Friday, November 17, 2006

Dropouts: Albert Haynesworth

You remember the guy from college who dropped out. Maybe he couldn't cut it academically. More likely, he found the required classes cutting into his previously-scheduled time for parties and sleep. You weren't surprised at what he got away with before leaving (or getting kicked out), but you knew he wouldn't cut it in the real world.

But college athletes are said to "declare early" or "go pro" when they don't finish school. When these guys screw up outside of their protected university environment, remember that we're talking about college dropouts. Maybe that's why the players introducing themselves on Monday Night Football often cite their high school rather than their college: it's the place they actually got their degree.

Name: Albert Haynesworth, III
College: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Major: Education
College hijinks: Going after a teammate on the practice field with a metal pole.
Dropped out: After his junior season

NFL history books will forever celebrate The Catch and The Drive, but they hope to forget The Stomp. MJD did a fine job covering the suspension, and the Royal We made sure we knew what Keyshawn thought about all this. Because Haynesworth's expected to play on Sunday now that his five-game sabbatical is over, I point you to this 2002 Sporting News article about a certain defensive tackle prospect:

"Haynesworth, I honestly believe, will be a dominating player in this league," an AFC scout says, "if he can keep it all together upstairs." That always was the concern with Haynesworth--what was going on in his mind. But something happened to him before the 2001 season. It might have been the experience of becoming father to a son born last summer. Or it might have been the realization that time was running out on a career very few are afforded. Whatever it was, Albert Haynesworth found Albert Haynesworth. ... "I've matured," Haynesworth says. "I know what I have to do to be successful. It's a process."

Further maturity might be necessary to keep Haynesworth out of the Tyson Zone.

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