Monday, July 07, 2008

Tough love, aka "get outta my locker room"

Last year, just prior to the BCS National Championship game, we had a bit of bad news. It was referred to as "a violation of team rules" and was never fully explained. Needless to say, Eugene Clifford was suspended for the game.

In my world, missing out on the biggest game of the year would certainly grab my attention. I'd make sure I was on the straight path after that.

Clifford, though....ehhh, not so much. The backup safety has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and by the time you read this, he will have been arraigned on both counts.

Even if it were his first offense, I'd have a tough time with this...assault is not an accident. But it's not his first offense, so the Lllllloyd Carr method of ignoring it will not stand here.

Now is not the time to sit back and hope Clifford learns. Now is not the time to make him run the steps at the stadium. Now is not the time to make him sit out the first series of a game.

Now is the time to show him the door. It's obvious the kid has issues and he needs to deal with them. But do it on someone else's dime. We could open up another scholarship for 2009 by dumping what is an almost guaranteed head case.

Jim Tressel has shown forgiveness in times past with other players, but he has also cut them loose when they do not show appreciation for the position they are in.

Most people point to Maurice Clarett as the perfect example of lawlessness at Ohio State. I point to him as an example of the coaching staff appropriately removing a cancer BEFORE it spreads. Keep in mind, dear readers, that Clarett was immediately suspended from the team when his car was discovered with all the goodies inside. He never saw the field again. The dude was NOT a Buckeye when he decided to play Tony Montana.

Troy Smith is an even better example. He made a dumb mistake and paid his dues for it. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Tressel told him he had no more chances left. And look how he handled it.

Sorry, Eugene. When you wear the scarlet and gray, I'll support you. But we can't have any repeat performances of trouble like this. I hope you get things back on track and are able to play college football again soon.

But not in my town. Beat it, son.


Paterno Lives! said...

"Now is the time to show him the door. It's obvious the kid has issues and he needs to deal with them. But do it on someone else's dime. We could open up another scholarship for 2009 by dumping what is an almost guaranteed head case."

I totally disagree with this. The kid has issues, yes, but why can't you suspend him and hope he gets his life together? "On someone else dime" means he will have no one to help him out of this behavior, for what, another scholarship? College sports aren't just about winning, they've turned into one of the few options some of these kids have to get it together and make something of their lives, this is hardly 'wasting a scholarship', it's doing the right thing to help out a kid that needs it.

Jeff Seemann said...

Sorry, paterno. But how many chances does he get on Ohio State's dime before you tell him "no more".

He had a marijuana possession charge in high school, and two other "team-rule" related offenses while enrolled at tOSU.

This assault charge is three strikes in Columbus, four overall.

At 20 years old, he's way, WAY beyond needing somebody to help him get his act together. He had a free education and a chance to play on national television several times a year. If you blow that chance three times, why do you deserve a fourth?

Paterno Lives! said...

I don't mean to be overcritical of your comments, my point is just that the question should not be "how many chances do you get on Ohio State's dime?" but "what is best for the kid?" The former only reinforces the already suggested believe that college football uses kids to make money and then abandons them.

If kicking him off the team will teach him the though lesson he needs to learn, then I'm all for it. But if leaving him on the curb clarett style leads to him turning into clarett, then I think the coaches have a responsibility to continue to look after him.

If the kid had drug and legal problems in high school and Ohio State offered him anyway, well then they have a responsibility to see the thing through. Taking on a problem kid and then ruining his career and chance at an education just because he acts like you probably knew he was going to act is busch league.