Jax State rolling the dice
I wasn't surprised when I heard last week that former LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who was dismissed by Tigers coach Les Miles after three suspensions in the past year, was signed by another school but I was disappointed that Jacksonville State took that chance.
JSU, a former archrival for North Alabama in the Division II Gulf South Conference before moving up to Division I-AA (now known as the Football Championship Subdivision), has sold out by signing an unquestionably talented player who has already blown second and third chances.
In an interview with The Birmingham News, Perrilloux actually said, "Basically, I just see this as a second opportunity to be successful."
I think it's ironic that JSU signed Perrilloux after dismissing its former starter quarterback for violating team rules. JSU coach Jack Crowe justified the signing by saying, "We had to have a quarterback … He's got a national championship ring and a love for LSU. He's not a tainted person with a tainted feeling. He just made mistakes, admitted them and moved on."
There's a saying that the best way to learn is from your mistakes. But what has Perrilloux really learned? I've heard all sorts of excuses made for him, ranging from the "environment in Baton Rouge" to his frustration from the lack of playing time.
I remember listening to former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson point out that there's a double standard for star players and role players, but I think Crowe is rolling the dice by giving Perrilloux a so-called second chance.
Season tickets sales for JSU games have spiked since Perrilloux picked the Gamecocks, who finished 6-5 in 2007, over Alabama A&M in Huntsville. That's good news for the bottom line of the JSU athletic department, but what kind of message does it send to its student-athletes?
I'm not saying that Perrilloux shouldn't get another chance, but why should it be handed to him on a red-and-silver platter? I think he should earn a spot on the team as a walk-on, and Crowe should have given that open scholarship to someone who deserved it.
I guess this is just another example of how college football can be more about wins and losses than caps and gowns.
Kim West is sports editor for The Franklin County Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (256) 332-1881, ext. 30.