One of the not-so-hidden dark sides to the Florida Gators success when Urban Meyer was in charge was the number of scandals that emerged under his watch. Chris Rainey was charged with aggravated stalking, Cam Newton stole laptops, and Ronnie Wilson fried a semi-automatic weapon.
That doesn’t include Aaron Hernandez murdering Odin Lloyd after his time with the Gators.
This year, the University of Alabama has accumulated an array of headlines that should make it an embarrassment to be a fan of the Crimson Tide.
But much like the Urban Meyer Gators, does it matter in the eyes of fans if a school is riddled with scandals as long as the team wins?
Take the money and run
Just this school year, Alabama has had the following incidents within its athletic program:
- Jermaine Burton struck a Tennessee fan on the field following the game
- Deputy Athletic Director Travis Self was arrested for domestic violence
- Darius Miles was arrested for murder, and star Brandon Miller was “In the wrong spot at the wrong time”
They have also had players across different sports get arrested on gun and weed charges.
Now news has broken that Brad Bohannon, the head coach for the Alabama baseball team, had been fired. The official reason given was for “Violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.”
But his firing comes on the heels of sports betting sites noticing that a large bet was placed on LSU last weekend to defeat Alabama. The bet may not seem that strange, considering LSU is ranked number one and Alabama is a bubble team for the NCAA tournament, but the amount of money ever gambled on college baseball is almost non-existent.
For all the shame and embarrassment Alabama has brought themselves, is it going to matter as long as they win?
Is there a line for fans?
While we can dunk on Alabama for the moment and make all the memes, very few Florida fans would trade the 2006 and 2008 national championships in football if it meant the program was squeaky clean.
It’s not exclusive to SEC fans either, that are willing to turn a blind eye as long as the team is winning. Penn State fans were torn on whether to let Joe Paterno go when their infamous scandal broke. Miami fans almost revel in being the bad boys of the college sports world.
Fair or not, winning absolves even the worst of sins in college sports.