As a Michigan Wolverines fan, I have now learned that anything is possible in Ann Arbor.
Take the Michigan vs. Michigan State game as a prime example. Michigan loses the game against Michigan State with 10 seconds left on a botched snap and fumble by punter Blake O’Neill. Now, O’Neill was extremely mature, forthright, and sincere when talking to the media following this debacle. Everyone knows that if Michigan won the football game, they be seeing extremely different tune in A2. However, that was not the case, and now Michigan stands with a 5-2 record heading in to their match up with Minnesota.
This surely has to be the worst part of the season thus far from Michigan, no? Well let me repeat myself: Anything can happen in one of the best college towns in the country.
Recently, reports have surfaced claiming Jabrill Peppers has given a serious STD to a woman on Michigan’s campus. This was the major news of the bye week, and a relatively slow media week. Although this would be a felony had he done this intentionally, I find it really hard to believe that Peppers would do something as heinous as this.
If you’ve ever heard Jabrill Peppers speak, you can tell within the first sentence of him speaking, he is an articulate and bright young man. I do not know Jabrill personally, however he did attend a high school five minutes away from my house, and I have a few friends that went to high school with him. Sure, like any other college student, he likes to have fun, but I really doubt, wholeheartedly, that he would go to the length of infecting another student with an STD that can potentially kill someone. It’s college, Peppers is entitled to make his own decisions, but I believe that a man with high character and a good head on his shoulders wouldn’t jeopardize his chances of his career by way of the situation at hand.
If there’s one thing that I know, it’s that people will always be out to get anyone who is trending upward in the world. This can be done by tarnishing their name with false accusations and going to Twitter to tell the world about it. But going to the length to post a written note in a university’s men’s room? Now I may just be a man and amateur journalist, but I’m pretty sure bathroom graffiti should not be considered a credible news source.
If I were to tell you all the bathroom graffiti you’ve ever read in your life were legitimate sources of news, you would laugh in my face. So what is different here? This is a flyer, scotch taped to a bathroom wall, read by a University of Michigan student and placed on Twitter.
Please read that last paragraph one more time.
Not the Associated Press.
It may not be the popular choice, but I’m going to defend a man who has never once made the university that he attends look bad ever, and a man that has a stellar reputation to this point. In a situation like this, Michigan fan or not, I’m going to choose the person who A.) Exists, B.) Is a person with integrity, and C.) Doesn’t hide behind a computer keyboard and a printer.
You hear of accusations like this all the time. In the case of James Winston, it turned out to be someone just trying to tarnish the reputation of an up-and-coming superstar.
Am I defending him because he’s a player on the football team I root for? NO. Remember the Brendan Gibbons case? No one could jump to his defense instantaneously when the story was credible from the beginning. The difference between Gibbons and Peppers is simple: there were facts that back up the Gibbons story and credible sources that publicized the story. Peppers is the big man on campus, things like this are going to happen throughout his career; it comes with the territory. However, until he is proven guilty, I’ll side with him.
Even the smallest strand of information will cause social media to burn an individual at the stake. I believe now is the time to rally around Jabrill Peppers and the University of Michigan until the situation is properly addressed. So let’s not feed the fire, and focus on routing on the Wolverines as they face the Gophers this Saturday.