Once again there is news about former North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, and unfortunately, it is not good. Just like the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins, the Dallas Cowboys brought in the former Tar Heel and could not keep him.
The franchise cut the 6’2″/312 lbs D lineman yesterday due to a back injury who kept him from playing against the Vikings last Sunday, and will keep him out of action for at least a few weeks, and had hampered Austin in the week leading up to the game. The Cowboys had added the third year man on October 21st. That weekend he had a tackle in the game against the Lions, the only one he would registered with the franchise from Big D.
Does being cut by the Cowboys signify the end of the journey for Marvin Austin? While that is yet to be determined, you have to admit that the future is not very bright for a player that came into the NFL with the hype of someone who could be truly good at his position.
Austin shows us all that everyone, whatever they do, should never take it for granted. Someone with plenty of talent found an opponent that he has never been able to defeat… injuries. And in today’s sports world, where it’s “what have you done for me lately”, unless you are a known commodity few franchises are willing to wait for you to get better when there are others that can contribute right then and there.
Since this could be the last time (in a while) that I speak about Austin I want to address his time at UNC as well. Some of the fan base has not forgotten, nor forvigen, what the D lineman did while in Chapel Hill. I can accept that, he was part of the people that brought the dark clouds that have been hoovering over the Carolina football program, but he also came to be a Tar Heel. We should not forget that either!
Yes, he made mistakes, major ones, selfish ones at that. There is no denying that. But he never turned on the team. Austin wanted to play for head coach Butch Davis and be part of a team that could have been special in 2010. He took things/money he shouldn’t, and while that hurt the program, and in some ways still is due to the loss of scholarships, I truly doubt he did it he did it wanting to hurt the program, the squad, and most of all his team mates. It was a costly mistake that will haunt him and North Carolina for quite a long time, and will probably never been forgotten. On the other had, we all make mistakes, do we not?
When this all happened he was a young man in college, seeing the stardom coming his way, and it let it get to him. The voices of the people around telling him wrong things probably did not help any either. Stop me anytime if you have never heard of a young man in college, playing sports or not, that never made a mistake. Sure, he should not have done it, we all know that, hopefully even him. But hindsight is always 20/20 and as one person once said “sometimes it is a lot easier to lead other people’s lives than leading your own”.
There is a line in the movie “gridiron gang” where the Sean Porter (played by Dwayne Johnson) says “Most sixteen/seventeen year old kids, they make a bad choice. Something gets broken, they screw up in class, hurt somebody’s feelings, show up at the prom drunk. They get sent to the Principal office, have their car keys taken away or get grounded. Then there’s kids that make a bad choice, somebody ends up shot dead in a parking lot. Those kids get sent here.”
In the middle of that there are young men that did what Austin and others did, and they lose their chance to play for the school they wanted. Now we can either choose to never let go of what they did, or we can understand it, without agreeing/accepting it, and move on. I choose the latter, and with that, let me wish Marvin Austin all the best at what he does from here on out, be it in the National Football League or somewhere else!