All Eyes Are On Will Muschamp Now

Florida football coach Will Muschamp got to experience the easy part of being the coach of the Gators last week. This week he gets to experience the lousy part.

Will Muschamp spent an entire day at the four-letter network (ESPN) appearing on every show they have, chatting on their website and generally promoting what he hopes Gator football will be like on his watch. He got the chance to show prospects what he is all about and generate a ton of positive publicity for the Gator program. That's pretty good stuff for a program that was 8-5 last season.

However, shortly after his return to Gainesville, Muschamp was reminded of the downside to his job. That is when you are in charge of 80-100 young men age 18 to 23 bad things happen. The arrest of all-American cornerback Janoris Jenkins now has Muschamp in the spotlight.

The new Florida mentor may have been able to handle the January arrest of Jenkins for marijuana possession internally, but he can't do it twice. The Gator head man has to make a strong statement after Jenkins' second arrest since the first of the year. Anything short of a multi-game suspension would be viewed as exceedingly tolerant of inappropriate behavior and no first year head coach can risk that. Muschamp simply must come down hard on his best player no matter how much it hurts.

*************************************************************

Don't get me wrong. I don't believe pot smoking is a big deal. I don't believe schools should test for it, nor do I believe that it should be illegal.

But it is.

I have no clue if Janoris Jenkins has a significant drug problem, but I do know that you can't ignore rules (laws) that you don't like simply because you don't agree with them. There is a price to be paid for ignoring the rule of law and Jenkins is about to find that out in a major way. For him to engage in the activity he did with a charge already hanging over him shows a level of indifference and immaturity that has to be disconcerting.

I don't know how this will play out, but Will Muschamp has to make a statement with regards to Janoris Jenkins. The discipline needs to be strong and it needs to be public. I'm sure he had a fun day at ESPN, but those vultures will turn on him in a heartbeat if they believe he goes soft on a player in this situation.

*************************************************************

While I don't believe the "crime" of marijuana possession is all that big of a deal, the arrest is a big deal. It's a big deal that Jenkins cared so little about his future and his teammates that he would put himself in this position. It's a big deal that he has so little regard for his coaches that he would force them to deal with this situation before they ever have to prepare for an opponent. And it's a big deal that someone entering his senior season of college football could be so stupid, so undisciplined and so careless to do this.

Will Muschamp's first "win" as the Gators' head coach was keeping Janoris Jenkins around for his senior season. One has to hope his future wins will turn out better than his first one has.

So much for the positive pub from the ESPN visit.


Fightin Gators Top Stories