College football players are men. They're at least 18, so they can vote, they can serve in the armed forces, they can smoke, and they can roam the streets of America until all hours, doing whatever it is college kids do, so long as they don't do anything illegal. But not at Auburn, where the program has contracted a highly skilled mercenary force to enforce curfews.
The Montgomery Advertiser has the story of Event Operations Group, a private security company hired by Auburn football to police its student-athletes because they can't be trusted to do it themselves. Unlike at most universities, where there's a curfew the night before games, Tigers players have to be in their rooms by 11 p.m. every night of the week. That's where EOG comes in: their employees visit every dorm and off-campus house, and make sure the players are there. And if not? That isn't specific, but I assume it involves bloodhounds.
"We always do what's in the best interest of our team," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "We have a curfew check and we have to employ people to help us with some of the kids off campus. Other than that I'm not going into any details of any of that."
It's a practice that went into effect days after center Reese Dismukes was arrested at 2 a.m. for public intoxication a week before the season opener. Other schools employ EOG, but in less sinister capacities like gameday security guards and parking attendants. Only Auburn has its own secret police, and it sounds like players were not thrilled.
[EOG manager Stanley] Dallas said when the use of his staff for curfew checks began a few players were not pleased and had to be spoken to by members of the Player Development staff.
This is roughly the part of the post where some asshole emails me to tell me that college football players don't deserve any rights because "they're getting a free college education" (this exact phrase is always used) or they knew what they were in for when they signed their commitments. I don't think any of these Auburn players signed up for an every-night curfew (that the school only decided on in late August), and they sure as hell didn't sign up for a 2-7 season. The larger issue is the continued insistence of some programs on infantilizing players and making them even less powerless, even as the trend is toward compensating them for their talents and the risks they take. It's a lot easier to justify free labor when it's literally captive.
Auburn football hires security firm to enforce curfews [Montgomery Advertiser]