The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

February 11, 2009

COLUMN: Next step for Jock Sanders remains unclear

MORGANTOWN — It isn’t easy being a football coach, and we’re not talking about trying to figure out a way to gain a foot and a half on third down.

Those may be tough decisions, game-changing decisions, but they aren’t life-changing decisions.

Too often, though, these football coaches we have are asked to become something they are in no way qualified to become — gods.

Even without a capital G it’s quite a burden.

Consider what is facing West Virginia University’s Bill Stewart this morning.

He has Jock Sanders’ future in his hands, not the way he had hoped it would be, molding him into a National Football League player who would make mountains of money, raise a nice family and live a long and happy life.

That’s the way it was supposed to be.

See, it was fine if Sanders spent his Saturday afternoons weaving his way through traffic, as long as that traffic had on shoulder pads and jerseys with the colors of the rival school.

Running straight wasn’t what he was supposed to do, but come Saturday night he was supposed to be driving straight … and sober.

That apparently didn’t happen this past Saturday as Sanders was approached by a police officer in an apartment parking lot when his black Dodger Charger allegedly juked over the center line while being clocked at 36 miles an hour in a 25 mph zone.

When the scent of alcohol, not aftershave, was detected and when Sanders reportedly blew a .125 on the Breathalyzer, which is 50 percent above the legal limit of .08 percent, he was arrested and charged with DUI.

That Sanders is 20 and under the legal drinking age did not balance his blood-alcohol content being over the legal limit.

Normally, in this town, being 20 and drunk is not an unusual occurrence. The football team barely managed to break into the Top 25 in the final poll, but the student body got itself ranked No. 4 in the nation when it came to party schools as judged by the Princeton Review, which has absolutely nothing to do with Princeton University.

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Bob Herzel
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