Boot ‘em. Kick ‘em off the team. They had their chance. Then they had another. And now its time to go.
I’m talking, of course, about LSU football player Jeremy Hill and Ole Miss basketballer Marshall Henderson. Both made news last week — during my last semi-vacation of the summer — and I didn’t get to weigh in on their situations. I’ll do so now. Here goes: Get rid of them.
Having been so harsh today, if you look back at my track record as one of MrSEC.com’s writers you’ll realize quickly that I’m typically a pretty lenient guy. I believe in second chances. And third chances. And fourths.
I’ve had a few chances of my own in life and I haven’t forgotten that fact.
While people deserve second, third, fourth and more chances in their real lives, the same doesn’t hold true when it comes to their sporting lives. Playing on a college football or basketball team — and representing a university — is a privilege, not a right.
In my view, there are two things that should get a player heave-ho’d from his college team. First, any violent crime. Beat a fellow student or assault another person — physically or sexually — and you should be gone. End of story. Hit the bricks.
Second, if a player repeatedly embarrasses his institution he should also be ix-nayed from the program.
Hill is guilty of the first. Henderson is guilty of the second. Both should be shown the door.
Last week, Hill — LSU’s leading returning rusher with 755 yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago — pled guilty to a charge of simple battery. In April, he was caught on cell phone video punching a 20-year-old man in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge bar. So what’s the big deal with a single punch? Hill and another man — Robert Bayardo — punched the victim from behind, knocked him to the ground, and the proceeded to celebrate said blindsiding.
Hill’s plea on Friday also opens the door for jail time. That’s because Hill was already on probation after pleading guilty last year to “carnal knowledge of a juvenile.” Hill — then 18 — engaged in a sex act with a 14-year-old girl during his high school days back in 2010. According to Baton Rouge police, he intimidated the girl in question.
As of today, LSU’s Les Miles has suspended Hill indefinitely, but the school has said via statement that the coach will let “the legal process surrounding this matter” come to a conclusion before taking further action.
Sure. Who doesn’t look at Hill’s track record and this video without thinking, “Hey, that big lug needs another chance to serve as an ambassador for LSU?” Then again, Miles and LSU looked the other way regarding the failed drug tests of ex-star Tyrann Mathieu — at least according to an NFL source who quoted the player — time and time and time again. So why should any of us expect Hill to be dismissed from the Tiger team before it’s literally impossible for him to play?
It’s hard to carry the football in handcuffs, you see. That will make Miles’ decision so much easier.
Meanwhile, down in Mississippi the punkiest punk to ever step onto an SEC basketball court has stepped into trouble once more. I’m not even going to try and hide the fact that I think UM’s streak-shooting, taunting, hot-dogging guard, Henderson, hasn’t topped my own “most loathed” list since last spring. I’ve stated time and again that he’s an embarrassment to his school and the conference. The SEC should have suspended him when he jumped on the scorer’s table and taunted the Missouri contingent during March’s SEC tourney.
At the time, many, many Ole Miss fans emailed and tweeted to let me know that I was just “jealous” of the kid’s mad basketball skills. Why, Henderson never hurt anybody.
Well now he’s hurt the Ole Miss basketball program. Needless to say, I’ve not heard from any Rebel fans taking his side in the past few days.
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