Geno Smith

Iowa State DC not surprised Geno Smith got jaw jacked


Quite a number of individuals were surprised by the news that broke Tuesday that New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith had his jaw fractured by the fist of a now-former teammate.  Don’t count the Iowa State coaching staff among that group as there’s apparently no loved lost there.

Back in November of 2012, Smith was the quarterback at West Virginia when his Mountaineers traveled to Ames to take on the Cyclones.  At halftime, there were apparently some “issues” between Smith and some members of the ISU coaching staff, including defensive coordinator Wally Burnham.

Burnham, still ISU’s coordinator, was asked Wednesday if he was surprised by the locker-room incident involving Smith. “Didn’t surprise me,” the 74-year-old coach succinctly stated. “I was just walking.  He [Smith] pushed me.”

Burnham’s son, ISU assistant Shane Burnham, expounded on the history between Smith and the football program.  From the Des Moines Register:

“We were holding for the West Virginia team to clear the field,” Shane recalled Wednesday. “There was some extra-curricular activity after the last play of the half — Geno didn’t appreciate something by somebody, and he took out his frustration on dad.”

That didn’t sit well with Shane, who did what every son would do.

“I reacted,” Shane said. “Part of it is that it’s your dad, and part of it is it’s your Iowa State brother. It was family and football family for me. It was a double-whammy.

“He had some choice words for dad, and I might have had a few choice words in return.”

According to Shane Burnham, his “conversation” with Smith continued on the field before the start of the second half. Smith responded with his play as he tossed a 75-yard touchdown “pass” with just over six minutes remaining to give WVU a 31-24 road win and bowl eligibility.

LB who broke Geno Smith’s jaw had battery of a police officer charge at LaTech


The biggest news of the sports world today has easily been the jaw of former West Virginia and current New York Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith being broken courtesy of the fist of teammate IK Enemkpali.  Or, actually, former teammate as Enemkpali was summarily cut by the NFL organization shortly after the locker-room incident.

As it turns out, the incident is not exactly out of character for Enemkpali.

In April of 2011 as a redshirt freshman at Louisiana Tech, was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and battery of a police officer following an off-campus incident. Enemkpali was involved in a physical altercation at a Ruston steak house/bar and ultimately punched an off-duty, undercover police officer who was working security that morning at the drinking establishment. Police officers called to the scene first used pepper spray in an attempt to control an enraged Enemkpali and, after that failed, ultimately used a taser on the player.

Then-head coach Sonny Dykes, now the head coach at Cal, indefinitely suspended Enemkpali at the time of the incident, although he was reinstated and ended up playing in 12 games during the 2011 season. He went on to be an all-conference selection each of the next two seasons — one in the WAC, one in Conference USA — before being selected by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft.

Slammer Jammer: Tide’s Cyrus Jones charged in domestic incident


An injury cost Cyrus Jones most of his final spring practice at Alabama.  Now, an off-field incident has the potential to cost him even more.

While the details are very scant at the moment, Stephanie Taylor of the Tuscaloosa News is reporting that Jones was charged Wednesday morning with misdemeanor domestic violence/harassment.  Per Taylor, Jones remains in the Tuscaloosa County Jail in lieu of an unspecified bond.

Taylor also included a mugshot in the tweet breaking the news of Jones’ arrest and charge.

The Tide returns seven defensive starters this season, and Jones is one of them — and one of their most talented.  Jones has started 19 of the 36 games in which he’s played, and was named second-team All-SEC following his breakout 2014 season.

Jones’ situation also continues an alarming trend in Tuscaloosa as the cornerback is the fourth Tide player to be arrested in a little over a month.

In late March, fellow cornerback Geno Smith was arrested for driving under the influence, his second such offense in less than two years. Smith subsequently apologized, while head coach Nick Saban stated that he will remain with the team even as he has several steps he must take in order to get back in the team’s good graces.

A day after Smith’s second arrest, transfer defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested following yet another domestic violence incident. Taylor, who was dismissed by Georgia for a similar offense last summer, was subsequently given the boot by Saban after his latest run-in with the law.

Tyren Jones was arrested at the very end of last month for possession of marijuana.  That was bad news for the running back as he was already in Saban’s doghouse, having been suspended in the middle of February for what was described as “conduct not to the standard of the Alabama football program.” Jones, who also served a one-game suspensionin October of last year, was subsequently dismissed from the football program.

UPDATED 9:22 a.m. ET: According to, Jones is facing a pair of charges — third-degree domestic violence criminal mischief and third-degree domestic violence harassment.

Nick Saban talks ‘younger generation that doesn’t always get told no’


The latter part of March of this year likely won’t be edited into any future Nick Saban television retrospectives, what with three of his Alabama football players arrested on charges that ranged from pot possession to drunk driving to domestic violence.  Two of those players were subsequently dismissed; the lone non-dismissed one was Geno Smith.

Smith’s latest off-field misstep was the one pertaining to inebriated driving, his second such arrest in less than two years.  Sunday, the Alabama head coach used that defensive back’s situation to highlight something that’s actually a “thing,” but something most don’t want to address: entitlement.  And a generation or two of kids/young adults who, from my own experience, feel the world, and everyone in it, owes them something simply because they have the ability to stand upright, breathe and exist.


“They all think they have this illusion of choice,” Saban said. “Like I can do whatever I want to do. And you kind of have a younger generation now that doesn’t always get told no, they don’t always get told this is exactly how you need to do it. So they have this illusion that they have all these choices.”

“But the fact of the matter is, if you want to be good, you really don’t have a lot of choices,” Saban said. “Because it takes what it takes. You have to do what you have to do to be successful. So you have to make choices and decisions to have the discipline and focus to the process of what you need to do to accomplish your goals.

“And all these guys that think they have a lot of choices are really sadly mistaken. And I think, as we all have done with our own children, they learn these lessons of life as they get older, and sometimes the best way to learn is from the mistakes that you make, even though we all hate to see them have to make them. And we don’t really condone them when they do.”

I have two children who have successfully trudged their way past their teenage years; two current teenagers, one of whom seemingly tests me on a daily basis; and one future one who sings like an angel, plays shortstop like a female Omar Vizquel and worries me more than the other four combined.  I currently coach kids in pre-teen sports for good measure, which means I deal with their parents as well.  I’ve seen first-hand the entitlement of which Saban intimates, and I applaud him for speaking out and addressing something that is currently an 800-pound spoiled brat squatting in the middle of way too many living rooms all across this country.

His message, though, gets muddled when he keeps a player twice convicted of driving drunk on his squad.  And, in the process, perpetuates the “I can do whatever I want to do” attitude that he both laments and chastises.

Following arrest, Alabama dismisses RB Tyren Jones


Alabama has dismissed Tyren Jones from the football program after being arrested earlier in the day. The university announced the dismissal early Tuesday evening.

The dismissal of Jones comes just hours after an earlier report of his arrest on Tuesday. Jones was charged with second-degree possession of marijuana. Jones was already serving a team suspension by head coach Nick Saban, who himself has come under fire for some of the decisions revolving around his program’s roster lately.

As previously reported, cornerback Geno Smith was arrested for driving under the influence. This was his second offense in under two years. In addition, defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, a transfer from Georgia following a similar offense, was arrested following yet a domestic violence incident. Taylor was also removed from the roster by Alabama.

As a freshman in 2014, Jones rushed for 224 yards and two touchdowns for Alabama.