When something goes wrong, it's human nature to put the blame on somebody.
Taxes too high? Blame the president.
Crime is getting out of control? Blame it on the cops.
Our kids can't read? Blame it on the teachers.
A basketball player's name was misspelled in The Leader? Blame me.
As far as that last one goes, blaming me is the right way to go.
But who to blame for those other problems is not that simple.
And it's also hard to figure out just who to blame for what happened with the Covington High boys basketball team last week.
As you've probably heard by now, the Chargers were forced to forfeit 26 games last week for using two ineligible players who transferred from Haywood High School during the offseason.
Covington was ranked second in the state poll and was a favorite to get to the state tournament before the punishment was meted out.
Without those two players, who were two of the better players on the team, the Chargers lost in the quarterfinals of the district tournament on Tuesday and saw a once promising season end with a thud.
Covington dropped to 10th in the district after the forfeits and had to play top-seeded Westview in the quarterfinals instead of a low-seeded team, which would have been the case without the forfeits.
According to the TSSAA, the governing body of high school sports in Tennessee, “The administration at Covington High School was misled to believe the entire family unit vacated their residence in the Haywood County zone and moved to Covington.”
So, it's the family's fault, right?
Well, that may very well be true.
But naturally fingers are being pointed all over the place.
I talk to coaches and basketball fans all the time.
Some are blaming Covington coach Dion Real.
I've heard comments like, “He had to know they were still living in Brownsville,” or, “Why didn't he make sure where they were living before they started playing?”
Covington athletic director Mark McClain said, “Some eligibility issues were brought to our attention … We investigated it and we self-reported it.”
That has led some to suspect that a fan of one of Covington's rivals waited until the Chargers were gearing up for the postseason to blow the whistle. In other words, blame the messenger.
Some have blamed the administration at CHS for not making sure the kids lived in Covington, although it seems nearly impossible for administrators to track hundreds of kids when they leave school to make sure where they live.
How about this county's and country's unhealthy infatuation with sports?
If athletes weren't put up on pedestals for scoring touchdowns, making jump shots and hitting home runs, some say this never would have happened in the first place.
After all, the two athletes in question weren't the only ones who transferred to another school in the offseason. Covington has another player who transferred from Brighton and Munford has two who came over from Brighton this year.
One thing's for sure: It's truly a shame that some players on Covington's roster saw their season implode by no fault of their own.
And the two kids who transferred? One was a senior whose high school basketball career is now over. The other, a junior, can't play high school basketball in Tennessee for a year per TSSAA rules, meaning his prep playing days could be over too.
I don't know whose fault it is.
I'm just trying to spell kids' names correctly.