Professional incoming recruit (he’s been on his way in for the past two years) Marques ‘Grand Marques’ Slocum responded to some criticisms leveled against certain players by “Michigan fans” on Facebook.com*. He posted this on the “wall” of a group called Michigan Football Recruiting HQ:
Wow… its crazy how thats all yall do is talk and post bullshit and yall dont know nothin… yall dont know our situations and its crazy how this is MICHIGAN FOOTBALL RECRUITING HQ’S and yall have no comments about recruiting or anything good about Michigan football(at least what I’ve read)…but i have some questions for yall… Did any of u get in trouble? or how bout did any of u get in trouble beause some asshole is a asshole? or how bout being a U. of Michigan football player and feeling like everybody in Ann Arbor is out 2 get u…we try 2 go out and have a good time but we cant do that because everytime we go out its another problem because of these average people… Now u respond 2 that!
I was not one of the posters in that group, but I’ll take on the challenge to respond “2 that.” To note, I’m going to avoid any (more) cheap jokes about grammar, spelling, etc., since this was a Facebook.com wall post and not an English125 assignment.
First of all, the assertion that we all know nothing and don’t know the athlete’s situation. Besides being a bit of an overstatement, there is a kernel of truth to this. No one outside of those involved, coaches and administrators knows what exactly happened. We can make educated guesses based on context and the limited statements that have been made. Also, it’s not easy to try to put yourself in a Michigan Football player’s shoes. They may not take the hardest classes, and they may have a dedicated academic assistance team, but it still has to be a tough row to hoe going to classes full time and being a college athlete.
Next, the last piece of good news from the Michigan Football team was Boubacar Cissko committing (I guess O’Neill too, but his name isn’t as awesome). The past few weeks we have been inundated by rumors of drug use, assault and transfers. I’ll take any good news I can get.
For the record, I have never been charged with an MIP, DUI, possesion of a controlled substance, assault, public indecency or even a speeding ticket. And it’s not as though I spend all my time studying (junior year and I’m on a 2 year streak with no library visits!), or don’t do anything (12 keg St. Patty’s Day party), I just know how to manage myself and my environment so I don’t get in trouble.
Now the age old question: What to do when an asshole is being an asshole? There is a little Irish guy in my house that when he gets drunk, turns into what can only be described as an asshole. He has some sort of complex and goes after the biggest guy he can find. Well, my freshman year, my buddy was drunk and looking for the biggest guy and Alan Branch was there (for those of you who don’t know Alan Branch > Any man. Ever.). My friend was an asshole being an asshole, and what did Branch do? Alan could have easily picked him and thrown him onto the roof or something, but he just laughed it off while we told our friend how bad of an idea it would be to continue. That’s one way to respond. Or you could just beat the hell out of some kid looking for an iron.
As far as people in Ann Arbor being out to get football players, I can see that happening. Someone gets drunk and tries to big the big man, but football player HAVE to know they could kick pretty much everyone’s ass, so why show it? It sucks, it’s not right that you have to put up with it, but it’s there. I guess you could think of it as tuition.
Slocum has some decent point, and I will never say that being a student athlete is easy in any way, shape or form. BUT, they should realize that there will be those challenges when they come to a team like Michigan. I bet the coaches are fairly honest with them and let them know it won’t be easy, but it will be their best chance to make themselves better people.
The football players who were dismissed from the team most likely deserved it. And Michigan needs to keep up it’s reputation as both a winning football team as well as being the leaders and the best. Everyone screws up, but when that someone represents a university with a reputation like Michigan in such a visible way, his margin for error is much smaller.
Posted under Personnel