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Penthouse To The Outhouse:Former LSU Star Falls Even Further

Jamarcus Russell
(Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

There is nothing like L.S.U.’s Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night during football season. Young men from across the country dream of someday standing on that hallowed ground and feeling the Earth itself tremble when the Golden Band from Tigerland launches into the fight song. One such young man was JaMarcus Russell, an incredibly gifted athlete with a body that seemed custom built to handle the “best in the country” defenses of the Southeastern Conference. Even those that would not dare wear purple or gold except on Mardi Gras would agree, JaMarcus was something special on the football field. That was 2006, this is now. A scant five years later finds the former top pick of the NFL not only out of a job but basically being asked to leave a program designed to help gifted athletes get back on track. You know what hurts the most about this story?

First it is sad that a proud tradition such as L.S.U. football will be forever associated with the bust that is Russell, but even sadder are the thousands of Louisiana kids that grew up idolizing him. These children probably asked their parents to buy them a #2 jersey so they could be like him. Well let’s hope and pray none of those kids will be anything like this ungrateful, unmotivated, undeserving vermin.  JaMarcus Russell owes me nothing and to be truthful for me to pass any kind of judgement on him as a person probably shows a great deal of disrespect on my part. I enjoyed watching him on the football field, today I am pretty sure the sight of him would make me vomit. If in fact he bothered to learn to read, he probably couldn’t care less to read my words. What a waste. A waste of talent and the wasted opportunity and I am not talking about on the gridiron. I am talking about the opportunity to be a mentor to so many, to lead by example, to give those who are born with less talent or come from difficult circumstances a point of reference on the path to greatness. I do not blame anyone other than JaMarcus Russell and maybe he is getting exactly what he wanted. A big bank account, no responsibility and no pressure to be a real man. I am sure the coaches at L.S.U. tried very hard to teach him how to be a real man but even those great educators, some of the greatest motivators and teachers of  young men couldn’t get it done with this lump of worthless clay. Mr. Russell, I use the term “Mister” loosely, I wish you well I hope your life turns out to be very fulfilling. Tiger fans you are the best in the NCAA but unfortunately fans of other programs will point fingers and snicker at this story and YOU don’t deserve it. That leads me to my question, have you ever looked up to an athlete or celebrity as a kid only to feel betrayed by their lack of what we would call “home training”? Do you think athletes have a responsibility to be role models? I welcome your comments.

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