Should a jail sentence preclude someone from consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame?
The current Roger Clemens saga prompts me to ask that question. Clemens is really in trouble this time with a multi-count federal indictment - and I'm quite serious in raising the issue, based on a conversation I heard today on a radio talk show.
A caller thought that a player's post-career behavior should have no impact on his Hall of Fame credentials, and it was pointed out that the NFL Hall of Fame electors concern themselves only with the individual's actual career.
The Baseball Hall of Fame considers a player's integrity to be a significant part of the membership criteria; yet, there are a few players enshrined in Cooperstown whose behavior off-the-field during and after their careers has been called into question. No former convicts, however, to the best of my knowledge.
In 1983 the College Football Hall of Fame rescinded the election of LSU great Billy Cannon, who had admitted his involvement in a counterfeiting scheme. He was re-elected and inducted 25 years later. O.J. Simpson is in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, despite his current status as an incarcerated felon.
So, could we see Clemens on induction day in a few years via Skype from his cell? Or should we just forget the whole thing?
At some point this thing needs to be clarified.