COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS: TALENT VS. TROUBLE

SEC Coaches must decide if the potential for trouble outweighs the potential for performance

The legal troubles that has put some former SEC players in the spotlight only gives coaches more reasons to be careful these days. The worst example of course, is Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots tight end that recently pleaded guilty to murder. Now, many of YouWager’s NFL football betting fans are hearing about incidents that happened when Hernandez played for Florida’s national championship team. Even Tim Tebow has stories about those days.

Recently, when head coaches gathered for the SEC media days, many insisted they will do a better job to make sure their players behave themselves when they are off the field. Will Muschamp, now the head coach at Florida, admitted that they can’t know everything. “You also can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is OK, either,” he told a YouWager news source.

Coach Muschamp said every coaching staff needs to know what their players are doing off the field. He told YouWager’s source, “You’re 100 percent responsible. When you sign a student-athlete to come to the University of Florida, I look at his parents, guardians, whoever is important to him in his life, tell them it’s my job to be an extension of what’s already happened at home. But you’re 100 percent responsible for the young man. Everything that happens.”

SEC powerhouse and national champion Alabama released four players when they were arrested and charged with violent robberies on campus. This was only a month after the Crimson Tide claimed their second national title in a row.

Head coach Nick Saban told YouWager’s source that every player he has dismissed has been someone his team’s leadership group wanted to drop. “With events of today and the attention on some of the people who have been arrested in sports in the last couple of weeks, it’s even going to be more critical to players’ future that they make good choices and decisions. And they have to realize that,” Saban said.

At Alabama, it’s not just talk. The school runs a 12-course program in successful behavior, and employs psychiatrists and counselors for players with personal problems. Sabin says the players will often tell him when there is a problem. He told YouWager’s source, “I always talk to our players about being a blinking light. If you look at a Christmas tree, when all lights shine bright, it’s beautiful. But if one light’s going like this (flickering), your attention is just to that light. Nobody should be a blinking light. The players always bring that up to me: ‘This guy is a strobe light, man.'”

The same day that Johnny Manziel, the popular Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, for not properly identifying himself to a police officer following a 2012 altercation at a bar, Vanderbilt dismissed four students for an incident currently under investigation by the local police.

Understandably, the conference that has produced seven consecutive national championships wants to keep its nose clean. Alabama’s Nick Saban put it this way to YouWager’s source: “We can be the moral compass for our young people but we cannot always drive the ship.

Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina’s star defensive end, said he is serious about avoiding trouble, so he stays home. He told YouWager’s source, “I don’t go to bars. I don’t drink or anything. I just stay out of trouble, stay at home. I hang out with the same group of guys I grew up with, the same three guys every day. We play games and stay out of trouble. We eat, come back and play games. Just stay in the house. You can’t get in trouble in your own home, I hope.”

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