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    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Doing The Wrong Thing

    In what is really no surprise to me, Bobby Bowden has once again failed to do the right thing. His reinstatement of Geno Hayes is the latest in lax actions that Bowden has taken toward players that have run afoul of the law. As announced by FSU, Hayes is back on the team but will be assigned to the second team. Do I want Geno Hayes in the lineup? Of course I do.He obviously is a pivotal player on defense. Do I want Hayes to play no matter what his conduct and behavior? Absolutely not.

    While I have a great deal of admiration for Bobby Bowden and what he has accomplished through the years at FSU, I do not respect his lack of courage and ethics toward what is clearly unlawful behavior by players. How people can still utter character and integrity in the same sentence with Bobby Bowden is beyond me, A great coach in the past, yes. But let's not make a mockery of words that should mean something.

    Until this program can correct such things as instilling in players proper behavior, FSU fans and alumni will continue to be embarrassed by players that do the wrong things and a coach that looks the other way. We have talk radio hosts who say that Hayes should be allowed to play because of course other schools let their players play. What a moronic argument for not doing the right thing. One can only look at the University of Miami and its problems in the past to see how a program gets tarnished. Fortunately Miami now has a coach that is attempting to clean up that image.

    Those that would argue that the judicial system has not played itself out and that he may eventually be exonerated fail to ignore certain things. By the way, his statement released today is an admission that he did do something wrong. First, I am not talking about the resolution of the issues in a court of law that has higher standards for assessing guilt-not innocence. After all they could be exonerated but still be guilty of deplorable conduct and behavior. What we do know is that Hayes and Surratt were at a bar at 2 P.M. in the morning. We do know that Hayes was causing a disturbance. We do know that he had to be tasered by police in order to restrain and arrest him. Those issues it would seem to me are evidence enough for suspending him for multiple games. But not in the world of Bobby Bowden.

    What kind of message are we sending to players? We are telling them they can go out to the bars, get drunk, get in fights, resist arrest and their coach will pat them on the head and tell them it's ok. You can run stadium stands. Or some other innocuous punishment. Is that the right thing?

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