Saturday, February 18, 2006

Men's Basketball and Martin

Well, bummer.

The school is looking into a possible NCAA rules violation by the men's basketball program. I generally stay away from discussing the men's basketball program and anything other than basketball. I have no idea what this is about. Hopefully, it is something minor and amounts to nothing. But if several players have been interviewed, I am curious.

I was not a fan of the Tubbs hire and still not a big fan of Tubbs. Still, I was content with SMU giving him a one year extension at the end of the season; he should have been given a five year deal anyway as that is pretty standard for coaches at this level. Blackistone with the DMN seems to have made the extension a personal crusade of his. Well, sorry Mr. Blackistone, but you can't, in good conscience, give an extension to somebody whose program is under investigation for a rules violation. What truly got SMU into trouble with the NCAA before was its arrogance and its thumbing its nose at the face of the NCAA sanctions. SMU can't even appear it is going down that road again, especially for a coach with a sub .500 record.

This could have come at a better time. First, SMU is still in the mix for a really good local basketball recruit, in Darrell Arthur, the 6-9 power forward who is the 19th ranked recruit in the country. That just really stinks; any negative pub for the program hurts. Second, and this relates to the football program to a degree, we are in the early stages of an AD search. I am not so worried about possible NCAA sanctions scaring away candidates as I am to the internal administrative and faculty reaction to the whole thing. SMU had been rocking along with no scandal for several years and with the exception of the budget and the quality of product on the field, no one had a cause to bitch. The faculty will seize on this behind the scenes, regardless of what the allegation is. The faculty rumor mill is as strong as anything.

Apparently, SMU leading rusher Demyron Martin was arrested Thursday night on Lower Greenville along with three others and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. Posted a $500 bond and was released. Bennett will deal with the situation internally. Again, SMU hasn't had a dustup like this in several year. Personally, I am not that worried about it. I chalk it up to a young kid acting stupid. Not going to make apologies, but there is nothing as far as I know that shows this kid as a troublemaker. Now if there is a pattern, that is another story. Same for the football program. One kid does not a bad program make. There is no indication that this an out of control program. Look, SMU at one time was 50% greek (don't know what it is now). Football team is roughly a little larger than the largest fraternity on campus. Every fraternity had some stupid incident during my years at SMU. There is no reason to think, the football program would be any different. And every football program has something like this come up; usually, it is much worse. No reason the Coach should not look him in the eye and say, "Martin, you are stupid. I am going to run you into the ground all Spring. Don't let it happen again or else there is going to be a real problem."

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Feel free to tell me I am wrong.

No comments: