Commentary: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – The news came across this morning that star wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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had been arrested, throwing Clemson fans everywhere into a state of shock.

Watkins is, in many ways, the face of the franchise right now, the Tigers’ most recognizable and polarizing figure. Whenever I talk with anyone who isn’t a Clemson fan, or knows just a little about the university, they almost always mention Watkins.

His accomplishments on the field are very recognizable. Off the field, he has always been a quiet interview, not one to say too much about himself or talk too much about his personal accomplishments. In most of the times I have spoken to Sammy, he always mentions the team and how the team goals come first.

And now, he has let his teammates, his coaches and his fans down. It happens. Kids do dumb things, and they make stupid decisions.

What shocked me most, however, was the number of text messages I received, most of them wondering what kind of punishment he would get. In other words: “How many games will he miss” and “how does this affect me as a fan.” The fans want to know the bottom line: will this affect the win-loss record next season.

As a parent, however, I wondered something a little different: How is this going to affect Sammy?

Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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, who will act as a parent when he decides Watkins’ punishment, has a tough decision to make…..does he take into account that this was Watkins’ first offense, that we all make bad decisions and that Watkins now seems contrite, and go easy in a situation where Watkins doesn’t miss any games? Or does he come down hard, suspending him for a part of fall practice and a game or two?

Knowing Dabo, he will choose for the harder punishment, one that teaches a lesson to not only Watkins but to the rest of the team: No one is bigger than the team, and there has to be accountability for your actions at all times. Watkins is at that age, the age when a boy becomes a man, and is now learning that decisions have stiffer and farther-reaching repercussions than they did when he was younger.

If Swinney takes the easy way out on his punishment, it sends the wrong message to Watkins. Much like what happened at South Carolina and quarterback Stephen Garcia – if you learn that you can get away with something once, you have now been enabled and figure that because you are a star, you can get away with anything without consequences.

Putting aside Clemson’s potential record and how it affects what happens on the field , now is the time for a life lesson that will serve Watkins well throughout his life, one that will almost certainly include the NFL. What does that punishment need to be? I don’t know, I’m not the coach and not as close to Watkins as the coaches or his teammates. But the punishment needs to be stiff enough to make sure it doesn’t happen a second time, or a third, or a fourth…..


Watkins seems like a good young man, one who has made a stupid and foolish decision. We have all made them. He will grow and learn from this, and he will become a better man for having gone through this.

Does he deserve to pilloried or vilified? Absolutely not. If you are willing to put this teenager up on a pedestal and cheer his name and tell him how good he is, then you need to be willing to support him through this situation. And it all comes down to this – he made bad decision, and deserves to be punished. He has to face the consequences on this one, and the punishment has to fit the crime.

Once that punishment is over, you love him, support him and hope he takes it and becomes a better person. You cheer even harder for him, because he has proven he is human and can come back from this and be the player we want him to be, that he needs to be. But more importantly, he needs to become the man and the human being that HE needs to be.

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Subject (Replies: 81) Author
Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
Crump®
I struggle to understand how USuCk gets mentioned in this.
ClemsonTiger1988®
He's saying we don't want it to turn into a "Garcia"
6317forever®
We have to show usuc who's boss!***
colemanfan
Re: We have to show usuc who's boss!***
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: We have to show usuc who's boss!***
allorangeallthetime52®
Exactly. Who gives a #### about what they do to punish their
colemanfan
wrong...apples and oranges***
estebanrocks
Re: I struggle to understand how USuCk gets mentioned in this.
HouseCoot
The point is many believe Garcia was a repeat offender ...
ClemKWA
Re: The point is many believe Garcia was a repeat offender ...
deleted
Sammy ain't a drug addict. Garcia is an alcoholic.
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: Sammy ain't a drug addict. Garcia is an alcoholic.
deroberts
Re: Sammy ain't a drug addict. Garcia is an alcoholic.
TigerTeacher
Yeah, 5 strikes. Pffft, no different than 1.***
deleted
Re: I struggle to understand how USuCk gets mentioned in this.
carolinachef
It's called "compare and contrast"
grover173
I'm fairly familiar with most literary device.
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
tigertomw
Well said***
colemanfan
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
TigerTeacher
You are right! BUT.........
OhWiseOne®
Agree...but most fans want to crucify him.***
colemanfan
No they don't.***
movino®
Re: No they don't.***
facman
Re: You are right! BUT.........
allorangeallthetime52®
I am about to puke over the amount of hipocracy on this blog
carolinachef
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
TexanTiger
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
Manning_Tiger®
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
allorangeallthetime52®
nor is it any other color***
cutgrfan®
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
TexanTiger
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
jerseytiger1980
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
TigerTeacher
Last time I checked, you don't get arrested or your name
cutgrfan®
David Hood, What a stupid irresponsible comment to compare
movino®
Re: David Hood, What a stupid irresponsible comment to compare
Manning_Tiger®
Did you even read my post before you started typing?
movino®
Ditto, did you even read Hood's comments?***
RC Tiger®
Wrong place ...wrong time for this article...
bengalbabe®
Re: David Hood, What a stupid irresponsible comment to compare
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: David Hood, What a stupid irresponsible comment to compare
gottigers81
Re: He should sit out at least two games
deleted
Re: He should sit out at least two games
armsb
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
timculley
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
armsb
I'm not even going to worked up about this
dago44
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
orangecrush10
Comparing the situation of Sammy and Garcia is
TigerGrad'93
Punishment
Rhymedog56®
Good grief,
Stamos
Re: Good grief,
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Good grief,
Tim317
Re: Good grief,
footballmanager
Re: Good grief,
gottigers81
You're an idiot...
estebanrocks
Re: Good grief,
armsb
Re: Good grief,
footballmanager
" ... our government don't know how to make ..."
clempsun
exactly...who gives a chit! **
estebanrocks
Re: Good grief,
drost22
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
AThomas®
Clemson's Official Athletic Policy on first time Offenders
orangeman
Re: Clemson's Official Athletic Policy on first time Offenders
GrayBengal®
Questions and comments
facman
If it fits the crime then do nothing.
estebanrocks
Agree 100%. Wrist slap him. It's off-season. Big deal.***
Razzmatazz
Why should he be punished for your moronic, stupid laws?
dannyfan1981
Re: Why should he be punished for your moronic, stupid laws?
jpell3
Re: Why should he be punished for your moronic, stupid laws?
GrayBengal®
Obama, Bush & Clinton did drugs in college. Punish Sammy...
Razzmatazz
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
Rhymedog56®
You have mo idea what you are tallking about.
estebanrocks
Re: You have mo idea what you are tallking about.
clay1029
Physically or psychologically?***
Lonnie Utah
Re: Physically or psychologically?***
clay1029
It's not physically addictive. **
estebanrocks
I'm guessing Rhymedog56 graduated in 1956? Old timer?
Razzmatazz
Re: I'm guessing Rhymedog56 graduated in 1956? Old timer?
esagar
Re: Front Page Story: David Hood: Watkins' punishment needs to fit the crime
natreyk

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