Sorry for the Weed, Bro

In case you didn’t know it, Auburn’s Nick Marshall is sorry:

“He was very regretful,” [chief] Holder said. “He was very respectful. He was very apologetic. He seemed like he was disappointed in himself. He did get a little teary eyed as we had the conversation. I think sometimes what those kids need, they need somebody to talk to them and say, hey, you made a mistake, don’t let it happen anymore.”

Right, chief.  He just needs a shoulder to cry on.  That’s it.

Nowadays, you better know that most of the players on your favorite football team smoke weed.  One study says that about 22% of college players smoke doobies, but I’m guessing that number is short – by a lot.  Marijuana, like it or not, is part of the culture of college athletics.  I don’t know why and it makes no sense to me, but it is.  It figures that athletes that spend so much time training and preparing their bodies would stay away from pot, but they don’t.

Therefore, it’s not appropriate to cast stones at your rival, but your guys are doing it as well.  Players at all schools are going to smoke dope and it doesn’t matter what you say or do primarily because, well, there aren’t any consequences.  Oh, Gus Malzahn will tell us that there are, but there won’t be anything significant – and by significant I mean any significant playing time.  Why?  There are a couple of reasons, I think.

One, our culture as a whole condones the use of illegal drugs.  Who are we, the medicated masses, to prevent one of our favorite athletes from having a little fun?  After all, these guys work so hard to play the game we enjoy so much.

Two, there’s two much money involved.  Do you honestly think a little bit of pot found in a car will get in the way of a college playoff run?  Do you think a little weed will be a roadblock for college coaches with millions of dollars in salaries and benefits on the line? Not hardly.

College athletics has become accepting of drug use – just review your favorite team’s drug testing policy – and that is a reflection of how our culture now view drug use, regardless of what local, state or federal drug laws may say.  If our culture truly has a problem with drug use – even less than an ounce – there would be a reaction that would force our favorite teams and conferences to act.  Instead, our favorite teams and conferences are treading water on the issue until drug laws are relaxed.

Nick Marshall is nothing special or new related to marijuana use.  I won’t think one way or the other regarding whatever consequences Malzahn doles out to him.

But I will be a little doubtful about his apology.  We’ve seen this act before.

Usually, when we are sorry for something it’s because of one of two reasons.  One, we are sorry that we got caught, because getting caught means we have to deal with a hassle.  We won’t really want to change our behavior, because we probably don’t think we did anything wrong.

On the other hand, there is recognizing that what we did is wrong, and we are truly sorry for making a mistake, harming others, causing trouble, etc.  We realize we hurt ourselves, broke the trust of others and sinned against God.  And we don’t want to do it again.  We are sorry.

It’s really not my place to judge the sincerity of Nick Marshall’s apology.  That’s really between Marshall and Auburn and Marshall and God.  But because this plays out in the public eye, and because this is a reflection of how our culture deals with things, it is interesting to see how things will play out.

For Nick Marshall’s sake, I really do hope he is sorry.