Despite his obvious athletic ability, I was a bit wary of us taking Aaron Douglas to begin with, and obviously this latest development isn't the least bit comforting in that regard. Per the Daily Times:
Blount County authorities have charged a former Maryville High School and University of Tennessee football player with driving under the influence, according to intake reports and a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
Deputies pulled him over after he allegedly ran a stop sign and was seen driving erratically.
When Douglas ran the light, he was nearly hit by another vehicle, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant said.
Deputies performed standard field sobriety tests, on which Douglas performed "extremely poorly," according to O’Briant, who was reading information from the report. He was unsteady on his feet and uncooperative during the investigation, according to the report.
So, um, yeah, not good.
It's one thing to say that a kid has a questionable past and that there are some legitimate reasons for concern moving forward. Having said that, though, it's foolish to pass on a talented kid at a need position as long as he has gotten things together off the field. But what claim can you reasonably make in that regard when, days after signing your letter of intent, you drink and drive, ignore traffic signs, and nearly cause an accident before being arrested and charged with DUI?
If this had happened ten days ago, I think we would have probably just passed on Douglas altogether. Now, though, it's a very different story. Not only has he committed, he has signed his letter of intent, and is slated to arrive in Tuscaloosa in a matter of days. Saban could still dismiss him, mind you, but that may have implications for the APR, and he would still count again the limit of signing 25 scholarship players per season.
Where this goes next is anyone's guess. Saban may welcome him in regardless, or he may send him packing before he ever arrives. One way or the other, though, there was cause for concern with Douglas to begin with, and in the wake of this incident I think it can be prudently said that we should take any and all talk on his part of getting things together off the field with a massive grain of salt.