This week, I’ve been at the hospital with an 18-year-old and his family after he was involved in a high-speed car accident. At this time, we are still praying that he will regain feeling below his waist.
May is a dangerous month for college football players. School is out for the term, summer is close and the structure of SEC football is in the rear-view mirror. The three roads intersect and with a little alcohol, a bomb has just been created.
Consequently, May is always a difficult month for football coaches as they watch their players leave campus to a world with no curfews, lots of alcohol and plenty of people wanting to fight.
In the last four days, Alabama has a JuCo transfer found dead in Florida, Houston Nutt had to dismiss two players for public intoxication and Auburn has a running back arrested for driving a vehicle with no tag, not registered and no driver's license.
What is it about college athletes with no supervision?
The vast majority stay out of trouble. But it only takes a couple to break the rules and get arrested to tarnish the image for everyone. In the age of Twitter, Facebook and forums, within 24 hours the whole world knows as much as the head coach.
In the age of camera phones, athletes can be posted on Facebook in compromising positions in a matter of 45 seconds. The new phones with video capabilities can record and be put up on YouTube in less than five minutes. It’s tougher than ever for athletes to get in trouble and get away with it.
So what’s an athlete supposed to do?
Work out, spend time with your family and stay away from trouble. There’s too much at stake. The college life is very short but it sets the tone for the rest of your life.
Most of the SEC football players will never play in the NFL. But one things for sure. Players who get dismissed from college football for behavior issues are just about guaranteed a difficult life. It’s a long fall from the SEC to average Joe.
With that said, be safe, be good and we’ll see you at the summer workouts.
Jay Holgate is an SEC analyst and works for the SEC Football Breaking News App for Android phones.
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