Friday night Clemson’s star receiver Sammy Watkin’s was arrested for possession of marijuana and a possession of a controlled substance. Simply put it was bonehead mistake by Watkins. By all accounts Watkins “had” been a model student and athlete. This was a surprise and a shock to Clemson football fans. If I had to name some of the least likely Tiger players to do this, Watkins would have been among them. When the best player on your team does something like this you have a problem. Clemson Tiger site OrangeandWhite says it best “Sammy Watkins’ arrest gives Dabo Swinney disciplinary crises”.
I’ve talked to some Clemson fans, and I’ve heard it all. From no suspension it was his first offense to kick him off team. I find the second a bit extreme, but you know he did embarrass his university and himself. Others said smoking pot happens everywhere what’s the big deal? My favorite was he should be suspended, but not for the Auburn but only for the Ball State and or Furman games. Umm… okay.
I want to echo the sentiments of the above OrangeandWhite article. Dabo Swinney has a problem here… He has to show that no one player is bigger than the program. Last year RB Mike Bellamy was suspended for the ACCCG and Bowl Game due to a violation of team rules. Bellamy was a contributor to the team but not the level Watkins is. Still it proved Swinney would suspend a player even with a big game on the horizon.
Frankly if you don’t suspend Watkins for the Auburn game, then you needn’t bother suspending him at all. The suspension will ring hollow in that case. You might as well just give him 80 hours of community service and say that was the agreed punishment. Then deal with question of being soft, but hey that’s better selective suspensions right? I think Swinney must suspend Watkins for the Auburn and the following Ball State game to give the punishment some teeth, but that’s just my opinion.
We haven’t done a poll in a while, so here goes. What punishment is appropriate for Sammy Watkins?