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How Long Should a School Suffer for Recruiting a Bad Person?

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How Long Should a School Suffer for Recruiting a Bad Person?

Postby knapplc » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:21 pm

Holy freakin' cow, am I ticked about this. I'm sure you all remember Lawrence Phillips, the running back with two great talents - finding the end zone and finding trouble. Nebraska had the misfortune of winning the recruiting battle with this guy, a circumstance which has haunted us to this day.

Literally to this day. This guy hasn't worn a Husker uniform for ten years, but in an article about his sentencing for assaulting some teenagers last year, how does CNN headline the article? Thusly:

"A rap sheet extended
Former Husker Phillips convicted on assault charges"


Former Husker. I like that. Former HUSKER.

Because in the past ten years, that's ALL THE GUY HAS BEEN doing. He never played in the NFL, he never played in NFL Europe, he never played in the CFL - he just stopped playing football entirely the second he stepped off the field at Memorial Stadium.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Former NFL and Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips was convicted Tuesday of seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon for driving a car at a group of young men, injuring three.

The 31-year-old Phillips drove onto a field near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after losing a pickup football game on Aug. 21, 2005. He struck two boys, ages 14 and 15, and a 19-year-old man, and narrowly missed four others between 15 and 24 years old, according to the prosecutor.

The three who were struck sustained "severe bumps and bruises and cuts," Deputy District Attorney Todd Hicks said.


This is a troubled guy. Clearly he needs help and now clearly, since he's never taken the steps to get that help, he belongs behind bars.

But for goodness' sake, stop identifying the guy with the University of Nebraska. He's not a representative of the University. He is NOT indicative of the kinds of men and women the athletic department produces every year.

I just get sick of seeing Nebraska's name dragged through the mud every time this guy breaks another law.

Enough!
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Postby stomperrob » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:40 pm

It's the cross you must bear for your folly. ;-)
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Postby knapplc » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:44 pm

stomperrob wrote:It's the cross you must bear for your folly. ;-)


Yeah. But really - what folly? What did Nebraska do that forever links this guy to us in the minds of beat writers everywhere?

Like Maurice Clarette - the guy is just a guy. He's a failed football player. Every time he gets busted for something, it's not OSU's fault.

At the end of the day I don't care if that's where these guys are best known from - it is not fair to these institutions to be forever linked to these guys.
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Postby stomperrob » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:54 pm

knapplc wrote:
stomperrob wrote:It's the cross you must bear for your folly. ;-)


Yeah. But really - what folly? What did Nebraska do that forever links this guy to us in the minds of beat writers everywhere?

Like Maurice Clarette - the guy is just a guy. He's a failed football player. Every time he gets busted for something, it's not OSU's fault.

At the end of the day I don't care if that's where these guys are best known from - it is not fair to these institutions to be forever linked to these guys.


Ya missed my winking emoticon! Whether fairly or unfairly, these misfits will be forever linked with the institutions that produced them!
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Postby CC » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:54 pm

I doubt OSU complains when it gets linked with Archie Griffin or Orlando Pace, and I doubt Nebraska gets riled up when Ahman Green is linked to Nebraska.

Take the good with the bad.
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Postby HskrPwr13 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:42 pm

I agree, knapp, but the fellas make a fair point. Gotta take the good with the bad.

What bothers me is how badly Osborne's reputation was marred in some people's eyes. I've seen many a message board where I've heard stuff like, "I had a lot of respect for Osborne until Phillips." You'd think the guy constantly recruited players of questionable caracter like many other schools that I wont name.
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Postby knapplc » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:10 am

HskrPwr13 wrote:I agree, knapp, but the fellas make a fair point. Gotta take the good with the bad.

What bothers me is how badly Osborne's reputation was marred in some people's eyes. I've seen many a message board where I've heard stuff like, "I had a lot of respect for Osborne until Phillips." You'd think the guy constantly recruited players of questionable caracter like many other schools that I wont name.


I've heard TONS worse about Osborne because of Phillips. Osborne took one kid in, then put his neck on the line to try to keep him in the structured world of college football, and he gets trashed for it.

Ask Dick Vermiel how he felt about Lawrence Phillips. It wasn't just Osborne that thought the kid had a chance at greatness.

The sucky thing about Osborne playing Phillips in that Fiesta Bowl was that we didn't need him - he barely contributed to the outcome, and Nebraska got a load of bad press because he played.

Bleh. I wish the guy had never come to Nebraska, and I'm sick of hearing our name in the same breath as his. :-P
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Postby Sandrock » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:47 am

Thems the breaks.
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Postby jayday » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:20 am

Knapp, your article came from the college football section of CNN (Actually Sports Illustrated)...It didn't come from the US News & World Report front page :-b The link to the same article from the NFL page of SI.com is titled "Former NFLer LP..."

You have a right to be angry every time he drags Nebraska's name through the mud, the same as I do with Clarett at OSU....But unless you want all former players' connections with the university cut off (good and bad) then you just gotta take it in stride....
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Postby ShoelessJoe » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:18 pm

This thread is why I think you have such a strong shift in the NFL having to do with character. You see it every year in the NFL draft, players and their fading draft stock because of character issues. I think that in turn will begin to, if it already hasn't, shift towards college football. You see these thugs, these guys who create problems even on recruiting visits yet you still see them getting the big time scholarships and to be honest, it really irritates me.

Even UF is guilty of it. As many of you know, before he got hurt true freshman Percy Harvin had made an immediate impact on the football field for the Gators. However, Harvin had character issues when the Gators recruited him. After he signed with the Gators he actually got into a fight in a high school basketball game at which time he was kicked out of all Virginia High School athletic events for the rest of his high school career.

Now, there are two ways to look at these type of players. You can either look at the kids as lost causes, kids with character issues who you don't even want to deal with. (I know from a talk with an assistant coach for the UF basketball team that I had yesturday that they actually purposely stay away from character flawed kids no matter their skill.) Or, you can say these are just kids and try to change them for the better. Urban Meyer has taken to this side of the coin as is exemplified by Percy Harvin and a few other troubled players on the team.

So what I really think that it comes down to is the head coach's personal decision. Does that coach want to deal with the kid, the possibility of him going out on a Friday night and getting into a fight if it means that he's going to perform on Saturday or does that coach want the less talented player who is going to be at home on that Friday night preparing for the game the next day.

Character is hard to find in a lot of the top notch players today and it's a very shaky issue. I don't think you can say any less of Nebraska because of one guy, just because of Lawrence Phillips. However, if there are continuing issues at Nebraska, say maybe you have one guy who steals some things from Dillards, then another kid who parks in handicap spots, then another who claims he's God *cough* FSU *cough* That's a problem. I'd say one guy is not a problem with the University of the coaches/administration but if the problem persists, then I think there should be a change in the University policy - be it coaching staff or the way they deal with their troubled players.
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