An Open Letter to Maurkice Pouncey: Why Did You Take That Money?
First of all, congratulations on being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of this year's NFL Draft.
We'll miss having your talent and experience on the offensive line this season, but the Gator Nation is looking forward to you making us proud in the NFL.
However, there is one problem that I'd like to address with you.
Why did you take $100,000 from an agent representative before the Allstate Sugar Bowl last season?
Couldn't you have waited until after you declared for the draft to get your big payday?
I know it's hard to turn down that kind of money (I would take $100,000 in a heartbeat if it was offered to me), but you should have considered the possible consequences of your actions.
By taking that money during the season, you probably have already lost the final victory of your Gator career in the 51-24 defeat of the Cincinnati Bearcats.
In the long run, losing that one victory won't matter very much.
However, speaking of "the long run," it's quite possible that you may have hurt Florida's program down the road.
As you know, the NCAA is not taking rule-breaking lightly these days (we all saw what happened to USC) and the Gators could be in a lot of trouble.
You wouldn't want the school that gave you the opportunity to become a top-notch NFL first-rounder to suffer on your behalf, would you?
Coach Urban Meyer is probably not pleased to know that this happened under his watch and I can imagine that he's disappointed.
Additionally, it would be tough for us to take in Gainesville after all the support we gave you during your college career.
Moreover, if the investigation goes quickly, this could have an impact on your brother Mike and your former teammates.
I'm sure you would feel terrible if you were the reason that Mike couldn't play in a bowl game or win a championship during his senior season.
Also, with the task of replacing a bunch of talented players and dealing with questions about Coach Meyer's health, the last thing this team needs is another distraction.
Even if the investigation doesn't wrap up before the end of the 2010 season, Brad Goldbach notes that the NCAA may become suspicious of Mike because of your wrongdoing.
They may even suspect that he was involved or aware of the situation, which could get him into some hot water with the NCAA.
I just wish you would have taken all of this into consideration before you made your decision.
Fortunately, Florida reported the incident before the NCAA found out on its own, which may lessen the blow of any punishment they give the university.
Again, good luck in the NFL and we really wish you would have used more foresight before taking that money.
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