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Friday Happy Hour: Expulsion Edition

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Being a Michigan fan in Chicago can be difficult. The drive to Ann Arbor ain't short. Ashley's is painfully far away. I don't get to watch all the games I'd like because of Comcast/ESPNU/Comcast. Instead of Michigan/Indiana I get Illinois or Northwestern on the Saturday tubes. Basketball, meh, its probably better I don't get to watch most of their games, my head would probably explode. When the hockey season starts, well, I'm kinda screwed and really only get to see/follow the team when they visit South Bend or when Brian and Yost Built post.

However, Chicago does have it's perks. Mainly, Summer. Bad baseball means plentiful tickets to the Cubs and Sox. Chicago seems to have as many outdoor beer gardens as Munich, so Mrs. Brew and I will venture out on the town tonight with some friends and soak in a glorious cool summer evening and and drink down a few tall glasses of hoppy goodness.

With that in mind, and your taste buds whetted, here's whats:

ON TAP!

  1. Black Shoe Diaries Retorts, Big Kahuna Burger and Sprite Placed on Table
  2. Epke Ekpe Udoh is Still Your King. Bring him Meats and Cheeses!
  3. Roundtable Time, Fire Mark May Style
  4. #1 RB in Michigan Finally Receives UM Offer
  5. More on The Passing of Terry Hoeppner
  6. Hey Jenny Slater Sits in on Pacman Jones Meeting With The Titan's Staff
  7. USC Gets To Play Tennessee, Makes Appalachian State Game Look Worse
  8. Holy Crap, Autumn Thunder Goes College Football Video Crazy!
Without Stupid Athletes, We'd Have Nothing to Talk About - Yesterday I, and a few others (cough, ORSON, cough) questioned the wisdom of the Penn State disciplinary board in expelling two of the players from the now infamous was-it-kinda-sorta-a-brawl apartment fight for the summer semester. The punishment, as it were, keeps the players in question off campus until pre-season practice begins in August. As an observer of people behaving badly, I opined the University's disciplinary decision seemed a tad bit, oh what's the word, nondisciplinary?

To quote the movie Election:

Being suspended is like getting a paid vacation. Why do they think it's a punishment? It's like your dog pees on the carpet and you give him a treat.

Mike at BSD maintains:

Scirrotto was assaulted to start the entire chain of events... He called his teammates, which admittedly wasn't smart, but to date there is no evidence to suggest he intended to instigate Wrestle Mania... I think it's more likely they either intended to scare the guys who punched their teammate or just watch their teammate's back as he settled the score on his own.

There were reports of broken bar stools and bottles smashed over people's heads, but during all the testimony we heard, nobody placed the bottle or stool in any specific player's hands. Nobody said they saw Scirrotto throw a single punch. Chris Baker, who many people assume was the biggest thug in the group, still maintains this is a case of mistaken identity.

I don't disagree with the facts Mike lays out. Certainly, he's closer to this situation than I am, so I'll defer to his rendition of the situation. But even after reading Mike's description this doesn't look good.

Scirrotto's actions, assaulted or not, are not defensible. If someone goes after you, especially if you're a scholarship football player, call campus security or the local cops. Don't round up a friggin' posse. By bringing over half the PSU team, what the hell did he think was going to happen? That level of escalation was just asking for something stupid to happen, and it did.

Bottom line, this was just a fight between students who had too much alcohol. Some of those students happen to be football players.

I'll grant you college students do stupid things. But the fact booze was involved doesn't excuse it. Butler and Richards were liquored up when they kicked the crap out of a kid Richards thought had wronged him. The difference between the two situations appears to be the level of damage and the number of people. Scirrotto was wronged by someone so he brought his bigs to back him up. Whether everyone went there to watch him settle the score or to settle it for him doesn't change the fact they went over there to cause trouble. Booze, if anything, makes this worse because the hope of a clear headed solution goes out the Bacardi window after a few drinks.

My only point in criticizing the PSU administration is I think the punishment they handed down reeks of favoritism to the football program. If the University, the disciplinary board, or Joe Pa himself wanted to treat this as a legitimate transgression (which the local authorities are), an indefinite suspension was warranted for 1) the ringleader who is admittedly Scirrotto and 2) the reported thug Baker. Just because Scirrotto didn't throw a punch or pick up a bar stool doesn't absolve him of blame. He brought the team over knowing something like this could and would happen, and that makes him culpable in this situation.

I believe that until criminal charges are dropped in a situation where the students admittedly instigated/participated in a brawl when they are representatives of their University AND on Scholarship, suspension is warranted. If the criminal charges are dropped, then, by all means, let them back on the team.

However, the Board, School and coach's decision to "expel" these students for two months during the time period where coaches can't do anything with their athletes and return them to class just in time for organized practice, looks really, really bad.

That, in sum, is my argument. It does nothing to deter future stupidity and does not reflect well on an excellent University such as Penn State. Take it FWIW.

Epke Ekpe Udoh, The Key To Blogging Success - Every now and then Yahoo or Google searches pop up on my sitemeter that crack me up. Sometimes cool searches pop up that help to validate all the time I waste on this site. Apparently I am the No. 2 source for information on Epke Udoh in Ireland and the UK. This would be great if Ekpe Udoh spelled his name that way. It's nice to know my mistakes and misspellings are a source of humor across the pond. Cheers lads!

Ekpe, if you're reading, sorry 'bout that.

Off Season Roundtable - Funny, funny stuff courtesy of Trev Alberts at Fire Mark May. I'll try to rack up some answers tomorrow or over the weekend.

Michigan's #1 RB Finally Receives an Offer from UM - Jonas Gray, the #4 Prep RB in the country and the #1 recruit in the State of Michigan, finally received an offer from UM yesterday. MSC says the lack of an offer stemmed more from a similarity (running wise) to Kevin Grady and questions as to whether he fit into the Michigan system. We'll see what happens, but Michigan State is the presumed leader right now.

God's Speed, Terry Hoeppner - Joey penned an exquisite obituary for IU's now deceased coach. Please go there and read it. In addition, the fine folks over at The Hoosier Report (a site I am woefully negligent in putting on the side bar) also have devoted some well spent time to a man that devoted so much of himself to Indiana.

Pacman. We Need To Talk - Doug at Hey Jenny Slater almost made me fall off my chair with his latest work. Imagine sitting in on the GM and Coach intervention with strip club aficionado Pacman Jones. Doug did, then wrote it down. One word: Awesome.

Grumble, Grumble - Tennessee home-at-home with USC. The Rutgers series in the Meadowlands better come to fruition.

A Brief History of Time - Autumn Thunder continues its excellent work by providing us with a History of College Football Video Games. Awesome, awesome, awesome.