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In Defense of Dameyune

Auburn Man?

“Dameyune Craig is dead to me.”  Someone actually wrote that.  No, not just someone.  An Auburn fan actually wrote that.  Several of them.  Dead.  Really.

So get out your media guides and your black markers and draw a thick line over the 5th all-time leading passer in Auburn history (6,026 yards).  Cross out the record holder for most yards passing in a single season (3,277). Better just tear out any page that makes reference to the 1997 season, when Dameyune Craig almost single-handedly led his team to 10 wins and came within a point of winning an SEC Championship.  While you’re at it, best to just erase your memory banks altogether of one of the single most electrifying players to ever play quarterback  on The Plains.

Why? Because he has apparently been too good at his job as the quarterback coach and, more importantly, recruiting coordinator at Florida State.  He beat his alma mater head to head for the signatures of a few highly recruited high school kids this year. Oh, and he did a little celebratory dance that many in orange and blue took as a slap in the face after one such recruit chose the Seminoles.

Message boards flared up after National Signing Day this year with quotes like the one above (and some less suitable for mixed company) that spewed venom at the former Auburn star. Rumors proliferated that he has been negatively recruiting his former program and a video circulated of him doing the aforementioned dance complete with a backwards cap and faux towel wave, a not so subtle imitation of Auburn’s own recruiting guru Trooper Taylor.

That’s the extent of Craig’s alleged crimes against Auburn.  Is any of it enough to bury a former Auburn great?  If he’s negatively recruiting the school he played for to land a recruit at the school that currently pays his salary, is that unforgivable?  Sure, you would like to think that he wouldn’t go there–he told Auburn Undercover’s Phillip Marshall that he didn’t, in fact, go there in a report last week– but it happens all the time everywhere.

Is mocking one of Auburn’s coaches–and it’s doubtful Taylor cared half as much about Craig’s shenanigans as some fans do– enough to hop on a message board or Twitter and proclaim that he is no longer an Auburn man?

More importantly, does it serve any purpose at all to air these grievances publicly? Future recruits will surely want to sign with a school whose fanbase will throw a past great under the bus like some have Craig, right? (Or Stephen Davis for not forcing Marcus Lattimore to sign with Auburn, or Karlos Dansby for claiming his high school instead of Auburn in his Monday Night Football into – this is a disturbing trend).

This is not Stanley McClover going on HBO to falsely accuse the program of wrongdoing.  This is not Eric Ramsey. This is Dameyune Craig. Even if all these rumors are true. Even if all of these people cursing his name know juicy details about him that are far worse. Even if  he really has burned his bridges at Auburn and will never be publicly welcomed back to Jordan-Hare (unless it is on the visiting sideline).

Maybe it’s the personal bias of someone who was in school for the DC Era, but it will take much more than what has been put out there to this point–much more–to erase the great things Craig did on the football field for Auburn.  For some, maybe the idea of the Auburn Family began when they started printing T-shirts last season, but for many others it is something that extends back just a bit longer.

To those people, Dameyune Craig lives on.

Photo via.

Riley Downing graduated from Auburn in 1999 and moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where he has been stuck ever since. He makes the most of his long daily commute and forfeits sleep in an attempt to keep up with everything Auburn and cling to his brief moment on The Plains. Follow him on Twitter—@FearlessandTrue.

Related: The Mysterious Auburn Man.

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