Off-field troubles adding up for ACC

First it was Florida State cornerback Greg Reid. Then it was Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins. Now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported at least one key Georgia Tech player, cornerback Louis Young, could be suspended for the season opener against Virginia Tech, and Miami has yet to see offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson at practice.

Those are some pretty big names in the ACC.

Reid was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, and Watkins has been suspended for the first two games of the season. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has yet to confirm who -- if anyone -- will be missing for the Labor Day game because he doesn’t want to give the Hokies any more of a competitive advantage. Johnson will likely make that announcement about a week before the game.

It’s unfortunate for the conference and its fans that this is the way the league is starting the season -- with some of its most outstanding players sidelined or, in Henderson’s case, just seemingly mired in controversy. (He was excused to attend a funeral, but was expected to be back by the third practice.) Reid was one of the top punt returners in the country. Watkins is one of the best players in the country. And Henderson was one of the top recruits in the country. Young is a talented starter in a secondary that returns four of its top five players from a year ago, and will likely need all of them on the field against Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas.

With teams only beginning to practice again, it’s too early for so many personnel issues (not that discipline wasn’t deserved). The ACC hasn’t even played a game yet, and already there have been some big losses for Week 1.