One thing that always strikes me about college players – they’re kids. And more often than not, they look like kids. Tyler Boyd is only 18 years old. And he looks it. When players do fantastic things on the field, we shouldn’t forget that they’re 18-22 years old. When they do stupid things off the field, we shouldn’t forget that they’re 18-22 years old.
That’s what seems to be forgotten by the sanctimonious preachers who lay invective on guys like Johnny Manziel. He’s a kid. He’s a douche but he’s a kid. He’s shouldering the burden of being the most public face of Texas A&M while also seeking to be a college student.
It’s all good and well that college athletes should face real consequences when they break the law, as any of us would. But that doesn’t make them special cases. That doesn’t mean they’re malcontents to whom we’re allowed to condescend, as though non-athletes are above reproach and stupidity and sometimes even, criminality.
Do you remember yourself at 18-22 years old? Yes, you were a stupid kid. But you didn’t have a national spotlight on you.