Texas A&M Football

Texas A&M Football: Offseason Arrests Shouldn't Be an Indictment of the Program

USA Today
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterApril 17, 2014

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is having one of those kinds of offseasons.

No, not one littered with massive roster turnover, although the departure of superstar quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel certainly kept him busy during spring practice.

Off the field, the Aggies have been bitten big-time by the arrest bug.

That trend continued on Wednesday when three more Aggie arrests came to light. According to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle, defensive end Gavin Stansbury was arrested last week and charged with assault for an incident on March 16 when he allegedly poured a beer on a Rice University student's head and then punched him in the eye. He was suspended from the program following the arrest but has been reinstated.

Texas A&M Edward Pope
Texas A&M Edward PopeScott Halleran/Getty Images

Two more Aggies, safety Howard Matthews and wide receiver Ed Pope, were booked on April 10 for failure to appear in court. The two players were not suspended by head coach Kevin Sumlin.

It was the continuation of a trend in College Station. 

Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill
Texas A&M QB Kenny HillScott Halleran/Getty Images

Wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones was arrested earlier his month for disorderly conduct, quarterback Kenny Hill was booked late last month for public intoxication (after taking an early-morning nap on top of a planter full of rocks in front of a bar), linebacker Darian Claiborne was booked for a noise violation in late February, defensive lineman Isaiah Golden was booked for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana and Claiborne was suspended for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl for possession of marijuana

The school announced on Wednesday that Claiborne, Hill and Golden have since been reinstated to the team, per Andrea Salazar of the Bryan-College Station Eagle).

"Kenny Hill, Darian Claiborne and Isaiah Golden have been released back to the football team but they still have disciplinary obligations to fulfill," associate athletic director for media relations Alan Cannon said in the statement, via Salazar.

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin
Texas A&M head coach Kevin SumlinWesley Hitt/Getty Images

Should the rash of arrests reflect poorly on the program?

No, it's just a bad offseason in College Station.

Assault and possession charges are not excusable, especially if they're part of a pattern of bad behavior—as is the case with Claiborne.

But a kid having too much to drink isn't something that Sumlin, or any head coach, can control. It happens at every program, every weekend. It just doesn't always result in that player passing out on a planter.

A player getting a little heated in front of cops isn't ideal, but it happens. College students with their windows down and their systems up happens every night of the week. Failure to appear in court is just laziness, plain and simple.

Getting booked because of those things is a poor reflection of those individuals, not the program.

Sumlin doesn't have a program that's out of control, he has a program that has some—some—kids making bad decisions; and those decisions all seem to be coming in the same offseason.

 

* Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. 

 


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