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National media has been unfair

I find times of trial and tribulation like the one UM is going through right now as moments that define character.  Having the eyes of the nation fixated on this brawl the last few days has been interesting to say the least. I've found myself observing the situation not only as a journalist, but as a native South Floridian.

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Let me start off by saying I'm not going to get into things like 'Was the discipline UM handed down enough? Or, 'Does the University of Miami need a new coach and was this another sign of a program out of control or whatever?' That's a whole 'nother topic. No, this blog about the way I feel the national media has mishandled this situation.

As a journalist, I can understand why this is a big story. One of the country's top college football programs that has been tail spinning of late gets into an ugly fight with a crosstown rival and it all gets caught on tape with a hometown announcer and former player egging it on. Juicy. Just the kind of fodder that makes for eye-grabbing TV replays that draw viewers, hot radio talk that draws callers, and enough of a hot topic for columnists to feel holier than thou and say all the things they're expected to say and more and have their mailboxes flooded with emails.

And some have already said plenty of stupid things like: "Give the program the death penalty"; "These players have always been and always will be nothing but thugs."

There's nothing wrong with having opinions. Journalists, TV and radio hosts get paid to have them. And there certainly is nothing wrong with condemning a bench-clearing brawl between college football players. I'm not condoning anything UM or FIU did Saturday as right. But when journalists attack the character of individuals they've only seen on tape and never spoken to in their lives, much less made the effort to hear their side of the story, I find something morally and journalistically wrong with it.

Tuesday morning there were more than a dozen TV crews at the University of Miami and other journalists I had never seen attend a UM press conference. On most Tuesdays, the only people at a UM press conference are your local media -- basically beat writers from local papers and a few TV cameras. Ultimately, it's not the new interested parties around UM I'm disappointed in as a journalist. They're trying to do a job and at least making the effort to go out and ask questions. It's the other guys who don't always do their jobs responsibly.

Like the out-of-town radio show hosts (who shall remain nameless) who asked me to go on their show then ripped me and called me a homer because I disagreed with their opinion about UM players being thugs. Or the national TV network that asked me to come in and talk about the way the University of Miami "has lost control again and is being overrun with thugs."

As a South Floridian who has gotten to know and written plenty about most of the players on both teams that were involved in the brawl Saturday (I was a high school writer for five-plus years), I can say I was disappointed by their actions. It hurt me to see a guy like Anthony Reddick, a guy whose high school coach at St. Thomas Aquinas has always had nothing but great things to say about him, swing a helmet at another player. It stunk to see a guy like FIU receiver Chandler Williams, a kid from Miami High, swing and kick and take a cheap shot at Carol City's Kenny Phillips.

26 But one bad night, one gigantic moment of stupidity that got way out of control shouldn't define who these kids are. I'm not an apologist. I just think more needs to be said. What FIU and UM did was wrong and stupid. Derrick Morse didn't need to body slam an FIU player. Amod Ned didn't need to come out swinging with his crutches. And Brandon Meriweather didn't need to stomp on anybody. But, last I checked, how many of you were ever in a scuffle as a teenager or in your early 20s and thought to yourself as it was going on: 'Well, I'm not going to kick the guy who just tried to attack me and my boys because I'll do 5 to 10; I'll just push him away and go back home.' When did you have the restraint to take a verbal and physical beating from somebody for 2-3 hours and just turn the other cheek? Would you honestly have let a guy slam a teammate, a guy like Matt Perrelli (who looks a bit helpless), to the turf and not run to his defense and try and return the favor?

Somewhere in all this, I think we forgot a few things. Like, one this is football, a violent sport where brawls have happened before (if this type of violence broke out at a golf or tennis match then it would be incredible). Two, in a heated moment when you try to defend somebody or fight them off, you aren't exactly thinking about how not to fight. And three, these 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22-year old gladiators who kicked, punched and acted the fool for five minutes Saturday night are the same 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22-year old gladiators who have worked, bled and done what it takes to earn those uniforms and scholarships. They've done what's been asked of them in the classroom and out of it.

When I think of the word thug, I picture a person who doesn't work hard, a guy who carries a gun, sells drugs, steals, cheats and lies to get ahead in life. Most of these kids at UM and FIU survived neighborhoods with all those elements to get where they are now. Could some of these kids end up reverting to those bad things? Yes. But most of them will not. Just like everywhere else in this country.

The University of Miami has had its share of "bad boys" in the past -- and present. But the fact is the number of thugs pales in comparison to the successful student-athletes this university and town has produced. I think I can count on my hands the number of guys from UM who have gone on to a life of crime and thuggery. Yet, that's what The U is known for. That's what South Florida players are all about in the eyes of the nation.

