Football alums tarnish WVU’s image
Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010 22:10
Add another to the disgraced Mountaineers list.
Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee joins a litany of WVU football alumni who have found themselves in trouble with the law in recent years.
Of all the stories, McAfee's may be the most unique.
Always regarded as outlandish and flamboyant, the Plum, Pa., native never failed to put on a show.
That trend continued this past Tuesday when McAfee was found swimming in a canal shirtless after reportedly harassing a woman in here car.
Good one, Patrick.
After having a blood alcohol concentration of .15, McAfee was arrested for public intoxication. The Colts' have said McAfee will be suspended for at least one game.
Maybe it's just something about former WVU kickers.
The mischievous mentality began with former WVU punter Todd Sauerbrun in the mid-1990s.
Sauerbrun had an impressive Mountaineer career. In 1994 he set the NCAA record for punting average in a season.
But, 10 years later in 2004 he was charged with a DWI as a member of the Carolina Panthers.
His NFL career was tainted with steroid allegations.
In 2007, he was arrested for assault on a taxi driver in Denver.
Prior to Sauerbrun, Mike Vanderjagt made a name for himself after two years after hanging up his Mountaineer jersey.
Teammates referred to him as "Vanderjerk" as a member of the New England Patriots. He was long notorious for his short fuse and unsportsmanlike behavior on the field.
Let's not forget the infamous "making it rain" strip club incident surrounding Adam "Pacman" Jones. While patronizing a club with rapper Nelly, Jones demanded back the money he willingly threw on a stage of dancing women by slamming their heads against the floor.
Additionally, Jones found himself intoxicated in public and caught up in cocaine deals that would eventually lead to his dismissal from the NFL.
A host of other Mountaineers have been on the wrong end of law including the "Runaway beer truck" himself Owen Schmitt (DUI) and running back Quincy Wilson (disorderly conduct at a wedding).
The late Chris Henry was arrested five separate times and suspended from the NFL for possession of marijuana and assault.
Now, it's not fair to say that reckless behavior should signify these players' professional careers or their personal lives after football. But it does shed a negative shadow on their alma mater.
And it's not just former Mountaineers who find themselves in these dilemmas as schools across the country are forced to deal with problems left behind by their alums.
Wouldn't it be nice to stand out from the crowd?
Future recruits do pay attention to every aspect of a college football program. Seeing players who go to school at WVU then go on to the NFL is attractive to someone with those same aspirations.
But to shame yourself out of the league reflects poorly on the university you attended.
For current Mountaineer players, who happen to be NFL prospects, it's their time to straighten WVU's image.
Some may think that once players are out of Morgantown, they are no longer WVU's problem.
We've all heard the age-old statement, "Once a Mountaineer Always a Mountaineer."
It remains true, even when some are behind bars.