UH Football’s Model Of Behavior
Friday - September 22, 2010
Life on the road with the University of Hawaii football team is an interesting proposition. If someone told you to take a large number of 20-year-old men for a week in Las Vegas, I’d say you’d have your hands full.
But the overwhelming majority of the players seem to take care of their business, and it’s amazing how many of the hotel people compliment the team on its demeanor. There has been a culture established here, a model of behavior that players seem to buy into.
I thought of that when the news broke that University of Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey was arrested for felony stalking, becoming the 27th Gator player arrested during Urban Meyer’s six seasons in Gainesville. That’s why coaches harp on recruiting players with character, because it’s easy for the culture to get away and run out of control. Hawaii has been unusually successful in that regard and it doesn’t happen by accident.
The decision by Reggie Bush to forfeit his Heisman trophy one step ahead of the Heisman posse was probably a wise one because it was obvious which way this was going. Now Bush can rehabilitate his image. Someday he can be welcomed back to the USC campus, but that will be way down the road. Now the Heisman Trophy Trust must decide whether to award the Heisman trophy to runner-up Vince Young or to vacate the award for 2005. Young seems to care less about the trophy than the University of Texas does. Ironically, if the voting had been held after the national championship game that season, Young would’ve won by a landslide as he outplayed Reggie Bush in the Texas victory over USC.
If ever there was a lesson in letting your play do the talking, the New York Jets’ experience with “Hard Knocks” would be a case in point. The Jets spent the entire off-season woofing about getting to the Super Bowl, only to resemble a bad Pop Warner team in their opening 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Jets managed only six first downs and three field goals, and Mark Sanchez did not look like a competent NFL quarterback. Throw in the season-ending injury to defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, and all the Jets can do is compete for a playoff spot, much less a Super Bowl.
Six players in the NFL were lost to season-ending injuries in the first week of the season, making players nervous about the inevitable 18-game expanded schedule. Staying healthy is becoming more and more of a challenge. Some are speculating that the injured reserve designation will be changed to allow players to come back during the year rather than be shelved for the entire season. The players association may have a case in demanding expanded rosters to accommodate the expanded schedule.
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