What Is It About The SMU Football Program

February 20, 2009 – 1:35 am by Michael Bean

Southern Methodist University gained notoriety during the 1980s when they were handed ‘the death sentence’ by the NCAA, the most severe reprimand ever handed down to any team in collegiate sports history. The year was 1986, and more than twenty years later, the program has still had a hard time regaining its traction. There was however optimism surrounding the program when June Jones was lured away from Hawaii to take over the Mustangs program. Last year wasn’t the quick turnaround SMU fans might have fantasized about, but the misery seems to be extending past losing games. Coach Jones recently released nine players. One of them, Jordan Johnson, said that the reasons Jones gave for the players’ dismissal was not entirely accurate. Johnson talked to Michael Irvin on ESPN Radio Dallas on Thursday to tell his side of the story. One of the reasons Johnson is so adamant about appealing the decision is that not only has he been released from the team, he’s no longer able to pay for college after losing his scholarship:

On whether he had a history of bad behavior as a kid: “No sir. Never been in trouble. I had one detention in all of my years from 1st grade to 12th grade. I always got good grades. And I may be 6’3″ 245 pounds, but I’m still scared to death of Mom.”

On if he was informed that there was a possibility that his scholarship might not be four years: “Yes sir. I have put 110% into everything we did.”

On the three strikes rule implemented by Jones and if he had collected any strikes: “You can’t miss any class, any study hall, practices, any workout. Anything you get a strike. When you get three, you get suspended from games; you lose some of your stipend check if you live off campus. No, sir, I don’t have any strikes.”

Any warning of being dropped from the squad: “No sir, they were probably throwing hints. Because they were telling a lot of kids they weren’t going to be there.”

Who informed him his scholarships weren’t being renewed: “Coach Junes. He sat us all one by one. He said I was a good kid; and that the direction they were going in, wasn’t the same direction I was going in. And basically that my attitude towards the team wasn’t the attitude he wanted in his atmosphere.”

There’s more. Weird, sad stuff for what seems to be a good kid.

Listen here

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  1. 3 Responses to “What Is It About The SMU Football Program”

  2. Why single out SMU? Every school does this, including Miami, University of Florida and Texas. SMU just had a larger number of athletes that couldn’t cut it. This young man had been demoted to the scout team and wasn’t a player. He had a reputation in both high school and SMU with his attitude toward the team and coaches that was not consistant with a team desperately trying to get on the same page. If he could have demonstrated teamwork instead of I work he would have still been on the team. Why not do some real investigative reporting, find out why his high school coach would not have recommended him. Find out how the big programs do it? Get some numbers and facts. This is sports program, based upon statistics and play, not a “soap opera”. Do your work as reporters.

    By John Falb on Feb 23, 2009

  3. Isn’t it funny that when SMU does something that hordes of other Division 1-A schools also do, in the hope to actually be somewhat competitive in revenue sports, it garners ridiculous amounts of media attention. Finally, the school has decided to grow a pair and play football to win.

    By Why SMU? on Feb 23, 2009

  4. How ironic that Irvin and his worthless co-host are the only ones that are willing to give this type of story any airtime. There is no one out there living in a bigger glass house than Irvin, but he loves throwing stones every chance he gets.

    Why doesn’t he tell us all that Jimmy Johnson never did this type of thing when he was at Miami, so that we can all have a good laugh?

    By Worst show on Dallas radio on Feb 23, 2009

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