How Should Steve Spurrier Handle Shameik Blackshear's Legal Issue?

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterFebruary 16, 2015

South Carolina DE signee Shameik Blackshear
South Carolina DE signee Shameik Blackshear247Sports

It seems like every single season, there's always something that pops up shorty after national signing day that puts the college career of a signee in jeopardy.

In the case of 4-star South Carolina defensive end Shameik Blackshear, something allegedly "popped in"—as in, Blackshear himself.

According to Mike McCombs and Matt McNab of The (Hilton Head) Island Packet and GoGamecocks.com, Blackshear was arrested on Friday and charged with petit larceny for allegedly taking a purse and a safe valued at $1,390 from a home. 

"We are aware of the situation and will let the legal process work its way out," South Carolina spokesman Steve Fink said, according to the report.

South Carolina DE signee Shameik Blackshear
South Carolina DE signee Shameik Blackshear247Sports

So how should head coach Steve Spurrier handle this?

The report points out other incidents that have occurred under Spurrier's watch at South Carolina, the most similar of which was the case of former wide receiver commitment Michael Bowman. Last summer, he was charged with 16 misdemeanor counts of larceny for stealing six iPads and 10 iPods from an elementary school. He was not a part of the signing class as a result of the incidents.

It isn't exclusive to South Carolina, though. 

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Shortly after last year's national signing day, Auburn cornerback signee Kalvaraz Bessent was arrested and charged with two felony counts of marijuana possession. Those charges were later dropped, and Bessent was allowed to join the Tigers under probationary status. After his first season on the Plains, Bessent decided to transfer.

Blackshear's arrest puts Spurrier in a very tight spot trying to balance what is needed for his team in a critical year and what is appropriate for the program overall.

He was the 10th-best weak-side defensive end in the most recent signing class and, along with early-enrollee defensive ends Marquavius Lewis and Dexter Wideman, was being counted on to help boost a Gamecock pass rush that finished last in the SEC in sacks (14) and tackles for loss (52) in 2014.

Contrarily, Spurrier needs it to be known throughout the program that this type of behavior—if Blackshear is found guilty—can't be tolerated within the program.

Patience is a virtue.

Like Malzahn did with Bessent last year, and like others have done in the past, letting the legal season play itself out is the right way. It won't satisfy the appetite of immediate resolution that is so prevalent in today's 24/7/365 news cycle, but it's the responsible thing to do for Spurrier and fair for Blackshear, who hasn't been found guilty of anything yet.

For what it's worth, Blackshear certainly seems like he intends to be a Gamecock, according to his Twitter account.

That certainly seems up in the air at the moment, and based on Spurrier's track record with Bowman, it seems unlikely if Blackshear, indeed, committed the crime that he has been accused of.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.