Sympathy for Austin
Posted July 14, 2011
Updated July 15, 2011
I’m going to be honest and raw; I’m going to open myself up for full fledged bashing. Call me a homer, or any name you like for that matter, but I’m going to say it.
I sympathize with Marvin Austin.
I’m sure you’ve seen the tweets that surfaced over night after the conclusion of the Michael McAdoo hearing Wednesday.
Austin doesn’t think it’s fair that McAdoo is suffering a greater punishment than other players who violated NCAA or university bylaws have had to. He feels that the university wronged the players in their advisement throughout the investigation process.
I’m not going to say one side is right or wrong but I will say I feel for Austin, and all the players who have been involved in the NCAA and university investigation into the UNC football program.
Maybe you know by now, maybe you don’t, but yes I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and when I started working here I was ecstatic to cover the local schools that I grew up watching.
Of course I want to see UNC succeed but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see the other schools do the same, I’ve always been one to pull for the success of the conference as a whole. (Of course when UNC and Duke meet on the hardwood my true colors may shine through a tad but I’d never let that effect how I cover the event.)
So when I was faced with covering the investigation, I looked at it like it was – my job. It has been my job to report on the investigation and I have, much to like or dislike of NC State and Tar Heel fans alike.
It’s not been my favorite thing to cover, as I’m sure it wouldn’t be yours.
And so I sympathize with Austin. I may not have played a sport at Carolina or represented the school on the field but I still earned my degree there and I love that university.
As Austin says he does and the other players do despite everything that has happened over the past year.
Austin, McAdoo, Greg Little, Robert Quinn, Kendric Burney, any player that had to sit out or any player that didn’t has been through the gamut with this investigation. And whether it was entirely self-induced or not, I couldn’t imagine having to go through something like that.
These guys are young, they are vulnerable, and honestly they really may not have known everything that they were doing was right or wrong.
How many times have people said ‘this happens everywhere’ or ‘if someone buys you a drink do you ask where it came from’?
It’s got to be a lot to handle to be that high-profile of an athlete, to have temptations coming at you at every moment, and you have to trust someone or you wouldn’t make it out alive.
So they trusted their teammates, their coaches and their university leaders. And I don’t think for a moment Austin intended to bring down an entire football season with his actions.
So I feel for Austin, the other UNC football players, and I feel for the university and the fans. It’s been a tough year for everyone associated with the Carolina name.
My hope is that at some point when all the air has been cleared, be it Oct. 28 or not, that these players can go on and still love the university that they attended, and that some good can come out of this mess.