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'10 OH OL Matt James (Notre Dame Signee - RIP)

Discussion in 'College Football' started by X Buckeyes07 X, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. itownbuckeye

    itownbuckeye Freshman

    I read that it only takes 5-8 drinks for a person of about 150lbs to get to that level.
  2. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    There are many factors in determining how high your BAC can get and how quickly. How fast you're drinking, what you're drinking, stomach contents, kidney efficiency, metabolism, etc. That said, for a kid as big as James to be at twice the legal level of intoxication would take quite a bit...he definitely wasn't sipping Michelob Ultras.
  3. localyokel

    localyokel Allergic to Kool-Aid

    I take it we're past the "I mean does it really matter. Matt James is gone to a better place Let's think about that" stage?
  4. AFK4403

    AFK4403 I'm indie, you probably wouldn't get it.

    I do not blame the chaperones one bit. I went to X, albeit a few years ago, and we all went to Panama. If there were adults there, they were far from chaperones, and were not intended to be. If anything they were an emergency number to call in a bind. I'm sure Matt's situation was different from mine, but I'd bet the general atmosphere was similar.

    The kids down there are going to get alcohol. I seriously doubt the parents provided them with any, but even if they did they are not to blame. Good idea on their part? No. Admirable decision on their part? No. But the kids would get it, from them or from a 40 year old visor-wearing townie. Matt's parents trusted him to use good judgment. Apparently he made some questionable decisions and it ended in a terrible accident. I'm fine with leaving it at that and not pointing fingers.
  5. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck 2014 National Champions!

    I don't mind pointing fingers a bit. If adults went on this trip and accepted that they were "chaperones," then shame on them. I have absolutely no compunction about saying that.

    If we think that the concept is stupid of giving everyone a varsity letter and saying it's all about participation, then we have to measure adults by the same sort of criteria: if you take responsibility for young people on a spring trip, how can you excuse yourself for allowing one of these young people to get so stinking drunk that he hurls himself off the balcony to his death?

    Sometime, somewhere, people need to take responsibility for their actions - or lack thereof. This was a tragedy, but it wasn't in any way one that couldn't be prevented.
  6. jlb1705

    jlb1705 hipster doofus Staff Member Bookie

    Of course he was. That's why it's legal for 17 year olds to buy alcohol.
    WoodyWorshiper likes this.
  7. Actually, and I'm surprised that this hasn't gotten out on a larger scale, but since a few days after this happened word has been that one of the adults down there with A LOT to lose (you'd recognize the don't ask me it) bought at least some of the alcohol. Even with that, I still don't fault them. Like schultgb said, they were going to get alcohol no matter what. My senior trip we all flew down in smaller groups, no parents...we arranged beforehand to have one of our buddies girlfriends' old coach (who had since moved down to the city we visited) get us our alcohol, which he smuggled into our hotel/resort in a suitcase. When we managed to somehow use up our whole allotment of multiple hundreds of dollars of booze before the week ended, the oldest looking kid on the trip (pushing 275, tucked his shirt in and wore a hat and glasses..looked like an old man after he was done dressing the part) was able to get more beer at a gas station nearby without being ID'ed. I think that anecdote should illustrate the fact that one way or another they are going to get alcohol for a spring break trip, it's almost better that an adult gets it instead of them using a fake id, etc and risking arrest or associating with some shady people to get it themselves.

    You show me a parent who let their kid go on this trip (an annual thing at X, although not school sanctioned in any way) and claims they didn't know full well there was going to be drinking (and in all likelihood, lots of it) and I'll show you a liar. I think it's telling that law enforcement hasn't been made privy to who bought the alcohol despite it being widely known in certain circles- to me that just confirms that it was understood alcohol was going to be provided for them, thus the lack of outrage from those closest to the situation.

