The lid was almost on college football news for a whole week coming into the Independence holiday on Friday, June 29th, before the breaking story that Georgia RB Isaiah Crowell was arrested early that morning for an illegal gun possession. News broke like lightning and word that the returning sophomore had been dismissed from the team was in by lunch time. The event definitely lead to Steve Spurrier's joke about playing the Bulldogs from earlier in the year seem to be fulfilled with uncanny Nostradamus-like revelation.
While some rivals may have speculated that UGA would somehow seek to keep the troubled player, the administration in Athens quickly put the kabosh on that in no uncertain terms. HC Mark Richt, while on vacation, made a brisk statement that Crowell was dismissed. Almost faster was news that he would land in Montgomery at Alabama State. Good riddance.
While some Auburn fans may want to cast a few stones at the whole scandal, you'd be served to remember a few things: WE recruited Crowell and WE had a few problems with thugs with guns recently. He very well could have been our problem to clean up.
Crowell was the highest rated RB in the country coming out of my home town of Columbus, and the Tigers looked to have the upper hand for awhile until this little incident during a recruiting visit. I never thought squat of the kid again after that. In the end, it was Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb coming back on the Plains, and Trent Richardson at the Capstone, along with some backfield suspensions in Athens that necessitated Crowell's decision.
Coincidentally last week, the main reason that prevented Crowell from coming to Auburn, Michael Dyer, lost his bid for immediate eligibility at Arky State in his bid to find refuge from the wreckage of a promising career lost to thuggish pursuits.
While Crowell showed promise in his freshman year, a drug suspension showed a little bit of the character that eventually would be Crowell's undoing. Driving around campus at night with a weapon with the serial number filed off is the kind of criminal wannabe behavior that simply can't be tolerated. One hothead with a weapon is all it takes to wage the kind of carnage we saw last month off campus in Auburn. While that individual was not a player, it is delusional to think that some players at any university in the SEC don't associate with people like that.
My guess is that many clues to the character of players like Isaiah Crowell are widely known inside athletic departments, but are routinely ignored by administrators and coaches in a devil's pact to field winning football teams. But to laugh at and ridicule the programs that suffer from episodes like this is truly disingenuous as you never know when it will strike your team (cough, cough armed-robbery).
It's events like this that make you wonder about the true definition of a student athlete and who exactly is deserving of the chance to carry the reputation of an institution that's hundreds of years old and makes tens of millions of dollars a year. If I wasn't a football fan, I'd say to risk all that on the behavior of teenagers with questionable character is downright foolish.
Hell, I do say it. Loud and clear.