In FULL CONTROL. Photo Credit: le_borst (flickr)
Just came out from UCLA:
UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel has dismissed three incoming freshman from the football squad for violation of team rules, it was announced today. The players were informed of the discipline this morning.
Paul Richardson, Shaquille Richardson and Josh Shirley will not be allowed to continue summer school and will not be permitted to enroll at UCLA for Fall Quarter. If they meet certain requirements set by Neuheisel, they may be allowed to enroll in January. Additional discipline may be imposed by the Office of the Dean of Students.
The three players were arrested on campus last week (June 23) by University Police. They were charged with suspicion of felony theft.
"The three young men know they made a terrible mistake," said Neuheisel. "We expect our players to behave a certain way and there are consequences when they don't. Paul, Shaquille and Josh are paying a steep price for their lapse in judgment. They will not be allowed to enroll in school this fall and will not have the opportunity to begin their UCLA academic and athletic careers.
"Whether they are allowed to enroll for Winter Quarter will be determined at a later date. That decision will be based on several factors, including their behavior."
Calling this decisive would be an understatement (it's a little different than running laps and dismissing it as "kids being kids.". CRN couldn't handle this in better way IMO. More after the jump.
IMHO this is a pitch-perfect, appropriate and measured response. It is appropriate because it takes away from these three young adults (they are just not kids any more) one of the things they probably cherish most at this point of their lives: the privilege to play football on a scholarship at the greatest university (at least in our minds) in the country. It sends a message to these guys and rest of the team that representing those four letters is not something they are entitled to because of their God given talents. It's a privilege.
The response is also measured because it gives them an opportunity to come back to UCLA, provided they show in tangible ways they have learned from their mistakes and are worthy of being Bruins. If they don't put in the work, they will be gone forever ala EJ Woods. If they put in the work and prove themselves, they can earn their way back into UCLA and represent those four letters.
We hope these guys learn from their terrible mistakes even if they don't end up making their way back to Westwood. If they make their way back they should understand that they will be subject to a zero tolerance policy at UCLA.
Additionally, I really appreciate how CRN didn't wait for the resolution of legal proceedings to take this action. Once again he differentiated himself from the way Ben Howland dealt with a player I am not going to bother naming any more on BN.
You don't get to eff around if you put on those four letters. Thanks to Coach Neuheisel for sending a clear and unmistakable message to rest of UCLA community.