    I very likely could have suffered the same fate as Matt on my senior trip- I was just lucky enough to have friends who took care of me as I vomited everything but my vital organs into our toilet over the span of an hour or two, to the point where my friends were thisclose to calling an ambulance- one friend was already wanting to but another argued against it..they compromised and decided if I puked 1-2 more times they would..luckily this agreement was reached just after the last time I puked. I woke up in the morning feeling like a hundred bucks (having puked up everything that would cause a hangover) but learned the virtue of moderation after my most concerned friend explained the state I was in the night before. The reality is people are going to make bad decisions when they're young, especially with regards to drinking when they are inexperienced. I see people saying he was old enough to know better. Maybe, maybe not. I got to the point described above without having any clue I would be that bad. I was a very inexperienced drinker and had a shot or two without feeling the impact, so I made myself a ridiculously stiff mixed drink before I knew what I was getting myself into, and after that it was all downhill and I was in no shape mentally to realize the need to slow it down. I now know better, and if I got anywhere near that drunk again and something happened, I would completely agree I was 'old enough to know better.' But back then, I wasn't- I had to have the experience to learn. I'm really tired of seeing people (not necessarily here- don't care to try interpreting whether that's the case) admonish Matt, as if they didn't make any decisions when they were younger that easily could have resulted in dire consequences had they not gotten the good side of variance. Stones and glass houses and such.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
    RB07OSU likes this.
  8. 3074326

    3074326 Urban Legend

    Within the next year he could've joined the military, but he won't be able to use proper judgement on alcohol until 21. Makes a lot of sense.

    17 is certainly old enough to see the difference in fun and stupidity. Everything I've read about Matt leads me to believe he was a pretty mature kid, too.

    I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of Matt here. It was an unfortunate accident. Adults were just not to blame here.
  9. Steve19

    Steve19 Watching. Always watching. Staff Member

    Matt James did nothing that most of us didn't do in our final year of high school: get alcohol and drink too much. At my graduation party, I drank so much at a friends house that I walked into the deep end of his pool and had no idea I was drowning. I remember puking my guts out and waking up to the sound of my mother cutting the grass around me in the front yard.

    But that is not the issue that these quotes frame. It doesn't matter that kids do it. It doesn't matter that Matt James was nearly 18. Underage drinking is illegal for a good reason: many kids can't handle it and, when they can't, bad things happen.

    I feel so very sorry for Matt James parents, but that doesn't mean that I don't think that they are responsible for allowing him to go on this trip knowing very well what he and his buddies would be getting up to. By all accounts I have seen, Matt James seems to have been a level-headed and responsible kid but alcohol and disinhibition go hand in hand. It's a dangerous combination hundreds of miles away from family support structures for a 17 year old kid.

    I have read that the adults on the trip were not really chaperons. Well, if they were not, they should have been. And, if they bought alcohol for these kids, then I don't understand why they should not be held responsible for their actions.

    No matter how much folks discuss this mess, it won't bring back this young man. Still, it might stop another kid from suffering the same fate.
  10. My issue with this argument is the fact that he was going to head off to college in but a few short months. You have to take the training wheels off at some point (or just have them forced off when your kid heads off to school), and I really thinkalcohol is just one of those things where you're going to sink or swim, regardless of what your parents did prior to you getting on your own. It's unfortunate because when you 'sink' it can be deadly as we saw here, but I really think that's just the way it is. My parents tried to decrease this to a certain degree by offering to let me drink in our home (provided I wasn't driving later), but even if they hadn't allowed me to go on that trip to Florida, I would've still had that experience of mass over-consumption prior to learning my limits. Only difference is it would've occurred at school, where while there are no balconies, I could have just as easily gotten hit by a car after stumbling into the road or get in trouble with the law, and in turn get in trouble with the university. Hell, just a year or two ago a kid who had his first experience of drinking way too much fell out a window at my school. While obviously no one will say it now given the outcome, would it be that outlandish for his parents to think that spring break was a good place for Matt to get it out of his system before college so once he got to ND he would have a better understanding of his limits and not get belligerent to the point where he would jeopardize his football career via arrests, etc.?
  11. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck 2014 National Champions!

    I'm really not busting your chops here, X, but this was not a matter of letting a young man "take the training wheels off." Either there were chaperones or there were not. If adults were charged with being chaperones, then shame on them for letting this situation happen. If no adults were so assigned, there should have been - sending 17-year-old kids 1200 miles away to party unsupervised is pretty stupid.

