In the wake of Ouachita Parish District Attorney Jerry Jones's announcement tof the decision to decline to prosecution of Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones on drug and weapons charges, and more specifically his ill-advised comments explaining the rationale, college football writers have been in a feeding frenzy. Per usual, game suspension is the only acceptable form of punishment and must be handed down in some form to both players. Unfortunately most of the pundits have seemingly failed to consider one very important question:
What if they truly did nothing wrong?
Robinson apparently has no priors, and by all accounts is well respected in the community in Monroe and in Tuscaloosa. What if the small amount of marijuana belonged to one of the other two people in the car, and the owner tried to hide it when the police rolled up?
What if the real story goes something like this:
Four old friends get together during their summer break and decide to hit the town. They stop off at a couple of parties, hit a few of their old spots. It gets to be 2am, everything is closed, but they aren't quite ready to go home. They pull into a park behind Neville High School, where Hootie Jones played, to reminisce. They are sitting there, bothering no one, talking trash about their high school football days, girls they dated, good times they had growing up. No one is smoking. There is a gun under the seat that belongs to Cam Robinson, that he purchased and has no idea it had been reported stolen.
What if it really is that simple? What if they didn't know the park was closed? What if the officer was mistaken about the smell of marijuana, or the smell was on their clothes from a party they had attended earlier? The officer was correct to pull up to the car if the park was closed, but what if he was out of line otherwise, and should have simply told them that they had to leave? Do we put so much trust in the police that we dismiss the very idea that they may have been wrong?
Saban recently said that he was withholding judgment, that the situation "isn't really what it seems to be." What if Cam Robinson was able to look him in the eye and say, "Coach, I'm innocent." If we knew that to be the case, would we still be demanding a suspension?
Obviously, we don't know. None of us were there, and that is the point. The calls for suspension are nothing more than knee-jerk reaction from writers who haven't bothered to check into the details beyond, "working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning."
Never mind the fact that the court filings cite a lack of evidence as the reason for the decision. That won't generate clicks.
By the end of the season, this will all have blown over. Cam Robinson will "rehabilitate" his image, in the eyes of those who assert that it needs rehabilitation, by playing football without being arrested. He will once again be lauded for his leadership ability and come April will suffer no ill effects from an odd incident as he goes near the top of the first round in the NFL Draft. By then there will be other storylines for the sheep to follow.
In the meantime, let's pump the brakes a bit, shall we?