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Kentucky Football: Jason Hatcher and James Quick Cited for Possession

Every college coach has to deal with players' behavior and most are paid well for the responsibility. Mark Richt at Georgia is dealing with it and now Mark Stoops has to (again) on a smaller scale. He's been there before.

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On May 26th, Hatcher and Quick were charged with marijuana possession at Quick’s apartment, according to this Louisville Courier-Journal article by Jeff Greer. Wild Weasel was the first to note this in the Saturday Quickies Belmont Stakes Edition last night at 1:05 AM in the comments section.

For some, pot possession is no big deal since it is considered a misdemeanor. For others, pot is considered a character flaw of self indulgence, much like alcohol. I happen to fall into the latter group. Call me politically incorrect, but I believe we all must accept personal responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences whatever they may be.

More importantly, however, is how the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky handle the situations. As pointed out in the article, Quick had 39.5 grams and Hatcher had 2.5 grams. One would expect that Quick would suffer the stiffer punishment but, with Louisville being Louisville, Quick will be given a slap on the wrist – perhaps having to sit out the first quarter of the first game. Hatcher may suffer a little more under Stoops.

Mark Stoops has already established a tough stance. He’s dismissed some players over pot use since he arrived and has also issued stiff penalties on others while keeping them on the team. Where Hatcher falls will be something to watch. Hatcher has already been penalized for "violating team rules." So, we are left to wonder what his fate will be.

I think most of us can rightfully surmise that if Stoops dismisses Hatcher, he will simply enroll at Louisville at the first opportunity. If Stoops makes Hatcher’s life miserable for a short period of time and forces him to transfer, Stoops can prohibit a transfer to any team on our schedule. If Hatcher accepts the penalties place on him and endures whatever punishment Stoops imposes, I think he should remain on the team and even play within a short period of time.

Probably the majority of us have smoked pot at one time in our lives, and maybe more have "talked on the big white telephone, talking to Ralph," more than once. I have to admit that I have done the latter more often than the former. I haven’t touched weed since college and I gave up drinking at age thirty-five when the hangovers began to last two days instead of one.

As a parent, I was never naïve enough to believe my two kids were perfect angels and they both lived up to my expectations that they would make stupid decisions. After all, how could I set expectations higher than I had placed on myself? The lone exception was academic excellence. Both earned MBA’s in finance, fulfilling my desire to do better than I did.

Mark Stoops has to deal with Hatcher. He is paid to deal with these kinds of situations as is Mitch Barnhart. The consequences for Hatcher will be determined by one or both. I am glad I don’t carry that burden.