Dismissing seasoned veteran raises curiosity
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 13:08
While listening to a sports analyst talk about a team’s chance of making a playoff run and eventually winning a championship, one constant factor is always highlighted: veteran leadership. This is something the Bison football team knows about all too well. Coming into the 2011 season the first team defense was littered with seniors. Battle tested veterans Coulter Boyer and Preston Evans carried the best defense in the FCS throughout the championship season. The experience and senior leadership may have been the most powerful attribute of that team. What about this season?
Not so much. Sure, playmaking defensive backs Colten Heagle and Marcus Williams have returned, but it fails in comparison to what the 2011 team had. Coach Bohl knows this and explained experience as one of the glaring weaknesses of the team on the Front Row Show on the radio station, “Mighty 790” last week. Bohl is aware of the importance of having guys on the field that have been there before. Guys who won’t panic if a play breaks down, if opponents shows a different formation, guys Bohl can trust in the heat of the moment. One of the players Bohl was counting on to be one of those few leaders in the trenches was senior linebacker, Brandon Jemison.
As I’m sure many of you have heard, Jemison was dismissed from the team earlier this month for what Coach Bohl referred to as, “breaking team rules.” The ambiguity of Bohl’s statement has left this question unanswered: Exactly what did a senior, on his last season of eligibility do to get kicked-off the team?
Jemison was coming off his least productive season in his remarkable career at NDSU, tallying only 43 total tackles in an injury riddled season in which he made only five starts.
Coach Bohl has been known to run a no nonsense program which I applaud him for. There is no excuse for a Bison athlete to be putting themself in a situation that can hurt the reputation of a program, let alone do it during fall camp.
One may argue: why would Bohl be so quick in dismissing a veteran player after one slip up? We constantly see colligate athletes running into trouble with the law. Former Notre Dame wide receiver and Minnesota native, Michael Floyd had several DUI arrest and was only suspended, never dismissed. Should we be questioning the importance of Jemison, who was in his last year and coming off a tricky hip injury? Would Coach Bohl done the same to let’s say Ryan Smith or Billy Turner?
I hope to never find out the answer to the ladder of those questions. But I do believe that Bohl, without hesitation, booted Jemison because of his deteriorating role on the team. The emergence of stars Travis Beck and Carlton Littlejohn have made the second level of our defense crowded with little elbow room. Jemison has made over 25 starts in his career at NDSU and his presence will be felt.
It was a tragic way to end a spectacular career for Jemison and a start to the season the Bison cannot afford.