Thursday, February 19

ACHTUNG: Gators Are Not As Spotless As You Think

This jubilant fellow above is Carl Johnson, a sophmore offensive lineman for the University of Florida football team. He is expected to be a starter next year and protect the holiest of quarterbacks, Tim Tebow. It appears Johnson has a slight problem with temporary restraining orders. One week after being told to stay away from the petitioner of the order, Johnson plopped himself down on a campus bus mere feet away from her (I'm guessing it is a her). The charge is a "first-degree misdemeanor for contempt of court" and Johnson spent Monday evening in jail. The restraining order was brought about by the petitioner needing protection from "sexual violence" and I think we all know what that means.

The spokesman for Florida said they are "reviewing the matter" and here is the real shocker: there was no comment from Urban Meyer. He is "out of the country" so I guess technology fails once the perimeters of the United States are breached. Meyer loves preaching about how great his players are and to his credit he kicked off the other two Gators arrested since November, but they did not play significant roles like Johnson is expected to this fall. It will be interesting to see how Meyer handles this situation when he returns from whatever secluded location he is in at the moment.

Four players in all have been arrested in the last ten months. Somehow this is gently gliding under the national radar. Maybe it is the A-Rod story, or Favre retiring again, or maybe college football likes to protect those they think represent some purity of the game. The first thing people associate with Florida football is Tim Tebow, and perhaps that induces the theory that all of the Gators' players and actions are represented by his pious lifestyle. If you read the police reports however, they tell a different story.

It was evident when Miami traveled to Gainsville this past September; the Hurricanes were the brunt of many jokes about their players being criminals yet which program has had the most legal trouble in the last few years since Randy Shannon has taken over. The most notable problem with the law Miami had was Robert Marve, who will now be transfering, breaking the side mirror off a car when he was being redshirted as a freshman. Make all the "You can't spell thugs without the U" signs all you want, but the proof is in the police reports.

Now I am not so bold as to suggest that Miami is the pinnacle of law-abiding football players, our past speaks for itself and who knows if an incident will occur this very day where somebody does something stupid but this is a national phenomenon at the top football schools. Athletes who are given a sense of entitlement and praised simply for their skill on the field are certainly prone to acting outside the boundaries of the law when they get to college where they are treated like royalty. Florida is not immune to this kind of behavior and even though Tebow is going to be one of the four letter networks meal tickets this upcoming season, the school deserves as harsh a criticism for this type of action. Last year, schools like Georgia and Penn State were singled out for their off the field problems. ESPN took an incredibly hard shot at Joe Paterno and Penn State for their "lack of control". Yet the hallowed program at USC at a player charged with a felony that was allowed to play in the Ohio State game with that charge still on him, and we have already been over Florida's problems. Their seems to be a double standard for programs that most definitely exists in the polls and awards voting, but now it has even appeared in how the media covers off the field problems.

Florida Gators offensive lineman Carl Johnson arrested [Palm Beach Post]

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