What’s going on at Texas A&M?

Nov 9, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; A general view of Kyle Field during the halftime of the game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Texas A&M won 51-41. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports Thomas Campbell USA TODAY Sports

What the hell is going on at Texas A&M?

For those of you who haven’t noticed, the College Station Police Department is on a first-name basis with more than a handful of Texas A&M football players after the last few months.

Since late February, SEVEN Aggies have been arrested. A quick recap:

Linebacker Darian Claiborne was booked for a noise violation in late February after being previously suspended for the Chick-fil-A Bowl for marijuana possession.

In the same February incident, police arrested defensive lineman Isaiah Golden for possession of 1.9 grams of marijuana. True freshman wide receiver Speedy Noil was also present but was not detained.

Defensive end Gavin Stansbury was arrested after a March 16 incident in which he poured a beer on a Rice University student and subsequently punched him in the eye.

Kenny Hill, one of several quarterbacks vying to replace Johnny Manziel, was booked on March 28 for public intoxication.

Wide Receiver Ricky Seals-Jones was arrested on April 6 for disorderly conduct.

Finally, on April 10, police arrested safety Howard Matthews and receiver Ed Pope for failure to appear in court.

If that’s not enough, Kameron Miles, a four-star safety prospect in the class of 2013, was dismissed from the team in early March for violating team rules.

In other words, the Aggies are the Bengals of college football.

A string of arrests for a major college program is a terrible look. Individually, none of these incidents were all that serious – certainly none of them warrant dismissal from the team – but collectively, it’s not the best publicity for a program that’s become one of the most recognizable brands in college football over the past two seasons.

But don’t worry; the university isn’t just sitting idly by…

“I think people think we don’t do anything,” Kevin Sumlin said in a press conference several weeks ago. “We’ve got a whole educational process with our young guys when they come in. The ‘CHAMPS’ class puts them through the structure of basically growing up. It helps guys with a sense of urgency about time management, and about on-the-field and off-the-field situations.”

Texas A&M’s associate athletic director for media relations Alan Cannon spoke with the San Antonio Express about more of the educational process.

“We have a new student conference for all students, and then the athletic department has its own freshmen orientation,” Cannon said. “… They’re also reminded that not only are they representing themselves and their families, but the athletic department and the university — so handle yourself accordingly on campus and off campus.”

And you thought orientation consisted of awkward icebreaker games and hitting on hot girls in line to sign up for Geology 101.

Texas A&M is ACTUALLY reminding its kids they’re representing something bigger than themselves. That deserves a slow clap.

If there were a lamer excuse for a statement after SEVEN of your football players have been arrested in an eight-week span, I’d love to hear it.

Those statements specifically mention programs that the players (and all students) attend when they arrive on campus. Nowhere do they mention any reactive measures taken following these most recent events.

Don’t get me wrong; some of the arrest reports are hilarious. My personal favorite comes from Hill, who was found around 3 a.m. passed out in a planter outside a restaurant. When police asked him who the current president is, he responded “Bush.”

That’s amazing.

Every college football team in America has to deal with its players skirting the law from time to time. Some of it – a LOT of it – gets covered up before the public hears a word about it…believe me.

At Texas A&M however, it is on the verge of becoming a bigger problem. Since joining the SEC two years ago, the Aggies have won 20 games and a Heisman Trophy. No one – not even the most die-hard Aggie fans – thought this much success would come this quickly.

The microscope is focused much more strongly on the Aggies now. This is a pivotal year for the Aggies. Johnny Football isn’t here to save them anymore, and it’s up to Sumlin to continue the momentum he and Johnny created these last two years.

Can Sumlin keep control of his program? A few bad seeds can poison the entire plant. Just because there haven’t been any major arrests (no felony charges at least) doesn’t mean these incidents should be swept under the rug.  

It is vital that Sumlin gather his team and make sure they understand the magnitude of the microscope they are under now before the inmates begin running the asylum. It might help to ramp up the punishments for misbehavior between now and next September.

The Aggies earned the spotlight. Now they have to bear the pressure that comes along with it. That means cleaning up the riff-raff around the program, no matter how many drunken Republican quarterbacks you have on the two-deep.

Yell at Josh on Twitter @JoshParcell.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.