Is there a website that athletic directors hate more than Facebook? For all their efforts shielding athletes from the press and public, administrators are essentially powerless to control the message when it goes from the kid’s mind to online in as long as it takes to type. 99% of the time, that’s okay, but it’s that 1% that makes the news.
Today’s news is brought to you by Terrence Cody, Alabama’s behemoth defensive tackle. Cody is easily big (6′5″, 368) and talented (All-American) enough to be a first-round pick, but he wasn’t among the handful of Alabama underclassmen who filed paperwork with the NFL inquiring about draft status. That doesn’t mean he can’t go pro, mind you, it’s just a voluntary thing so the NFL can keep someone like, let’s say, Jimmy Clausen from making a very serious error by declaring for the draft and ruining his eligibility.
So it was a bit of a shock when Cody apparently announced his intention to go pro… at 1:28 a.m., on his Facebook page. Unconventional to say the least, but hey, at least we know it’s true, right? Err… right?
Well, not quite. See if you can find any discrepancies between “Terrence is going Pro!!!!!” and this from the next day’s MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER:
It’s all just a huge mistake, Terrence Cody insists. No matter what you’ve heard, Alabama’s largest starter plans to return in 2009.
“It was a big deal, am I coming back or am I leaving,” Cody said, “but I talked to coach (Nick) Saban – I talked to him quite a few times about it – and I told him what I really wanted to do and he felt like it was good for me to do that, too.
“I told him I felt like I needed another year to get full control, to get my weight down and to get my knee back to full health and get in better conditioning.”
Notice anything different? Other than “everything”? Yes, Cody is staying put at Alabama, which is probably wise. He was near 400 pounds at Mississippi Gulf Coast, the juco he attended last year, so issues of weight, conditioning, and knee health are all of the utmost importance.
But why, astute readers may be asking, would he set his Facebook status as “going pro”? And the simple answer–the one he’s telling, anyway–is that he didn’t; his girlfriend did:
“She was on my account (Wednesday) night and she put that on there,” Cody said. “Everybody started freaking out. I was on the phone with her when she put it on there and two minutes after she put it on there, I got message after message after message. I told her to take it off and put I was just kidding. I didn’t think everybody would know about it. I didn’t think it was that serious. It was just a joke.”
Plausible, we suppose, and even if our bullsh*t klaxons are blaring, we can’t really call Cody a liar without having been there to know otherwise. We’ll just say that it wouldn’t be the first time a 21-year-old made a foolish declaration that late at night; try walking past a bar at closing time and listening to the things that come out of the patrons’ mouths, for instance. But it’s inconsequential what, precisely, prompted the status thing (and it might have actually been Cody’s girlfriend without him knowing), because it’s all but set in stone now: Terrence Cody is returning to wreck your ground game for Alabama in 2009.