Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I still have fear, but I'm not afraid."

Pretty eye-opening disclosure from former Vol Erik Ainge. If you've never known someone who's bi-polar, it like a frantic roller coaster ride of pain, suffering and confusion. 

I've never had a very high opinion of Phil Fulmer, obviously. But it reached it's lowest yesterday. You can't read Ainge's story and truly believe his head coach didn't know about his QBs growing addiction. Sure, I'm connecting two dots by typing that. But they're so close together it barely makes a mark.

The irony is that Mark Richt is perceived to be soft, when in fact Ainge wouldn't have had much of a senior year were he at UGA. If any at all. In contrast, I think Richt (and UGA's drug testing program as a whole) is pretty tough on issues like these. But deep down, our coach isn't the type of man to turn a blind eye when a young man under his watch needs help.

And Ainge certainly needed help. But his campus, his teammates and his coaches failed him. Instead of forcing him to face his demons they helped him to continue to keep them at bay. Do the Georgia Bulldogs have drug problems on their football team? I'm sure we do. Statistics would say that's more than a safe bet. But there's a difference in ignoring the problem and owning up to it.

At some point those people around Erik Ainge the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers decided to ignore the problem. They were afraid to confront it for fear of the consequences in the loss column, despite the increasing possibility of finding Ainge a tragic victim of his own misdeeds.

Luckily, this morning Ainge was able to wake up and continue to face his fears. And this Dawg wishes him the best on his road to recovery.


Ginny said...

Great post. This story made me sick to my stomach. To think that his so-called role models completely turned a blind eye is the epitome of what's wrong with sports today. It's all about winning and that's so sad.

zenarcher said...

thank you for posting this! i have a family member with addiction issues and, in hindsight, have seen that at times i was an enabler to his troubles! i regret that to this day! all potential enablers should take a step back and examine the potential for their inaction re: the obvious problem at hand to reek havoc on the addicts future! try to be #OBJECTIVE and take the high road: do not become an #ENABLER . if you do you will regret it! sincerly yours, rtdew