Monday, May 26, 2008

Memo to Joakim Noah: You are not in college any more.

Good thinking. Smoking weed has done great things for so many other professional athletes' careers

While compiling this article, I was going to list the athletes who have been arrested for marijuana possession in the past year but I had hand cramps before I was done with the Cincinnati Bengals lineup. Welcome to the club Joakim. Ricky Williams wants to know if he can braid your hair.

Despite being "the man" in Gainsville during his college career at the University of Florida and winning the 2006 NCAA Championship, Joakim Noah is taking his college fame a bit too far.

The bushy-haired rookie of the Chicago Bulls was busted early Sunday morning when he was stopped in Gainsville for drinking in public. When he was searched by police they discovered a bag of marijuana in his pocket.

While it may have been cool to hang around Gainsville as a student, you have to know when to walk away. Noah was certainly a popular figure on campus; he's identifiable, famous and a big personality. There's even the status of smoking in college and being involved in parties, but at some point that pressure has to go away and be replaced by the maturity of someone playing professional sports.

While Joakim Noah is hardly a star for the Chicago Bulls, he was a solid contributor as a rookie and showed signs of being a strong rebounding and scoring boost, along with his emotional spark he gives when in the lineup. According to's article, the Bulls' only comment was one from General Manager John Paxton who expressed his disappointment.

Just disappointment? Really? Are the Bulls really going to call it quits with disappointment? After an under performing season where the team entered the season as one of the Eastern Conference favorites, Chicago failed to make the playoffs despite being there a year ago and looking improved from '06-'07. This is a chance to make a statement as a franchise. Two years from now Chicago does not want to be in the same spot as the New York Knicks are right now, with troubled players and more personality than teamwork.

While there is not always a direct correlation between off the court issues and a team's success, there certainly isn't evidence to show it benefits a franchise. Chicago should come down hard on Joakim Noah. As for Noah, he needs to figure out if he still wants to be the big man in Gainsville or make a name for himself in the NBA.

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