Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Simmons arrest has nothing to do with James Franklin's new culture of winning at Vanderbilt
The Tennessean's Jeff Lockridge is reporting that sophomore safety Andre Simmons has been arrested and is being held on $100,000 after allegedly being involved in the armed robbery of $5,000 cash from a safe in another Vandy student's dorm room.
When I was a Vandy student, I always took precautions and never kept more than a couple grand in my safe. Also, I never told anybody I had a safe. Not even myself. In fact, I don't think I even had a safe.
Anyway, the Vol fan base is naturally equating the fact that the Commodores are favored to beat Tennessee (something that most Vol fans seem to believe) with the news that Vandy quite possibly has a thug on their team.
Which leads to the assumption that James Franklin has relaxed recruiting standards and is now signing players who lack the character and the intellect of past Vandy players, all in the name of winning.
But who recruited Andre Simmons?
It was Bobby Johnson, not Franklin. But even then, Simmons, a three-star player from Lorton, Va., was a member of the National Honor Society and not the kind of kid you'd expect to get into a scrape with the law.
Vols fans are talking like we're going to just sweep this under the rug. I guarantee you that Franklin kicks him off the team if he's guilty of the charges. Simmons has already been suspended indefinitely.
Sure, it's not that big of a loss. Simmons played in only one game all season, on special teams against Elon. We've got three other sophomore safeties who are better — Kenny Ladler, Javon Marshall and Karl Butler (who's currently listed as a backup linebacker). And we've got junior Eric Samuels and a bunch of promising freshmen who are redshirting — Larry Franklin, Jahmel McIntosh and Andrew Williamson.
And sure, we could use the scholarship to sign another receiver or offensive lineman.
But I believe James Franklin would boot anybody off the team who did what Simmons is alleged to have done. No question.
Sure, this is not the Same Old Vandy. But that's because we're about to win three consecutive games in November, not because we just had a kid apparently go astray, which could have happened on any past Vandy team and on any college campus in America.
Franklin will deal with it swiftly, and I don't expect this to become a trend comparable to those in other SEC football programs.