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Volleyball Controversies and Crimes


Volleyball is often a sport beloved by those who play, coach and watch it. But every once in a while, the story is off of the court. Here are some of the news stories around the web of volleyball people behaving badly or causing a controversy worth discussing.

1. Hazing at SUNY Geneseo in New York Leads to Charges

The SUNY Geneseo volleyball team has a lot to be thankful for this weekend. This year's hazing got out of control when the team hancuffed, blindfolded andd forced alcohol down the throats of their underage teammates. A judge last week reluctantly let them off with a slap on the wrist.

2. Boy Banned from Playing on Girl's Team

A boy in Yonkers, NY was denied the chance to play volleyball on the girl's team despite there being no boy's team at his school. The discussion around this story brought out the worst in some people which led to several idiotic comments on articles. I say, let the boy play. Here's why.

3. Pedro Vindicated of Performance Enhancing Drug Allegations

Brazilian beach volleyball star Pedro Salgado was suspended for an alleged positive drug test last summer. It came as a bit of a shock as we do not see too many cases of steroid use in our sport. As it turns out, the test was botched. Now the lab that conducted the test is itself under suspension. Turnabout is indeed fair play, but the lab’s suspension pales in comparison to what could be long-lasting effects on Salgado’s career.

4. Foreign Beach Players on American Tours

Whether or not you like the idea of foreign players coming to the U.S. and walking away with one of the larger prize purses offered in our somewhat shaky sport right now is not Dave Williams’s concern. According to Williams, USAV Beach’s Managing Director, the major concern is making our American players better. For Williams, that meant allowing Brazilian Pedro Salgado to team up with American Casey Jennings in last weekend’s Hermosa Beach Open. Pedro and Casey ended up winning the tournament, beating Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in two sets in the televised final.

5. Lauren Cook Arrest

If you watched the No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team play No. 23 Michigan last weekend, you may have wondered why the Cornhuskers's starting setter was conspicuously absent. The answer is a little bit frightening. Lauren Cook, daughter of Nebraska head coach John Cook, had to sit out the match after a felony arrest last week for leaving the scene of an injury accident. Though the crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, it appears that Cook will get off with just a slap on the wrist. Fair? You be the judge.

6. Why Letting Cook Play Was a Mistake

While she was probably heckled by some of the rowdier members of the capacity crowd in West Lafayette as the Cornhuskers faced Purdue, things more or less went back to normal for Lauren Cook and Nebraska's volleyball team. Just 12 days after Cook drove a car on a suspended license, sideswiped a motorcyclist and kept on driving, she was allowed to return to the court. In allowing her to do so, Nebraska missed a real opportunity to illustrate that some things are more important than winning.

7. Man Builds Sand Court, Pays the Price

A Michigan man pulled out all the stops, building himself a professional-grade sand volleyball court complete with sound system and outdoor shower. The problem? He built it on federal land that had been set aside to protect an endangered bird.
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