Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alabama sophomore Geno Smith early Sunday morning on one count of driving under the influence.
Smith was held on a $1,000 bond. Originally from suburban Atlanta, Smith appeared in 13 games as a freshman for the Crimson Tide. He made his way up to the starting lineup last season, but with this incident one of his teammates may be taking his place. Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve, who are also sophomores, are looking like promising picks from the bench.
It’s hard not to wonder why college, and even professional athletes, put themselves in these situations. For one, there are legal consequences to their actions, and two, their athletic careers can be at risk. These athletes are so dedicated and passionate to the sports they play, yet many get themselves in trouble with the law.
“This is obviously not the kind of behavior we expect from our players,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban told USA Today. “I don’t have all the details at this point and will handle it appropriately once I’ve had a chance to review all the details.”
It seems like some of the athletes that have broken the law only get a slap on the wrist. They are suspended from a game or two for breaking rules and laws. Then it’s swept under the rug as if the incident had never happened. Other coaches have harsher consequences and remove the athlete from the team altogether, which happened to Tennessee freshman Lee Smith.
All situations may not be the same, but there should always be some type of consequence. Geno Smith should definitely be suspended for a few games at least, if not a season.
Everyone knows a drunk driver puts all others around them in serious danger. I consider myself a fan of ’Bama, and would be extremely disappointed if they don’t take these matters seriously.
The truth is, college athletes are also college kids, and they are going to experiment with alcohol. Coaches and administration realize this, but it may be ignored because they are just “college kids.” Coaches and administrators need to talk to player’s about their decisions before laws are broken and people are put in danger because of a player’s poor decision.
If student-athletes do break laws, coaches and administrators need to be proactive in giving consequences and making sure the rest of the team knows what could happen if they do the same thing.
Rather than pretending that an incident didn’t occur, teams, coaches and administrators should take the opportunity to help the athlete, as well as others in the community, learn from the mistake.