    The problem with binge drinking among kids today is serious, and I don't claim to have the answers. But answers must be sought - this kind of thing happens way too often.
    buckeyeintn likes this.
  12. jlb1705

    jlb1705 hipster doofus Staff Member Bookie

    I haven't been in the military, but it seems to me that 18-21 year olds are not being used by the armed forces for their judgment.

    17 year olds are famous for that.

    I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of him or anybody really. I'm sure he was a "mature" kid - but that's kinda my point. Even though he may have been mature, he was still a kid - in the practical sense and in the legal sense. He may be mere months away from being eligible for military service, but as of the time of the accident our culture or our laws did not expect him to be capable of making judgments about how to use alcohol responsibly. His parents are supposed to be capable however.

    It's clear to me that a lot of people involved - both kids and parents - made poor decisions that resulted in this sad outcome. The unfortunate part is that is takes something like this for the people involved to start to think through some of the stuff was taking place.
  13. Steve19

    Steve19 Watching. Always watching. Staff Member

    Yes, because logically it does not follow. There is no way that a trip to Florida gets anything "out of his system". An alternative argument would be that, if you want your underage kid to get drunk in order to understand his limits, then the place to do that is at home. After he reaches legal drinking age. Not more than a 1000 miles away without any real support. The chances were far greater that something like this might happen or that he might do something to jeopardize his ND scholarship by taking part in this trip to Florida.

    Again, I do not want to engage in judging these parents. I have no right. But, I think that they would want parents of other kids to learn from their family's tragic experience.
    MaxBuck likes this.
  14. matttank

    matttank Sophmore

    First, since I haven't posted in this thread yet, I would like to extend my condolences to the James family.

    Now to the issue being discussed:

    I'm 24 and just graduated from tOSU 2 years ago. I went down to PCB twice for spring break while at tOSU. Any parent who is letting their 17 year old go down there with a bunch of other 17 year olds for SB is acting irresponsibly/naively IMO. You used taking the training wheels off a bike for a metaphor, but I'll use skiing as one. Partying at PCB as a "first big drinking/get it out of your system" experience is like going down a Black Diamond Hill for your first real skiing experience. It's just a terrible idea that's bound to turn out horribly if you aren't careful (and who on SB is).

    I (like many others) started drinking before I could even drive in HS. I've been to Mardi Gras, I've been to 40 keggers at TOSU, I interned (and lived right after graduating) in Manhattan. PCB trumps them all in by quite a bit when it comes to outlandish and drunken behavior exhibited by all/terrible decision making made by people in attendance (mainly due to the fact that it's a week long binge by people who don't get enough to eat or sleep during the week and are out in the sun all day). I mean, most of those kids that go down with St. X will probably drink more in the week there than they have in their entire lives. Most people down there literally drink from the time they hit the beach until they pass out at night, and when you get a bunch of drunken idiots together (and let's face it, 90% of us are plain idiots when [censored]faced), then drunken idiot shenanigans occur, which are often the opposite of safe.

    Factor that with the fact that a lot of said idiots drive around at some point in the day, there are townies that will try to rob you (after coming into your room to party), that there are hot tubs, pools and an ocean for drunken people to stumble into and that a lot of those hotels have open balconies, and the chance for serious trouble is there that doesn't really exist (at least not in the same quantities but mostly not at all) on college campuses. Now throw in the fact that not only do most 17 year olds not know their own limits, but few have any good idea what to do if one of their friends is overly-intoxicated. If the chaparones have little to no contact with the group (which most of what I've read/heard seems to suggest), then I am truly amazed that something like this hasn't happened before to the group.

    Look, my point isn't that the parents should try and keep their kid away from alcohol at all costs (but it certainly is not their job to build up their kid's tolerance or experience either, since it is illegal anyways). And I don't think they should be crucified for letting their kids go on SB (this tragedy is far more punishment than anyone deserves for such a decision). What I am saying is that allowing underage, inexperienced and impressionable kids (and they are indeed still kids) go to a place like PCB where alcohol over-consumption is a near certainty and there are serious dangers present as well, is not responsible parenting IMO.

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