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Midweek Debate: Austin Seferian-Jenkins' Punishment

Quickly after he was initially taken in for suspicion of DUI, Austin Seferian-Jenkins began serving a suspension from the football team's activities. How much more time out is appropriate?

Ezra Shaw

The issue of a DUI is a sensitive one for many because so many people have been affected by it in one way or another. One doesn't have to lose a loved one to it to feel the impact; just seeing wreckage on the side of the road or the simple act of reading about how a DUI cost someone else someone dear to them causes people to react. It is an understandably emotional issue, and one that is now butressed by the emotion Husky fans have for Husky football.

It's a difficult line to walk, and one that has no real right answer. Austin should serve a punishment. He already is. But what is an appropriate punishment? At what point are his teammates and the coaches being punished, and is that important? Does it matter that the only person who was hurt was Seferian-Jenkins? What amount of star treatment is being applied here?

You'll hear a lot of things out there about the issue. That he didn't hurt anybody, so it's no big deal. That he could have killed somebody, so it's a huge deal. These are each flawed lines of thinking for their own reasons. The first because though he didn't hurt anyone, he behaved in a way that increased the likelihood of causing damage to someone or something. It is a big deal. The second line is flawed because while yes, he could have killed somebody, that's part of why a DUI is taken so seriously. That's why the punishment for the crime is severe. "He could have killed somebody" is part of "he got a DUI," and ASJ shouldn't be punished twice for the same crime.

So here we are. A punishment is in progress, the coach says that steps are already being taken. People on both sides of the debate are already sharpening their knives, preparing to skewer somebody no matter what the ultimate punishment may be. The going rate for a DUI in the Pac-12 seems to be a one game suspension. Some say that's too lenient. It may be that ASJ receives less.

So, Dawg Pound: assuming Seferian-Jenkins is guilty, what is an appropriate punishment for the crime?