Oregon St. Mike Riley realizes that recent events are "Totally Unacceptable." Can he get something done about it?
So says Oregon St. head football coach Mike Riley in an email statement about the recent rash of incidents involving many members of his secondary.
"This behavior is totally unacceptable, and the appropriate discipline started immediately with each event, and future incidences could result in exclusion from our football program," Riley said.
CB Sean Martin's DUII(*) and KR/CB Malcolm Marable's speeding ticket started the off-season of miscues, but things escalated with Marable's altercation in the wake of S Ryan Murphy's attempt to gain entry to the Impulse Bar and Grill using S Anthony Watkins' id. Subsequently, CB Jordan Poyer was arrested for attempting entry to the Impulse, and it came to light that he had previously attempted entry earlier this year, before he turned 21.
What Riley did NOT say was what penalties would be handed out, or when, and predictably that's already got the buzz going about what Riley should do. Specifically, there are calls for suspensions, and that they be served at the beginning of the season.
Last year's move to spread a variety of suspensions across the season in an attempt to avoid unduly punishing the rest of the team, and everyone else who might care about how the team does, was criticized then, and already is drawing fire again.
Of course, such a move, or some other creative way to try to avoid an on-field impact, has to be in Riley's mind this time around too, especially given the concentration of current problems within one unit. The fact that that unit will be leaned on when the outbreak of creative new offenses are unleashed on the league only compounds the problem.
Bench much of the secondary for the opener and Nicholls St. could suddenly become a formidable foe. And another loss to a FCS foe, and not a very good one, and what will be a difficult at best task of turning around a program that has gone off the rails in recent years could quickly devolve into a career ender.
However, a failure to get the attention of the team could lead to further fiascos, which could in turn doom things as well.
* Martin, by the way, was in court Wednesday, and pleaded no contest on charges of misdemeanor elude and misdemeanor DUII. Martin was fined $250, and had his drivers' license was suspended for 90 days. Martin opted to take a DUII diversion class on the DUII charge.
The concentration of the problems withing one group, one that lost their position coach when Keith Heyward headed for the Huskies, is also a red flag. Has new defensive backs coach Rod Hill, a hire widely expected to command respect due to his NFL credentials, not been able to connect with his group? If the unit has written off the situation and adopted a "do whatever I want" attitude, Riley already has a working fire in the basement on his hands. If the group just doesn't understand how widespread the consequences of these actions are, Riley has got to get that handled, and quickly.
Poyer is probably in an NFL camp a year from now in any event, but the future of almost everyone else on the team, never mind just the secondary, isn't so clear at this point.
The Beavers play "big boy" football, and with that comes a responsibility to get results, both on and off the field. Literally millions of dollars are involved, whether anyone likes it or not, or thinks things should be that way or not. The responsibility doesn't stop at the edge of the Valley Football Center, or the edge of campus either.
Disappointingly, you won't find any accountability for any of this at www.osubeavers.com/sports/m-footbl. Perhaps if the problem was confronted front and center instead of trying to pretend its not an issue would help deliver the message obviously still lost on some.
And any time the same location is involved in multiple problems, that probably points out an underlying problem as well.
Exactly what actions Riley takes officially or unofficially is of no consequence. Only whether he and the rest of the parties involved get results is. Fair or not, its time for results. 8 and 18 with a growing number of embarrassing non-competitive efforts took style points out of the equation for everyone.