The Forest and the Trees
Apparently there were lots of people at Knoxville Bar in the wee hours of Friday last week. There are also lots of stories flying around, with different allegations of who started what and who beat up whom and how. And, there are even conflicting stories regarding who was even present. Earlier, six Vol players had been identified as being present, and potentially involved, in the brawl. A seventh UT player, DT Chase Nelson, was named a possible suspect on Wednesday. Two players have been arrested.
Our friends at Rocky Top Talk have done a fine job of piecing together some of the details. The comments to their article reveal some of the legal intricacies of this mess as well as provide some partisan banter.
There is now a story that Da’Rick Rogers, UT’s prize steal-of-a-recruit from Georgia may have assaulted a man during the brawl. Now we’re really getting up the food chain.
None of the details matter in the big scheme of things. This is a royal mess, and my guess is that as facts are released, it will look worse than it already does at the moment. This is making the Cheeseburger Incident and the New Year’s Eve Joy Ride as innocent as ordering a cheeseburger on New Year’s Eve.
From what I’ve read, we’re lucky no one was killed, including a police officer.
UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton was quoted as saying “There’s been a lot of instability and uncertainty in the lives of these guys… That doesn’t absolve them from anything, but being around them you find that what they are is they’re oversized kids. I have no doubt in my mind some stability will help and we’ve got the right guy leading the football program.”
I think I understand what Mr. Hamilton is trying to say here, and what he’s trying to do, but I think we’d all be better off if he – the Athletic Director - would refrain from attempting to explain the (potentially criminal) behavior of some of his players.
We’d all be better off if we’d realize one thing: the upcoming season means zero in the big (unfinished) picture that is being painted as we speak.
Let’s not confuse the trees for the forest.