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Nick Saban is getting a boost from a Louisiana prosecutor

The press has moved on from that goofy DA who refused to file charges against two stoners found with guns in their car. Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones were deemed worthy of a pass because they play for the Crimson Tide.

This blatant perversion of justice got so many laughs that nobody seems to have noticed quite how serious it was. This was not, as some reports suggested, just a couple of kids given a break over a run-of-the-mill offense. Possessing drugs and a weapon at the same time means a mandatory five years in prison under Louisiana law. Robinson and Jones probably don't know how lucky they are.

Robinson and Jones are from Monroe, where the local DA, Jerry Jones, achieved fleeting national attention a few weeks ago by announcing that he was letting them off the hook because they had been sweating at football practice while the rest of us were taking it easy in the A/C. Jones presumably figured the voters of Ouachita Parish would agree with that reasoning, although it is possible that roofers or farm workers, say, did not find it persuasive.

It left Robinson and Hootie Jones to face the wrath of Coach Nick Saban. Only a cynic would doubt that character is a prime consideration for college football coaches and that they will always take appropriate disciplinary measures.

Except, perhaps, if that would hurt their chance of winning. Saban's wrath may not be enough to keep Robinson and Hootie Jones off the field for the season opener against USC.

Hootie Jones is merely a back-up safety, and may not have merited leniency on his own account, but Robinson is one of the best offensive linemen in the country. He is so good that LSU was crushed when losing the battle to recruit him. If Jerry Jones were a true LSU supporter, he might not have been so keen to let the two players off the hook.

Robinson and Hootie Jones were arrested in May after a cop noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from their parked car. Hootie Jones was in the passenger seat with a gun in his lap. Robinson was in the driver's seat with a bag of weed on the floorboard. Under his seat was a gun reported stolen in Alabama.

Jerry Jones did not just cite perspiration as grounds for refusing charges, but suggested he had insufficient evidence. That was a tough one, for sure, but a determined prosecutor could probably have discerned some violation amid the guns and dope.

Possession of a stolen firearm carries a mandatory year in prison even if no drugs are present. But, if they are, possession of any gun is illegal and means five years. The law that so decrees was challenged when voters amended the constitution to make gun ownership a fundamental right, but the state Supreme Court upheld it in 2014.

The court did so in the case of a man found with a blunt and a legally purchased gun in his car. By possessing drugs, the defendant was found to have “qualified his right to engage in what would otherwise be the exercise of that fundamental right.”

Had Robinson and Hootie Jones encountered a less sympathetic DA, the USC game would not have been on their agenda for sure.

Now, on Saban's orders, they are being advised on the perils of drugs and taking a gun-safety course. By the time the season gets underway, perhaps they will be declared rehabilitated, and Robinson's prospects in the NFL draft will still be rosy.

Jerry Jones, in announcing his decision not to prosecute, said, “I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and their teenage years working and sweating.”

But those efforts were richly rewarded with football scholarships to Alabama, which should have provided an incentive to keep out of trouble. The goofy DA may have faded from the headlines, but Robinson and Hootie Jones can look back and reflect how close they came to ruining their own lives.