Earlier this week, former Auburn running back, and 2011 BCS National Championship Game MVP Michael Dyer made headlines when he took the witness stand in the trial of former Auburn teammate Antonio Goodwin. Goodwin was on trial for an armed robbery committed with three of his teammates last March, and Dyer described the night as one infused with alcohol and weed, where one decision changed the lives of a bunch of former National Championships forever.
Dyer told the courts:
"Dakota asked me if I wanted to hit a lick," Dyer said. "I said no."
“Dakota” is former Auburn offensive lineman Dakota Mosley, one of three other players who accompanied Goodwin that night, with “lick” a term for the robbery itself. Dyer refused, and tried to talk to his friend, Goodwin out of going.
"I tried to advise him (Goodwin) that he shouldn't go," Dyer said. "He wasn't like that."
Only Goodwin did. And he’s facing anywhere from 20 years to life in prison because of it.
On Friday, the verdict came in on Goodwin, the first of the four Auburn players involved to stand trial. He was found guilty of first-degree armed robbery, and could face anywhere between 20 years, to life in prison for his role. Goodwin’s sentencing has been set for June 19, and his bond has been revoked. Simply put, Antonio Goodwin- who was on the field when Auburn won a National Championship just 15 months ago- is going to spend a long, long time in jail.
AL.com described the scene in the court room when the verdict was read:
On Friday the former Auburn receiver was convicted of first-degree robbery after a weeklong trial at Lee County Circuit Court. He could face at least 20 years in prison.
Goodwin, 21, briefly looked back at his mother but betrayed no emotion after the verdict was read and he was led away by deputies. His mother Renatta was initially composed but then covered her face with her hands and hugged a friend.
Wow. Hearing that is a pretty tough pill to swallow.
Please understand that at the end of the day, I have no horse in this race. I’m neither an Auburn fan, nor apologist, and frankly I had barely paid attention to the entire trial up until I read that Goodwin was found guilty. Also please know that I fully understand that when anyone commits a crime, they’ve got to do the time. Goodwin certainly can’t be absolved for his role here, especially since he allegedly took Dyer’s gun without his teammate and “friend” (and yes, I’m using that term loosely) knowing.
At the same time it’s always sad for me to hear that any young man (let alone one who just turned 21-years-old) will basically spend most of his adult life behind bars, regardless of whether he's a football player or an average guy of the street. And given that Goodwin and his attorney refused a plea deal of 21 years before the trial, he will be spending quite a bit of time behind bars.
And the sadder thing is that this was all for one dumb, decision, on one dumb night. This wasn’t a series of crimes, and from what we know, not one that sounded particularly premeditated. If anything, the way that Dyer described the night in court, it literally sounded like a half-baked idea from a bunch of college kids who were stoned and drunk out of their minds. One of the main reasons that Dyer stood trial as a character witness was to explain the potency of the “Spice” marijuana they were smoking that night, which he did, saying it “makes you feel out of place sometimes.” Apparently that wasn’t enough for the courts, who didn’t believe that Goodwin’s mental state was enough to clear him of wrong doing.
(For what it’s worth, “spice” was legal in Alabama, and actually sold in stores at the time of the robbery)
Regardless, it’s a sad way to see the bright football future of a young player end.
From BCS title to behind bars for the next 20 years.
Let it be a lesson for every young person out there: One mistake can ruin your life.
For all his opinion, articles and insight on college football, follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.