Keep Calm And Carry On
The offseason is a funny and newfangled thing, it creates a microscope for off-field issues and it allows those to overreact when something goes wrong. People jump to conclusions without facts and it creates a flood of bad press because of those problems and issues. Football is missed that much.
So what do we make of the issues? Well, it’s concerning, but by no means damning. Yes, football players should be held in a higher regard than the average college student, but they are still college kids. It’s a place for you to grow up and become an adult, and some work through that differently and quicker than others.
Am I worried? Not at all. Chizik has done a good job of stemming the tide and keeping the team together through tough times. That doesn’t make Dismukes’ actions excusable however. Chizik put enough trust in his players not to implement a curfew, and now after Dismukes’ antics, a curfew has been enforced and our best offensive lineman is suspended. But that blame shouldn’t be put on anyone else but Reese. He knows the season is just under a week away, and he obviously put himself before the team. Not a very smart thing to do. Benton has been rumoured to be involved in several past issues, including an appearance at the on-campus shooting and testifying at Antonio Goodwin’s trial.
A few bonehead decisions shouldn’t reflect on the program, but unfortunately they do. It relates back to my opening statement about the huge microscope that is placed on programs in the offseason. ‘Football’ is a sport, not a soap opera, but nowadays it seems to go hand in hand.
Punishments are being handed out however, and in most cases, once one is punished, they learn from their mistakes and work not to make the same mistake. The bigger the rule break, the harsher the punishment, and if they repeat the same mistakes, you make the punishment tougher. Everyone deserves a second chance, but if you do something wrong, you should be punished. Period.
Whilst there are a few outstanding problems, there are also a lot of players that are doing things the right way. The growth of seniors Emory Blake and Phillip Lutzenkirchen has been incredible in the last four years, they are arguably the two biggest characters on the team and are held to a higher standard than others. Why can’t they be the face of the program?
I’m really excited for the start of the season, and I hope this is the last time I have to type out an issue other than Auburn Football for the next four months. It’s coming folks.
Just keep this in mind: the program and fanbase has been through a lot worse, and has come out stronger than before.