Within the past two weeks or so we've seen several more cases of off-the-field problems involving black male athletes. Most recently, LSU had two starters suspended for allegedly failing a drug test.
When these problems hit the news I immediately work my contacts and ask "does this guy have a father in his life." Often, the answer comes back "No." One of the common themes of young men who have off-the-field problems is that they grew up fatherless.
When boys don't have a Dad around they often are forced to deal with:
- anger and pain
- emotional wounds
- an inability to connect to other men
Imagine never hearing your dad tell you "I Love You," "I'm Proud of You," or "God Blessed me with You."
This is exactly what many of the young men on your team are dealing with. The low academic performance, failed drug tests, inappropriate sexual behavior, disrespectful attitude, and criminal activity, is largely a result of them growing up without a father.
Dads give their boys three vital things that we need to be successful:
Since college is a transitional period in the life of a boy it is important that your team establish a mentoring program with men from the broader university community. We cannot afford to allow them to leave college without pairing them up with a positive male role model who will love them unconditionally.
We worked with one school in the deep south to set up a powerful mentoring program with community members and the football team. This partnership has increased academic performance, reduced off-the-field issues, and it has helped the young men understand what it means to be a man. We would love to help your school as well.