Dropping the ball

Star running back wasted the opportunities his talent provided

National Football League rookies were warned last week to act responsibly and avoid trouble. It’s just part of their orientation now.

College and high school players need the same counsel.

University of Georgia star running back Isaiah Crowell traded his doghouse for a jailhouse last week, after being arrested for two felonies and a misdemeanor when found with an unlicensed concealed handgun with an altered serial number at a police checkpoint in the wee hours Friday. The serial number on the 9-millimeter Luger under Crowell’s seat had been removed.

The promising 19-year-old sophomore – whom ESPN ranked as the nation’s No. 4 player and No. 1 running back out of high school – had been in and out of the doghouse at Georgia in his freshman season, sitting out several times for disciplinary reasons. The weapons arrest was the last straw for Coach Mark Richt, who summarily dismissed Crowell from the team.

What an incredible, tragic flameout. The young man had a free ride to college and a lucrative professional career written all over him.

What did he give it up for? The lifestyle that judges a man by the weapons and attitudes he totes. He really was big man on campus, but then he had to go and act like it. How brain-dead is that?

That nonsense shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere. It’s ruining neighborhoods, cities and lives. But it sure isn’t going to be put up with at our institutions of higher learning, or in the many athletic and other extracurricular activities they offer.

Now, instead of tracking carries and yards gained on the gridiron, Crowell will be worrying about other numbers.

“Crowell could face a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence between two and 10 years if found guilty of weapons possession on school property,” reported ESPN, “while a guilty verdict for criminal use of an article with an altered ID mark carries a sentence between one and five years.”

Life is a series of choices. They come with consequences. Sometimes you’re so far out of bounds you take yourself out of the game.

America is the land of opportunity. What you do with it is up to you.

Georgia dismisses Isaiah Crowell following arrest

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