Talent Trumps Troubles for Many Star Athletes

Published on 29-Aug-2013 by Stacey Mickles
Football - NCAA / NCAA Football Daily Opinion

Marshall Henderson

ESPN talk show host Colin Cowherd talks about this subject a lot on his show: does talent trump over problems?

It seems that way at times in the world of sports.

Athletes seem to get away with more if they are talented and valuable to their teams.

We don't need to look any further than Johnny Manziel and Aaron Hernandez.

Manziel was basically able to skate yesterday, even though there was credible evidence to prove that he did indeed take money for signing autographs for a memoribilia broker.

His punishment? A half-game suspension in a meaningless game.

There are several reasons Manziel got away with this.

First of all, he and his parents lawyered up.

They hired the same law firm that represented Cam Newton years ago, and they got him off the hook with the NCAA.

But the main reason he got away with this: talent and fear.

Manziel is Texas A&M's best chance to win a national championship. A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is not going to suspend his best player, no matter how he feels about him at the moment.

And the NCAA fears a lawsuit from this kid's parents. They threatened to sue both A &M and the NCAA if they touched Johnny Football, so the NCAA backed down and Manziel plays. Winner: talent.

At least Manziel hasn't killed anybody; at least, not that we know of at this point.  

Aaron Hernandez is a more extreme example of talent trumping his troubles.

Hernandez was allowed to do pretty much whatever he wanted at Florida and New England because he is good at what he does. 

His coaches knew he was a bad guy, but because he can catch a football, he was allowed to do whatever he wanted, which contradicts earlier reports that neither organization knew about his problems. Oh, they knew; they just chose to ignore a ticking time bomb. 

There are even reports out there now that if he gets a light sentence, he'll be back in the NFL. 

These two are not the only ones. 

Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was caught up in a murder case a few years ago and was able to resume his NFL career. And how many teams has Pacman Jones played for despite his problems

Michael Vick went to jail for a couple of years, got out, and now is a starting quarterback again in the NFL. But I give Lewis and Vick credit, they have apparently learned their lessons and changed their ways, or at least, it seems that way

But this list continues to grow; Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss played basketball this past season although his head coach Andy Kennedy knew he had a drug problem. Same with Tyrann Mathieu of LSU. Ten failed drug tests and he was still allowed to play!

The lesson to be learned in all of this? If you are talented, you can get away with almost anything.

Even murder. Almost.

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