Editorâ€™s note: Shane from Centerpoint first wrote this column for the Finebaum website. It was written in response to Tubervilleâ€™s assertion that the Tigers do things the right way. Shaneâ€™s research exposed Tubervilleâ€™s hypocrisy. Weâ€™ve included links to verify each of the crucial points; the most damning point was Tuberville allowing the misogynistic Clifton Robinson on the team after being arrested for rape. Later Robinson was arrested on an assault charge while serving probation for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Thatâ€™s AU Family Values on display.
By Shane from Centerpoint
In light of the recent arrests of several University of Alabama football players and the media generated perception that Nick Sabanâ€™s disciplinary system might not be effective, coupled with cross-state rival Auburnâ€™s claim that head coach Tommy Tuberville is a zero tolerance guy, it is only fair to clarify that nothing could be further from the truth.
While the initial problems for Saban have been difficult to overcome, the process of changing the mentality of a football program from loser to winner is never a quick fix.
That said the Auburn fan base is currently using the situation at the Capstone to claim that Tuberville is the man to play for because he is in total control of his players. Considering that he has had his system in place for many years, I think Tommy fully understands that zero tolerance is impossible to enforce.
In fact coach Tubervilleâ€™s first few years were as rough and bumpy as any Iâ€™ve seen. The only difference is that his trials and tribulations were not as well publicized.
In order to back my claims about Tubbyâ€™s difficult beginning, and to illustrate that his problems are ongoing to this day, Iâ€™ll list a few examples in the following paragraphs.
Way back in 2000 the first player to give Tommy fits was Clifton Robinson. According to wire reports, he was initially charged with second-degree rape. He eventually settled with the D.A. for a lesser charge and was sentenced to one year in jail. The sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation. Tubs allowed him to remain with the team.
That wasnâ€™t the last of Cliftonâ€™s troubles. His second arrest came in the same year. This time he was charged with assault. Apparently, Clifton was given more than one chance by Tuberville because he was a key player.
Immediately following Robinsonâ€™s illegal actions came the gun incident involving Deandre Green and Brandon Reed. The reports stated that they illegally discharged a firearm during a concert on campus. Not only were they shooting a gun but also the weapon was found to be illegal. Later after remaining with the team, Reed was charged with illegal possession and use of a teammateâ€™s debit card. Green and Reed were later dismissed from the team, but only after second chances.
Additionally, although no charges were filed, starter, Lorenzo Diamond was shot in the stomach by his wife while riding down the road in a car. The entire episode was effectively whitewashed and Diamond recovered. However, the shooting showed that Tuberville had a gun problem on his team.
Around the same time Derek Magwood was arrested for stealing from former player Quinton Reese. He was eventually dismissed from the team. By the way, according to Rob Pate in his book, â€œA Tigerâ€™s Walkâ€, all these incidents happened in one week.
Donâ€™t forget that immediately after his arrival, Tubby had to deal with Demontray Carter and Reggie Worthy being arrested for harassment. In this case they allegedly slapped and poured beer on a female during a party on campus.
As evidenced by the previous list of crimes that are far more egregious than a series of disorderly conduct arrest, Tuberville had a tough time trying to gain control of the players that former coach Terry Bowden recruited.
Not only did Tommy have severe discipline issues to solve when he came to Auburn, but theyâ€™ve continued to haunt him every year and some are still occurring to this day.
Names like Lemarcus Rowell and Montae Pitts are familiar to Auburn fans, wo know how may chances Tuberville gave these two clowns before he sent them packing.
Just last year Kevin Sears, King Dunlap, and Tray Blackmon were all allowed to break the law and remain with the team. Blackmon is perhaps the most flagrant example of Tommy allowing one player multiple transgressions, while claiming the he is tough on rule breakers.
Donâ€™t forget the wholesale effort to gain eligibility for Brad Lester, the Tigers top running back even though the school had denied him that right many times.
So, in essence, it is hypocritical for the Auburn Family, as well the media, to claim that Auburn is totally free of the criminal element. If we look at the types of crimes that coach Saban is currently dealing with and compare them to the ordeal Tommy Tuberville faced during is first few years with the Tigers, Nick has a better class of player than Tommy encountered initially.
Iâ€™ll summarize this column by saying that Saban will gain control of his team and future athletes who are considering the Tide can feel secure that Nick will discipline each player appropriately. Admittedly, Tuberville has put an end to the major incidents that in modern day terms wouldâ€™ve played like a soap opera.
However, the Auburn family and the media need to look to the past to gain the proper perspective on the job coach Saban faces. Is it tough? Just ask Tommy Tuberville!
You can reach Shane via email at email@example.com