen Rose was sentenced to 92 days in jail and a year of probation following a DUI arrest. The judge did end up suspending 72 days of the sentence, but he was in jail for about three weeks none the less. However, Pistons Center Ben Wallace was sentenced today to only a year of probation and 30 hours of community service following his charge of drunk driving. In Wallace’s case, an unloaded gun was also found in his car.
The article found here explains Ben Wallace’s sentencing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/pistons-center-ben-wallace-gets-probation-for-drunken-driving-gun-possession-charges/2011/12/13/gIQA4s23rO_story.html
What I find most interesting about theses cases is that both were charged in the same county, yet given different punishments. Wallace blew a 0.14% one stopped, which was well over the legal limit of 0.08% in Michigan. However, Rose blew exactly a 0.08% at the time he was stopped, but a blood test revealed that he was indeed at 0.12% at the time he was driving. I found it interesting that although Rose’s BAC was lower, he received a much higher sentence than Wallace (who had a gun in the car!).
At first, I tried to justify the differences in sentencing based on the reputation of the two players. However, this only baffled me more. Jalen Rose as notably dedicated his post-pro career life to community service. He is involved in numerous charitable organizations and has even opened his own charter school in Detroit.
This brings me to the topic of equality. Do you think that these gentlemen were treated fairly in their sentencing? I guess my main problem is that I don’t understand why there is such a difference in the sentencing. It appears to me that Ben Wallace was given the star treatment, possibly because he still is an NBA star, while Jalen Rose was treated, possibly, as an average Joe because he can be considered an NBA has been.
Do you think Wallace received a lesser sentence due to the fact that he is a current NBA player for the Pistons? What is your take on the sentencing of both Wallace and Rose? Do you think the differences between the two cases makes an argument against athletes being above the law?