Winning...But at What Cost???

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What has college athletics become?  There is very little purity left.  One thing has been a fact for the last 10-15 years, it is no longer amateur athletics.  There is so much money and power at stake that winning at all costs seems to be the mentality whether it be swimming, softball yet alone the monster of the SEC - football.  Look no further than to Alabama and college footballs most revered modern day coach, Nick Saban.

In 2011 and 2012, Alabama re-established itself atop the college football world winning back to back National Championships.  It was clear that the Tide were head and shoulders above every other football program in the Nation.  In 2013 the Tide went a disappointing, by Alabama's standards, 11-2 and in 2014 the Tide went 12-2 failing to make it to the National Championship both years.  Despite a record of 48-6 over the last four seasons there was a great deal of dissatisfaction from Alabama fans.  As ridiculous as it may sound to some outside of the state of Alabama and outside the south, if Alabama does not win a National Championship the season is a failure. 

Nick Saban went the last 2 1/2 months before Signing Day looking for that missing piece that could put the Tide back on top of the college football world.  He found one of those pieces in mammoth nose tackle Johnathan Taylor who had been dismissed from the University of Georgia after being arrested for domestic violence.  With the court case still pending, Alabama made the judgment call to offer Taylor a second chance and sign him to a full scholarship.  With charges still pending and only 90 days spent on campus in Tuscaloosa, Taylor was once again arrested for alleged domestic violence. 

The most remarkable part of Taylor's story is when you find out that Alabama never contacted anyone on the UGA coaching staff for questions about Taylor's character.  Alabama, and their leader Nick Saban, decided that having Taylor was better than any potential risk he presented so they didn't do their due diligence.  Now the Tide and more particularly, Nick Saban have more than just egg on their face.

There are many questions that this now raises.  Should a player with pending felony charges be allowed to transfer to another school?  Should scholarships be allowed to offered to anyone with pending felony charges?  There is due process but until that process is complete should an athlete lose the privilege of playing that sport? 

Many questions that clearly need to be addressed and addressed sooner than later.

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