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.