Former Texas A&M player and coach Gene Stallings was a guest on “The Opening Drive” on WJOX radio in Birmingham on Thursday morning and made some critical remarks regarding Kevin Sumlin’s handling of the Aggies’ football program. Stallings, who also coached at Alabama, was interviewed by one of the show’s hosts, Jay Barker.
"Need to clean up their act": Former coach Gene Stallings rips Kevin Sumlin's handling of the Texas A&M program https://t.co/3IuwpX9GzT
— Opening Drive (@openingdrive) August 10, 2016
Barker, who was the quarterback on Stallings' 1992 Crimson Tide national championship team, asked Stallings if he was satisfied with the job Sumlin has been doing.
"It's not satisfied as far as I'm concerned," Stallings said. "I felt like they really mishandled Johnny Manziel. The worst thing you can do for a player is get him off if he’s guilty. You don't have to send him to jail, but he violates the rules so they handicapped him a half a game against Rice (in 2013). That's real punishment (sarcastically).
"Now all of a sudden, Johnny thinks he's bigger than the game and you see what his life has turned out to be."
Sumlin is 36-16 in four seasons at Texas A&M, including a 17-15 league mark. Sumlin and his program have come under criticism for a string of embarrassing off-field issues that haven't escaped Stallings' attention.
"They had a clinic for women," Stallings said, referring to the team’s recent women's clinic that resulted in national embarrassment and the suspension of two assistant coaches. "They had some graphics that were ... they were just 'classless' is the word for that. Everything starts at the top. Even though he probably didn't have anything to do with it, still it was on his watch."
Stallings went on to share a story about his grandson, tight end J.C. Chalk, who was recruited by the Aggies. Chalk was a three-star prospect who had offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma and Ole Miss, among others.
“My grandson went (to College Station for a recruiting visit), and that's sort of where I wanted him to go -- (he) ended up going to Clemson – he was displeased with the way the coaches talked to the players and various things," Stallings said. "I think they need clean up their act and get on the right road and coach football and have a good year."
Stallings was one of the "Junction Boys" for Bear Bryant at A&M and played for the Aggies from 1954-56. He coached at Texas A&M from 1965-71, going 27-45-1.
"I think that they need to have a good year," Stallings said. "I think they've recruited fairly well, but they've lost several quarterbacks. You see one place losing three quarterbacks, there's got to be something."
(You can follow Chadd Scott on Twitter @ChaddScott)
© 2016, Chadd Scott. All rights reserved.
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