For the record I have no love for Finebaum but this is a good article.




Crowe sells his soul for quarterback



Saturday, May 17, 2008

You want to know what's wrong with sports? Let me quickly point you in the direction of Jacksonville State and its unconscionable decision to allow Ryan Perrilloux to play football this season for the Gamecocks.
One can easily understand why coach Jack Crowe wanted the ex-LSU quarterbackon board. Perrilloux's prowess is palpable. And Crowe's coaching career ‐ which includes a stop at Auburn as Pat Dye's offensive coordinator during the Bo Jackson years and his unceremonious firing at Arkansas after losing the season opener to The Citadel ‐ is possibly on life support after three consecutive 6-5 seasons.
But the idea of William Meehan, the Jax State president, having a meeting with Perrilloux is unimaginable. Why would he do that? What kind of message does that send? Was President Meehan wearing his cheerleader costume at the confab? Did he get down on his knees and beg and grovel? Did he yell "Go Cocks!" and jump up and dance when Perrilloux signed on the dotted line?
Advertisement




How embarrassing that the leader of an academic institution would do something so dirty and sleazy, particularly in light of the recent body blow the school took from the NCAA in relation to its APR scores, leading to the loss of six scholarships in football and two in basketball.
Perrilloux, who was kicked off the team at LSU for repeated off-field problems (despite being coddled by Les Miles), said he wants to do the right thing at Jax State. "I'm thankful for another opportunity," he said with a straight face. Yeah, right.
You have to say one thing about Perrilloux. In addition to being a stud quarterback, he's already earned a spot in the Con Men Hall of Fame. Front row in the group picture.
Often in this space, we get into conversations about discipline and what's wrong with society. If you're a star football player, there's no such thing as a last chance. You mess up at LSU, and Jax State is waiting in the wings. You flame out in Jacksonville and someone else is just around the corner, waiting and hoping.
Some argue you really can't blame Jax State. It's business.
Alabama State was also doing some heavy breathing on the trail of Perrilloux. And it's really too bad Perrilloux rejected those overtures. Oh, how he would fit in perfectly at the Montgomery school, which just got nailed with 668 accusations of rules violations by the NCAA. This is a school that changes head coaches about as often as most people get an oil change.
So why did Crowe, a respected football coach, sell his soul to sign a player like Perrilloux? Is it all about rehabilitating a lost soul and helping a young man get his life back on track? Or is it much more simple?
Crowe is in the autumn of his career. He is losing about as often as he's winning. The wolves are nipping at his heels and Perrilloux might be the magic potion to break out of his malaise and return Jacksonville State to the Promised Land.
So in the end, did Perrilloux need Jacksonville State? Or did Jacksonville State, a school off the beaten path and desperately fighting for attention and entertainment dollars in the overcrowded Birmingham television market, need Perrilloux?
Crowe sold his school's soul and his principles to sign the outcast quarterback. Some say Perrilloux may stay on the straight and narrow. Would you bet on that?
In the end, Perrilloux figures to continue to get in trouble, and his story at Jax State will have the same ending as it did at LSU. And then, where will Jack Crowe and Jacksonville State go to get back their good name and integrity?
Contact Paul Finebaum at:
finebaumnet@yahoo.com
His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in the Press-Register.