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Off The Field With 120 Student Athletes

How Accountable is the Institution?

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The recent developments in Alabama have provoked a thought.  How exactly does Frank Beamer and staff keep 120 kids on the straight and narrow?  Nick Saban had a colossal presser flop when answering questions surrounding dismissed player Jonathan Taylor.  Taylor, who was dismissed at the University of Georgia, faced a similar charge of assault at Alabama.  It was reported by that the alleged victim has recanted her allegations.  She has been subsequently arrested on a charge of False Reporting to Law Enforcement.  Taylor was dismissed by Saban three days prior to this latest breaking development.  The press conference on Monday was literally a "how not to" from Saban.  He appeared defensive, and was visibly upset when facing tough questions.  My problem was not with Nick Saban.  This is an opinion not shared by many in the media.

Virginia Tech has been criticized over the years of not "controlling" its student athletes. This begs the question: How does a team of 30 monitor a group of kids 24/7? It simply can't. Saban opened himself up by offering the troubled Taylor a second chance. What if Taylor's accuser not only is proven guilty, but is completely discredited? I can guarantee Saban will not recant the dismissal. In the press conference Saban seemed surprised this was a big deal at all. He stated, "I still think he's a good person. I think he has a problem and a circumstance and a situation that is not acceptable."

Keep in mind these comments were made in the post Ray Rice world we all live in. Domestic violence has no place in any environment. Domestic violence has no place on any college campus. The idea that Alabama, Virginia Tech, or any other program has the resources to monitor these kids 100% of the time is ridiculous. My bigger point is that before we jump to conclusions, let's have the justice system play out. If they are guilty, they are guilty. It is then the program's responsibility to hold these players accountable. If they fail in that, they have done a disservice to the school, and more importantly the player.

Before you go to the chat rooms, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, make sure you have the facts straight. Unless you are in said situation, it is merely speculation. I think Beamer and team have done a tremendous job policing this program. If you gathered any group of 120 college aged men or women, there are going to be knuckleheads. That's a given. It is the reaction from the leaders of these institutions that are telling, not the police blotter.