That rumble you heard earlier today was the sound of laughter rolling across the great state of Georgia. Da’Rick Rogers, the receiver from Calhoun who famously spurned the Bulldogs to sign with Vince Dooley’s son at Tennessee, was arrested in Knoxville at 1:50 a.m. for disorderly conduct after what we old folks used to call a barroom brawl.
(If you haven’t read esteemed colleague Chip Towers’ explanation of the matter, please do. The Chipster is to college recruiting as Target is to shopping — comprehensive and classy.)
It’s human nature to delight in the misfortune of a rival, especially a rival that snatched a recruit who’d committed to you eight months before Signing Day. But we must also note, for the sake of fairness, that the Georgia program isn’t immune to arrests — not of teenage athletes, not even of a 40-year-old athletics director.
I was talking to a Georgia Tech man last weekend, and he was trying — and mostly succeeding, I should report — not to chuckle over Damon Evans’ plight. Because we old folks can tell you young ‘uns that the fan base that laughs today is invariably the next to be embarrassed. (It’s uncanny how that works, but work it does.)
No school holds the patent on good behavior. No school can ever be inoculated against the misjudgments of young athletes, or even 40-year-old ADs. I understand why Georgia fans find Rogers’ arrest amusing, but I’ve also been around long enough to caution against irrational exuberance.
There’s always another arrest waiting to happen in a college town, and that town could well be yours. Bradley’s Rule: Tempt not the football gods by busting a gut laughing, lest tomorrow ye weep bitter tears.
Update: Tennessee coach Derek Dooley announced Friday night he has kicked safety Darren Myles Jr., who’s from Atlanta’s Carver High, off the team and indefinitely suspended Marlon Walls and Greg King for their part in the incident. Da’Rick Rogers has not been suspended.