Woody's Ward: Da'Rick Rogers, a Greek tragedy
Let's not beat around the bush, Da'Rick Rogers needs to be punished for the way he allegedly behaved in 2011. Wash his mouth out with soap, send him to his room, or give him a timeout, I frankly do not give a damn, but if reports of the sophomore wide receiver's selfishness are true (on and off the field), the kid needs to be taught a lesson. It may come off as oppressive, but it certainly seems like a necessary evil.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to come off as that guy in the mall who insists that you're not raising your children properly and contends that corporal punishment is never the answer. As a matter of fact, I'd suggest exactly the opposite. Lock him in a room, haze him, do whatever it takes to convey the message that what he has done will not be tolerated.
I don't need a public showing of his punishment either. No head on a stake necessary. Just get the job done, and let's just stop with all the posturing in the media. Is he suspended? Is he not suspended? Who cares?
All we want is for the issue to go away, and not in the "casually smear it into the carpet" kind of way. It needs to ACTUALLY stop happening. Call the steam cleaners. Eradicate the problem.
Don't freak out at the mention of the word eradicate. I'm not saying that Da'Rick should be let go by any means, I'm just imploring that Derek Dooley makes this issue vanish. You simply can't have underclassmen running around making the Kardashians look like beacons of humility.
Sure wide receivers are known prima donnas, and sure Rogers is youthfully stupid/ignorant, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You may call it semantics, but Da'Rick Rogers is a young MAN, and he is a representative of the University of Tennessee. Call it a high horse, but that should mean something.
Sit him down, set him straight, and make it known that he is part of a much larger picture. The kid's dynamically talented and he's gonna have all the time in the world to shine, but right now it's about his team and his university.
A lot of the burden has been put on Derek Dooley to deal with this, and it's true that much of the responsibility rests on his shoulders, but at the same time it's important that Da'Rick's teammates have an influence too. As former Vol and current radio personality Jayson Swain put it on my radio show on Monday Night, it's imperative that the leaders be allowed to "properly correct any guy that's being a detriment to the team."
Da'Rick, you're an unbelievably talented individual, and you're probably actually a pretty good kid, but the holier than thou act has to stop. For every Terrell Owens you see succeeding on the big stage, there's 50 guys out there who had skills and fizzled out because they couldn't get their mind right.
I'm not saying you need to be a boy scout, but being a good teammate comes first and foremost in this game. You might feel Herculean now that you're First Team All-SEC, but if you don't come back down to earth, it might be hubris that winds up as your Achilles.