Time to separate the men from the boys

By Shane from Centerpoint
The ugly incident involving former Alabama football player Jimmy Johns – his thug lifestyle and recent arrest for peddling cocaine – provides an excellent snapshot of the very image and perception issues that head coach Nick Saban is attempting to eliminate from his program.

Johns not only hurt himself – he also damaged the entire football teams’ chances of having success during the upcoming season. I thought senior leadership consisted of being an example of dedication, focus, and maturity. Instead, Jimmy chose to show all the underclassmen, as well as the incoming class, (with one swift move) how to destroy the hard-earned national respect the Crimson Tide is attempting to regain.

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His selfish, childish actions clearly illustrate his total lack of consideration for team rules, the justice system of this country, and the health of those with whom he dealt. Johns committed the single most embarrassing and perceptually-damaging act in the history of the University of Alabama by a football player.

The sad part is that Johns’ bad habits taint the image of every player and give the impression that problems of this nature are entrenched deep within the Alabama football program. Too many dark clouds have already passed over this once-storied university. Enough is enough!

This team needs somebody to walk and talk like a man – a real leader. Someone needs to step up to the plate and take control. I’m more upset that none of the players on this team was man enough to stop Jimmy in his tracks. With all the negative press in the past year or so, I would’ve hoped that the player’s council might’ve shut him down.

Is the team unity so split that a senior player can live a separate existence as an alleged drug kingpin who lives the thug life? It is even more disturbing to think that other Tide players could have participated in these classless and destructive activities along with this clown. Makes me wonder if there is any peer pressure at all on this squad to do the right thing?

It pains me as a college football fan to see a small group of immature frauds – like some of the jokers who’ve put on the Crimson Jersey lately – give the sport a bad name.

Some who read this might say it is too harsh and stringent. In reality, I’m just telling the truth. After all is said and done, I believe most fans would concur with my previous statements.

Alabama fans spend massive amounts of time and money supporting the Crimson Tide football program. They are truly dedicated to the cause. Nick Saban and his tireless staff are committed to making Bama a winner again, but they must first turn this large group of boys into men. The sheer number of players arrested lately points to the fact that the conversion hasn’t happened yet. When this group finally grows up, the winning will take care of itself.

Sadly, it appears that the only participants in Saban’s vision called “the process” that aren’t holding up their end of the bargain are certain members of the team. Maybe some of the upperclassmen will “get it” and establish some leadership by requiring the higher level of dedication and sacrifice it takes to become a champion. One thing is certain, after this latest catastrophe, this team needs some good things to occur and it’s up to the players themselves to make that happen.