Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The response on (and from) Weslye Saunders

If you're reading this chances are excellent that you've already read my post yesterday in which I urged Steve Spurrier to dismiss Weslye Saunders from the Gamecocks football program.  If you haven't, read it and come right back.

Let me say that the response on air, via email and on Twitter yesterday was big, and for the most part it seems people agree with me.  I knew going in that Weslye wouldn't actually be dismissed, but I wanted a way to gauge where Carolina fans were on this topic.  Those who didn't agree with me did feel he should be punished rather harshly for lying - twice - to his coaches about why he was so late for last Saturday's scrimmage, but they didn't want him removed for one main reason: he's a great player that can help win games.

As I've said repeatedly, that's true.  He is a great player.  Which is precisely why I continue to believe he should be dismissed.  He has a "me first" attitude and seems convinced that he should be allowed to operate under different rules solely because of his abilities.  I respectfully disagree.  That type of attitude, or the acceptance of it, is bad for business in my opinion.

Weslye has a Twitter account that he keeps private, but I'm told he put up two posts yesterday.  One thanked "real fans" who "know and support" him, while the other questioned the methods of journalists who call him a "bad guy."  I'd like to address both issues.

First, "real fans" of the University of South Carolina have paid for Weslye's college education.  They've cheered him and his teammates through good times and bad.  They deserve to know that players appreciate the opportunity they're given and that they show that appreciation through consistent effort.  

Basically I'm saying this: Gamecock fans have their players' backs.  They want to know that players have the fans' backs too.  With Weslye, they're not so sure.  That's on him, not the fans.

Secondly, Weslye, as the son of a journalist and a journalism major himself, ought to easily be able to distinguish between a made up, hatchet job "news" story and the real reporting of fact and the subsequent opinions those facts may spawn.  However, when it comes to his own case he is clearly having a difficult time of it.

Travis Haney of the Charleston Post and Courier first uncovered the facts of Weslye's latest incident.  I know who his sources are and they are impeccable.  My opinion, and those who share it, is based solely on those facts and the facts from Weslye's previous, non-NCAA related troubles with his team.  I guarantee that kind of journalism is taught somewhere at Carolina.

In the end this will die down.  I have no idea how long Coach Spurrier will keep Weslye away from the team and if he'll miss any games because of what he did.  Bear in mind that the NCAA may still have plenty to say about Weslye's playing time too.  Regardless, this is a young man who has shown a propensity to put himself ahead of his team.  At some point he needs to realize that.

Not having a team to put himself in front of may be the only way he'll actually learn.

No comments:

Post a Comment