I haven’t done that too many times in this job. Last summer, I felt I needed to do it with Trent Guy, when many people perceived him to be some kind of bad actor after he was shot outside a nightclub. Anybody who knows Guy very well knows he’s a good guy.
I did it in an article last year about Muhammed Lasege, who still ranks No. 1 on my “screwed by the NCAA list.”
And in tomorrow’s column, I go to bat in a similar manner for Jeremy Jarmon, the UK defensive end who tested positive for an NCAA banned substance that the school says he ingested as part of an over-the-counter supplement.
I’m not bashing the NCAA. Just pointing out that Jarmon is a stand-up guy, as he proved by insisting that he speak to the public today (note, Manny Ramirez was suspended a little more than two weeks ago by Major League Baseball, for an honest-to-goodness steroid related substance, got a lesser punishment than Jarmon and still hasn’t worked up the juice to speak out publicly.)
I’m sure there will be some readers angry that I’m taking up, in a way, for a guy like Jarmon. Just like I got dozens of angry readers when I wrote in support of William Gay.
But sometimes people need a wider picture of these guys than they get from a single big-news incident.