On Friday night the University of Miami plans to honor a cheater by officially naming their baseball stadium Alex Rodriguez Park.
Like him or not, Alex Rodriguez cheated his profession. He cheated his teammates and he cheated the American people. He earned money that was not rightly his because his ability was artificially enhanced by an illegal substance.
Unlike so many others, however, Rodriguez promptly admitted to his mistake. Admission of guilt should not be rewarded with a free pass, though.
This Friday, at a fundraiser for the baseball team, Rodriguez will make his first public appearance since admitting to using steroids. Part of this fundraiser will be a ceremony to name the newly renovated baseball stadium Alex Rodriguez Park.
Should the university reconsider the name choice? Absolutely not. They are not naming the stadium to honor Rodriguez. The BankUnited Center was not chosen to replace the Convocation Center because of their great work in the community.
They were chosen because they were willing to pay enough money to have their name associated with the University of Miami, mainly for advertising.
Rodriguez doesn’t need to advertise himself, especially since he is already the highest-paid baseball player. In light of recent events, including his connection with Madonna, some good public relations wouldn’t hurt.
Sure, Miami is getting some negative press because of their ties with Alex Rodriguez. But remember, he didn’t play here. He didn’t even go here. He just gave his favorite childhood team some money so they could renovate their stadium. Since professional sports seems to be the only recession-proof business in the country, can you blame them for naming the stadium after a former fan who donated $3.9 million?
If teams decided to take down the signs of all their corporate sponsors that have ever cheated, not only would their stadiums be bare, but their wallets would be empty as well.