Josh Moon wrote something worth reading.
I know. I know. Hell has froze over. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are nigh. Rice must have beaten Texas. Cue the trumpets. Surely this is an eschatological sign.
But Moonâ€™s August 3 commentary provides a look into the life of Rev. Chette Williams. It is filled with the usual puffery when profiling someone, but there are a few elements which are helpful to understanding the Auburn program.
Iâ€™ve said one of the biggest problems facing coaches today is that many of the players who arrive on campus are the most at-risk for bad behavior. Many are without male role models, and are ill-equipped for the freedom of college life or the celebrity of being a SEC football player.
Moon glosses over the problems Tuberville faced immediately on arrival. In his first year, Tubervilleâ€™s had players arrested for a second-degree rape, assault, firing a gun on campus and harassment. And Iâ€™m not even counting the non-arrests like when a player got shot in the stomach by his wife. Auburn had serious troubles when Tuberville arrived. Glossing over them takes away from Tubervilleâ€™s accomplishment in bringing order to chaos.
Williams points out problems go beyond the police blotter.
“Everybody has their problems,” Williams said. “We certainly do. It’s a fact of life that when you’re dealing with a bunch of 18- and 19-year-olds, they’re going to have problems. We just handle them and let them know that they’re not alone. Our players do a great job of helping each other. That’s the difference.”
With players helping each other, that means they are showing leadership. They are holding one another accountable, and providing needed support in a sometimes unfriendly world.
If churches did more of this, there might be less problems with illegitimacy and divorce in evangelical congregations.
One element of the column provided me a little discomfort. Williams implied anyone who questioned his motives or work were just giving voice to the devil.
Williams, of course, has heard all of the innuendoes and outright accusations. He said he tries to simply ignore it.
“I know where it’s coming from,” he said. “It’s the devil. He’s angry with me. I have good friends who know me and know what I’m about. I have good friends at Alabama and they know what I do. This is all about helping kids and working for God. There’s nothing else that matters to me.”
It easy to ascribe evil motivations to someone from an opposing side, or viewpoint. But evil isnâ€™t always the reason someone opposes you. Sometimes, you have opposition because people disagree with you.
One thing everyone agrees on is that Williams has a remarkable story. From his days as a player to his ministry, Williams has a story worth hearing.
It is a story that shows the best way to help a player is to give them an opportunity to know God. Wow. Who wouldâ€™ve guessed.