Holtz killing Gamecock Chemistry

Lou Holtz correctly points out that, "There are 11 groups of other people who would like to see Derek suspended. Let's not lose sight of that." But what Holtz does not recognize that there could be some players on the South Carolina squad that might want troubled running back Derek Watson suspended.

Chemistry is a big deal to a team. One of the best examples of chemistry last season was South Carolina. Their march early in the season last year as well as their bowl game thrashing of Ohio State proved that they had outstanding chemistry. One player on the South Carolina roster, Derek Watson, is threatening that chemistry.

It is Waton's fault alone that he is in the situation that he is in. It is not Lou Holtz's fault that his star player has a troubled past and that he cannot stay out of trouble. No, that is not Holtz's fault. But it is Holtz's fault for helping Watson ruin the chemistry on the USC football team.

What about the guys in Columbia that are busting their hump trying to win the SEC? Do they get pampered by Holtz? Not according to the reputation that he has developed.

The young men that are behind Watson in the running rotation are not being treated fairly. Derek Watson is now going on his third "chance" within the Gamecock program, and some of the players behind him have not been given a chance to win the position from him.

Originally, Holtz informed the media that Watson was suspended from any team functions. However, Holtz told The State's Michael Smith that Watson has been playing touch-tackle games with the rest of the Cocks since "a few weeks ago." How is that?

Was Watson suspended or not? Were the "voluntary", as Holtz put them, workouts really voluntary?

When you play sports on the Division I level, you do not have voluntary workouts. They are voluntary by name alone. Players are expected to be at all team functions, unless they are suspended. Which it seems that Watson was not, or was he?

Athletics director Mike McGee said in regards to Watson that, "He was restricted from team activities until he completed the program." The program that McGee refers to involves Watson doing "everything he was asked to do."

In terms of Watson's suspension McGee stated, "You make sure there is an equity to all this." Meaning that players' suspensions are based on a number of factors that included grades and "whatever else they have done." Would the same treatment be given to other players on the team?

The truth of the matter is this: If Watson plays or not in the first game does matter, if he plays Carolina will be a better team on paper. But the damage has already been done to Carolina chemistry this season. The chance that the wonderful chemistry that was developed last season by the Cocks has less and less of a chance of reoccurring the longer that the Watson situation develops in the media.

"But I also think our No. 1 obligation to each individual is to be fair and honest and help them," said Holtz.

That is not happening to all of the players on Holtz's team.


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