Texas A&M Football: Off-field distractions add to Aggies’ tough road in 2017

Texas A&M football is getting a lot of attention but not for the reasons that they would like, but will 2017 fend them off?

Head coach Kevin Sumlin has been enjoying the driver’s seat in college station for five seasons now. It appears the honeymoon is definitely over. Year six will be filled with intense pressure. Texas A&M football will be expected to compete and win regularly if Sumlin has any chance of making it to year seven.

He was under a similar type of scrutiny last season, but he was able to hang in there. The Aggies charged out of the gate in 2016, winning seven of their first eight games before injuries and other issues led to a disappointing finish. Four of their final five games, including their bowl game against the Kansas State Wildcats, ended in failure.

Bumps in the road

Yes, the 2016 season was mired in ups and downs. They fought their way to a top-ten national ranking, but saw it slip away just as quickly. Now, complaints of the team’s public perception are beginning to rise as wide receiver Kirk Merritt has found his way into the headlines for the wrong reasons. He’s facing two counts of indecent exposure following the complaints of two female tutors. More on that story can be found by clicking here.

This follows the suspension of two assistant coaches last summer. You can’t mention that without bringing up the disciplinary actions that were taken against the team’s wide receivers coach, Aaron Morehead, last May.

With all of the distractions, it’s hard to imagine the Aggies walking into the 2017 season completely focused. It doesn’t help that the Aggies play in arguably the toughest conference in college football. Year after year, they’re forced to have to lock horns with the Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers and the other heavyweights of the SEC West.

Sumlin works hard and is completely dedicated to the maturation and success of his athletes. Unfortunately, it takes more than that to hang on to a coaching job at the collegiate level. When it’s all said and done you can’t ignore the compounding issues surrounding this team. To make long stories short, there’s a chance that the 2017 season may serve as one long farewell to Coach Sumlin.

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