By now, you've likely seen the news. Arkansas State running back Michael Dyer, the former Auburn star and MVP of the 2010 season's BCS National Championship Game, has been dismissed from the Red Wolves football team. Tom Fornelli over at CBS Sports reports the head coach, Gus Malzahn, had to dump the running back who followed him from Auburn to Jonesboro.
According to Yahoo!, the police are looking into the traffic stop that ultimately sunk Dyer. While they have completed their investigation, how it affects his standing, legally, remains to be seen. That said, Malzahn has already pulled the trigger on the running back, and he is on to the next leg of his journey.
If now is when you want to get in your "I told you so" about Dyer being a bad egg, spare me. If you are more focused on saying you're "glad he's out" with respect to playing ball, I don't really care.
The fact of the matter is that now, more so than ever, I'm rooting for the kid to find his way. This is not an appeal for you to do the same. I get that you're just a fan who sees a spoiled, entitled athlete who deserves to know what it's like to be thrown away for good.
For me, he's a person. Football was, at the start, a way for him to come up in the world. He's made bad decisions and things have not worked out well for him. Now, he's on the outside looking in, again.
And I'm rooting for him.
Perhaps it is because my parents, with 50-some odd years in teaching and administration, were never in the business of throwing kids away. Perhaps it is because football is more than just something I enjoy on fall Saturdays. Perhaps it is because I actually like the players and root for them.
Ultimately, in Michael Dyer, I see my old teammates. Guys who got to college and made mistakes, and it cost them dearly. I see Adarius Bowman, a guy who screwed up time and again and ultimately cost himself a shot at that better life. I see Puff Thomas, a guy who left UNC, and most of us never heard from him again.
I see my old teammates in guys like Michael Dyer, and I'm hoping that they find a way out. I'm hoping that they find a way to get their degree and finally put it all together.
In other words, I'm hoping this is not the end of the road for Michael Dyer. I'm hoping that this is the start of him putting things together. That this is the final straw that makes the kid understand he has to do right. I've got no issue with second chances, none at all. Better for him to end up at school somewhere than to be back home in Little Rock.
I'm not asking you to agree. I know you don't care. I know, for you, this is good riddance.
But me? I'll be rooting for the kid to find a positive through all of this.
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