How about a motivational speaker who hasn’t had legal, drug or alcohol issues?
By GLENN GUILBEAU
Tiger Rag Featured Columnist
Just once, I would like to hear about a former athlete who has never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, or has never been arrested rightly or wrongly, or has never had any real problems, and has just lived a smart, purposeful life, speaking to our nation’s youth.
They’re out there. Just look.
Instead, we constantly hear of life speeches from the likes of addicted present and former athletes like Cris Carter, Josh Hamilton, John Daly and Mercury Morris.
It seems an arrest or an addiction is a prerequisite to joining the Arrested Athlete Selected Speakers’ Bureau, also known as the ASS Bureau. An athlete’s arrest is somehow seen as a rite of passage, much like a mafia type garnering more respect after doing time. Bad as cool. Street cred.
“You want to talk to my team? Let me see your rap sheet.”
This silly cycle of, “Yeah, I’m bad,” may be allowed to continue by LSU football coach Les Miles, who was alarmingly and amazingly receptive last week to the idiotic idea of allowing fallen former quarterback Jordan Jefferson to speak to his team about his recent travails. Jefferson got off light last week on his misdemeanor simple battery arrest of Aug. 19, 2011, for his role in that bar fight, and he possibly should have not been charged with misdemeanor simple possession of marijuana on Oct. 25. But he still should not be speaking to any teams or youth groups just yet.
Yet, Miles still just doesn’t get it about Jefferson. He just can’t stop from building him up no matter what he does or doesn’t do on the field or off. But forget that. Even if Jefferson was a great quarterback at LSU (and he was pretty good as a sophomore in 2009 before the steady decline), he does not need to be anywhere near the LSU football team, which continues to suffer from a lack of discipline on the field with about a personal foul call a game.
Maybe Jefferson was at the wrong place at the wrong time regarding his marijuana charge. Maybe he was just going to visit some former teammates of his, and they happened to be in the middle of a pot party at Tyrann Mathieu’s apartment. But had Jefferson, who tends to have an air of privilege about him, not gotten into an argument with a maintenance man at the apartment complex, the drug bust never would have happened.
“Thanks, Jordan,” Mathieu and other former players Derrick Bryant and Karnell Hatcher should have said, if they didn’t. “Good call.”
That was Jefferson’s second arrest in just over a year. He just went in and out of jail last week for the third time in just over a year. Since Jefferson was still out on bond awaiting the end to his arrest mess for simple battery and got arrested again for the simple marijuana possession, he had to go back to jail.
Jefferson pleaded “no contest” to the simple battery charge from Aug. 19 when he was accused of kicking a man already down and hurt in the head. That’s not an admission of guilt in legal terms. It is an admission of guilt in the real world. Yes, Jefferson was accused of kicking a man already down and hurt in the head by multiple eyewitnesses, and he is legally no longer disputing it. Is this the man we want speaking to our youth and the LSU football team?
State District Judge Chip Moore sentenced Jefferson to a year’s probation, random drug tests, a $100 fine and 30 hours of community service, some of which Moore suggested Jefferson could spend speaking to area youth about staying in school and to the LSU football team about staying out of trouble.
Not a good suggestion. Why don’t you let him finish school before he tells others to do so? How about he get out of his legal trouble before advising against them?
“He could use his experience and stature to help,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said.
Jefferson never ran the two-minute offense as fast as he could be going from prison to podium. Can we at least let him get out of the orange jump suit first? Stature? At least, the aforementioned athletes could play, and at least they moved beyond their problems somewhat before taking the podium. I’m sorry, I wouldn’t want Jefferson anywhere near my kids or my players.
Miles, though, obliviously agrees with the Moore’s moronic idea.
“I have yet to approve that certainly,” Miles said when told of the idea last week, and should have stopped there. “I just heard about it myself. But I’m not against that. We’ve brought in a number of people to speak to our team about conducting themselves in a fashion off the field. And I think it’s always appropriate when people that have credibility in the room speak to your team.”
Credibility? Throughout Jefferson’s entire career, he rarely if ever accepted blame for how poorly he played at times or for his behavior in either of his arrests. It was always somebody else’s fault. Jefferson even criticized Miles in a radio interview several days after the national championship game last season.
“And there’s a lot of guys on this team that know him and would expect him to be a different guy and not involved in some of those things,” Miles went on. “I would suspect that he would have a great message for his team.”
There are also quite a few guys on the team, and a coach or two, that didn’t think much of Jefferson. Exactly what would that message be? Laugh while you’re being taken to jail. Never admit you’re wrong.
If Jefferson does speak to the team, who’s next on the Fallen LSU Players Speakers Bureau? Mathieu? Ryan Perrilloux? How about somebody like Morris Claiborne instead? No, he has no arrest cred, but he sets a better example. How about guys who really worked hard and have true “stature” and “credibility” and who have actually graduated? How about somebody who has positive life experiences? One does not have to first be bad to be good.
How about Michael Brockers? Or Brandon Taylor? Or Joseph Addai? Or Shaquille O’Neal? Or Tommy Hodson? How about some of the guys on the team now, like Bennie Logan?
What’s wrong? Record too clean?
GUILBEAU’S ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25: 1. Alabama 2. Kansas State 3. Oregon 4. Notre Dame 5. Georgia 6. Florida 7. LSU 8. Ohio State 9. Florida State 10. Oklahoma 11. South Carolina 12. Clemson 13. Oregon State 14. Stanford 15. Louisville 16. Texas A&M 17. Nebraska 18. Rutgers 19. Texas 20. Louisiana Tech 21. Mississippi State 22. USC 23. Texas Tech 24. Northwestern 25. Toledo.
GUILBEAU’S SEC POLL: 1. Alabama. 2. Georgia. 3. Florida. 4. LSU. 5. South Carolina. 6. Texas A&M. 7. Mississippi State. 8. Ole Miss. 9. Vanderbilt. 10. Missouri. 11. Tennessee 12. Arkansas 13. Auburn. 14. Kentucky.