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Clippings: Discipline all about earning potential

It’s become an almost daily occurrence.
My wife, Dottie, and I will be watching the news or a major sporting event on television and a commentator will reveal a major transgression by a politician or athlete who somehow survives the scandal to legislate or play another day.
Dottie’s response: “It’s all about the money.”
I used to scoff at that saying, but a couple of recent cases are proving Dottie 100-percent correct.
Ben Roethlisberger will suit up for the Pittsburgh Steelers in this Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers. Folks who don’t even care about football will still recognize Roethlisberger’s name. On March 5, 2010, a then-20-year-old woman alleged that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her in a Milledgeville, Ga., nightclub. The district attorney announced there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the star quarterback, who had also been the target of a civil lawsuit from a woman who claimed Roethlisberger raped her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in June 2008.
Roethlisberger has denied the claims but nonetheless apologized for unspecified “behavior.”
In the Georgia matter, it was behavior the Steelers and the National Football League found offensive enough to suspend him for the first six games of the 2010 season. Yet “Big Ben” is back to being the toast of the town as the Steelers vie for pro football’s top prize.
If Ben were a third-stringer, you have to wonder whether he would be working the concession stand instead of having a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Pennsylvania apparently loves a comeback kid, as the Philadelphia Eagles have staked their future on former inmate Michael Vick, a quarterback with still-blazing speed who is perhaps best known for serving jail time for organizing and staging dog fights.
Now comes news that perennial “bad boy” Charlie Sheen has allegedly relapsed into a steady diet of cocaine, alcohol and adult movie stars. The star of the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men” recently announced he had checked himself into rehab — at his own home, where there will surely be no temptations to take him off the straight and narrow.
Sheen’s past unfortunately gives little hope for a dramatic turnaround. In addition to facing spousal abuse allegations, Sheen was most recently arrested this past October after trashing a hotel room while in the company of an escort.
“Two and a Half Men” is television’s number-one-rated sitcom. So perhaps we all shouldn’t have been too shocked when the network issued a statement saying they were going to suspend production of the series and stand by their star, rather than fire him and try to resume with a replacement. The show makes CBS millions in television ad revenues and since Sheen’s personal life closely mirrors the character he plays in the show, the latest publicity plays like a reality TV promo for “Two and a Half Men.”
Again, it begs the question: If the star wasn’t such a moneymaker, would he be given so much leeway by his bosses? A certain segment of the population loves a comeback story, but most of us have to wonder how many second chances we would receive in our less visible jobs.
The answer to these questions, as Dottie would say, is “It’s all about the money.”

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