First, let’s get to the facts: One of the single most dynamic playmakers in college football (not to mention an early 2012 Heisman Trophy favorite) was arrested Thursday night. The culprit? Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who was pulled over along with Clemson soccer player Amadou-Tidiane Daniel Dia. Watkins was charged with possession of marijuana and two un-prescribed pills.
This from OrangeandWhite.com:
Watkins was with Amadou-Tidiane Daniel Dia, a sophomore on Clemson’s men’s soccer team. Watkins’ car, a 2008 Cadillac with temporary Florida tags, was stopped when an officer saw it scrape against a curb on campus and noticed that its temporary license tag was not illuminated, according to the university. When the officer pulled the car over, he smelled marijuana, according to reports, and during a search the officer found marijuana and two schedule 2 controlled substances for which Watkins could not produce a prescription.
The pills reportedly were Adderall and lisdexanfetamine (Vyvanase), both of which are prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.
The two were arrested and taken to the Clemson City Jail, where they were held overnight. Watkins was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, according to the university. He was released Friday morning after posting a $1,620 personal recognizance bond. Dia, craged with possession of marijuana, was released after posting a $620 personal recognizance bond.
So those are the facts, and otherwise, well, there really isn’t much to see here.
Honestly, if you want me to get on my high horse (no pun intended, I swear) and get all bent out of shape with Watkins, you’ve come to the wrong guy. The Crystal Ball Run staff already discussed the prevalence of marijuana on college campuses, so if you’re looking for us to get upset about some kids with pot, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Given how little was in their possession, it’s hard to think they were doing little more than trying to blow off some steam.
As for the pills, well, as best I can tell, both Vyvanase and Adderall are quite common on college campuses as well. Each are prescribed for ADD and ADHD patients, and are intended to help people with those inflictions focus.
However, they’re just as commonly used in a recreational manner by students who don’t have prescriptions to help focus and study. Given that Clemson is in the midst of final exams as we speak, it’s no surprise that two college kids would be in possession of them. I’m not saying that makes it right, but it does not in fact make it uncommon either (just to give you a little perspective, 60 Minutes actually did a piece on the abuse of these drugs on college campuses recently).
When he is on the field, Watkins is as explosive a playmaker as we have in college football (cue my Hubie Brown voice there), as he finished last season with 82 catches for 1,219 yards and earned several National Freshman Player of the Year awards. And in regards to Watkins’ bright future with Clemson, this should be a blip on the radar assuming he can stay out of any additional trouble (and given Watkins background there’s no reason to think he won’t).
Head coach Dabo Swinney released a statement this afternoon, basically saying that:
“I am mad and hurt by the poor decision that Sammy Watkins made,” Swinney said. “He is a good young man who has been a model student, citizen, player and teammate. This is a reminder that good people make poor decisions. But, there are consequences for your actions… and there will be in this case.”
Doesn’t exactly sound like the book is going to get thrown at Watkins, huh?
Nor should he. As my colleague Michael Felder already pointed out in his other gig at the Bleacher Report, the Clemson substance abuse policy is pretty clear, and will call for community service, testing and counseling. As long as there are no problems between now and the first weekend of September, Sammy Watkins will play against Auburn in Week 1.
Given what we now know, that’s exactly the way it should be.
For all his opinion, insight and articles on college football, follow Aaron Torres on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.