Chansky’s Notebook: Part Of The Gameplan

The SEC needs a rap sheet more than a scorecard.

As the college football season approaches, key athletes all over the Southeastern Conference are driving their coaches, their fans and, yes, their opponents crazy by being in so much trouble no one knows if they will play or not. And in the SEC, guilt or innocence really doesn’t matter much. It’s part of the game plan.

Alabama's Cam Robinson

FILE – Alabama starting offensive lineman Cam Robinson is seen in an undated photo. (Ouachita Parish, La., Sheriff’s Office via AP)

At Alabama, star tackle Cam Robinson and reserve defensive back Hootie Jones faced drugs and weapon charges over the summer that mysteriously were not prosecuted. What a surprise, sort of like police investigated O.J. Simpson for assaulting his wife and never filed reports because of the Juice’s celebrity status. But the news is out, and Nick Saban still faces whether to discipline his two players.

Saint Nick is under no pressure to bench his guys, but he is not saying because it gives Southern Cal, his opening day opponent, one or two more things to think about in preparing for the game. Florida State doesn’t know what to expect for its opener against Ole Miss. The Rebels’ defensive tackle Breeland Speaks was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in March, and Coach Hugh Freeze has not said if he’ll play against the ‘Noles. The same goes for Rod Taylor, a key offensive lineman who was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in April. Does it really take so long to decide?

Auburn plays defending Orange Bowl champion Clemson at home in its season-opener, yet the Tigers could very well be without two of their best young players in cornerback Carlton Davis and pass-rusher Byron Cowart. They, along with wide out Ryan Davis and defensive back, Jeremiah Dinson, were arrested in May on misdemeanor marijuana charges. Coach Gus Malzahn hasn’t said much because his indecision is confusing Clemson.

As with Alabama, some of these kids won’t ever go to court, but that’s not the point. SEC coaches are using their transgressions as smokescreens for opponents trying to prepare to play their teams. Seemingly, nothing has been learned from what has happened in the past when it comes to football in the SEC.

Local police are hesitant to make arrests and DA’s are hesitant to press charges because of the pressures THEY face from the schools, their coaches and their fans. Whether or not they play, they are part of the summer game plan in the SEC. Nice strategy.

Spurrier, Gamecocks Looking for SEC Title

Courtesy Getty Images

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – It’s easy to tell that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier believes this is his best chance in nine seasons to win the Southeastern Conference title: He’s upped the wisecracks and toned down the hype for the Gamecocks and All-American Jadeveon Clowney.

Spurrier has rarely missed a chance to take a jab at in-state rival Clemson this offseason. He also abruptly closed fall camp to the public after three days because of what he decided was too many cellphone snoops and autograph hounds fixated on the SEC’s reigning defensive player of the year.

The clincher was when video went viral of Clowney flipping a two-man tackling sled with Gerald Dixon at the team’s opening workout Aug. 2. Spurrier quipped it’s time to focus on all the Gamecocks and not just Clowney.