On Sunday, Miami (Fla.) tight end Kellen
Winslow apologized for his outburst in the lockerroom following
Miami’s 10-6 loss to Tennessee. In case you missed it,
Winslow was nailed for a costly 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct
penalty in the fourth quarter, and was also nearly flagged for
taunting Tennessee’s Corey Campbell after laying him out with
a bone-rattling block.

Mira Levitan

Following the game, when asked about his conduct, Winslow got
hot, and in a raised voice, referred to the game as a
“war,” and to himself as a “soldier.”

The following day, in a statement released through the
University of Miami, Winslow tried to make amends for exploding
after the game and letting his anger loose.

“After speaking with the press, I immediately regretted my
comments and felt embarrassed for my family, my team, the
University of Miami, our fans, alumni and myself,” Winslow
said. “What I have learned from this experience is to take my
triumphs and failures in stride. My outburst should in no shape or
form be a reflection on this institution or the Miami football
program.

“As for my reference to being a soldier in a war, I meant
no disrespect to the men and women who have served, or are
currently serving, in the armed forces. I cannot begin to imagine
the magnitude of war or its consequences.”

The apology was in good faith, but for Winslow, it was too
little, too late. After watching Winslow rant and rave about the
officials and the game, I had only one thought in my mind:
“Dude, you gotta chill.” College football is just a
game, and no player should ever think otherwise, no matter how hard
he is getting hit or how important a game might be. As Winslow put
it in his apology, outbursts like that can do no good.

Winslow is a perfect example of how an extremely talented and
physically dominant player can ruin his chances for a Heisman
Trophy with poor behavior, both on and off the field.

If you remember, this is the same guy that struck the pose after
making a touchdown catch in Miami’s first game of the season
against lowly Louisiana Tech — a decision that even had his
own father, Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow Sr., shaking his
head in frustration.

The younger Winslow was not just a preseason Heisman candidate;
for many people, he was the favorite. But his gaudy actions and
excessive trash talking have overshadowed his pure ability to play
the game, and he has been pushed to the bottom of most charts.

It’s no secret that if you’re not an emotional
player, you won’t have success in college football. Emotions
are what drive players to make that extra push or gain that extra
yard. But when players allow these emotions to take control, this
is when they have crossed the line.

“The only thing I can say about it is that he was just
angry at that point of time,” Michigan wide receiver Jason
Avant said. “I don’t even think he should have done
that interview right there. But emotions get high, and sometimes
things get said like that.”

“Obviously, he said something crazy,”
Michigan’s Larry Stevens said. “If that was said here,
he wouldn’t be here any more, and that’s all I can say
about that.”

Although Winslow’s apology seems genuine, he has a lot of
work to do before he even begins to earn back the respect he lost
over this past weekend.

For his sake, and for the sake of his friends, family and
school, Winslow should stop worrying about the scrutiny and start
worrying about playing the game.

Naweed Sikora can be reached at
“mailto:nsikora@umich.edu”>nsikora@umich.edu.

 

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