And that bothers me. The truth is we can't keep track of the number of successful, talented people who have come out of this university and from South Florida because there are too many and that number is growing every year. Last I checked, doesn't the University of Miami lead the NFL with the most players and first round picks in the last decade? Last I checked, doesn't South Florida lead the nation in producing the most NFL players? Somewhere in there, something positive has to be happening around here doesn't it?

I don't want to spin too out of control here and dwell on the past. I'm not going to change the nation's opinions here about UM or South Florida high school football players -- nor am I trying. Honestly, it won't ever change. No matter how much cleaning up this program does, the national media will always have those video tapes of Randall Hill dancing in the Cotton Bowl, UM players fighting on Bourbon Street and now, The Brawl to make their case "stronger."

But at the very least, I hope, as South Floridians we've all seen the way the national media portrays this school and our local football players. I think we've all learned it will never change.

EXAMPLE: All the stories in the papers, TV stations and radio stations nationwide, are sure to have Anthony Reddick's prepared speech somewhere in their coverage tomorrow next to a title that won't be too far off of Helmet Swinging Safety Apologizes For Antics.

But nowhere in those stories does there figure to be any description of what Reddick looked like before he delivered his speech. Nobody will say how he looked down at the floor in real disappointment as he walked toward a collection of TV cameras and unknown faces to tell people he doesn't know he's sorry he ran to the defense of his teammates and instead of grabbing a jersey, swung a helmet at another guy who was coming after one of his buddies. Nowhere in the story will there be anything remotely describing the thought process Reddick put into it his letter, how the piece of paper he typed his forgiveness letter on was covered with ink with words crossed out and new ones added on in pencil and pen.

No. All that will be replayed over and over again as Reddick speaks is the video of him flinging his helmet at the back of an FIU player, the worst decision he's probably made in his life. And when its all said and done some guy in Oklahoma, Alabama or Washington is just going to shake his head and tell his buddies "I knew those UM guys were thugs." Then, his buddy is going to tell him, "All those people down there are like that."

And that's not totally right or fair. Somewhere in there, guys like Reddick deserve a little more than that. These schools deserve a little more than that. And our hometown deserves to been known for a little more than one bad night.

Comments

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This whole situation has a lot to do with Miami's dominance in the past. The attention that the media is paying to miami is because of the success Miami has had. Not much focus has been on FIU. Someone should put this into perspective by explaining that we have not been having the success and we are going to get back to winning football games. The heat now is not as intense as when we were winning. When we get back to winning then there will be even more intense negativity. We used to love proving people wrong by winning football games. Thats where the frustration is. Thats what is missing here. Everyone is looking for us to prove them wrong. College football is not the same when the canes are not in the middle of every thing.

I just wanted to say thank you for finally stepping up, and defending Miami. Now, what Miami needs to do is win, and prove all these media wrong, then they will shut up. The players need to carry a chip over there shoulder for the rest of the season, and play like there is not tomorrow. Coker, be strict with these kids, but also showed them that you care. We are family, and whatever people say outside from the family is nonsense. Also, stop prasing these kids before they actually do something. You have to let them earn their praise before you start comparing them to the Miami greats.

Manny I could not have said it better myself. After i heard a guy like Joe Theismann who probably never spent 2 seconds around this program, these kids and my school spout off, it made my stomach turn. As an alum of UM I had to listen to that a-hole say that this wouldnt occur at Notre Dame because his school would never allow students with "no integrity" to get in the doors. Who do these national media types think they are? Thanks for defending the "U", those kids and my alma mater.

The Miami and FIU players that were involved give real thugs a bad name. You are obviously too close to the situation to be objective and should have been called out by national media types. The Miami program is a disgrace and has been since Jimmy Johnson took over. I am one Big East (WVU) fan that is glad to be shed of them. It will be interesting to see how many parents of UM commits will insist that their sons take their talents somewhere else. You can bet that if I had a son that was being recruited the Miami Hurrithugs would not be even considered. Shalala, Coker and Swoffords so called punishments are a joke. At least FIU is taking a more realistic stance, but still should being doing more in the way of punishment. And what's with the local police? I saw at least four players (two from both teams) that should be jail, not on campus and certainly not on a sports team. The tail is still wagging the dog at UM.

Hey,Clyde, the only reason you hate Miami is because your team (WVU) was never good enough to beat Miami.You and I know that if Miami was still in the Big East WVU would not be in anywhere rank in the top ten. Where was WVU before Miami left?

Great commentary today. I think the reponse from UM has been great - from the prez to the players. It shows a lot of strong character on behalf of everyone involved, including the athletes. They made a mistake - even though it was in defense of themselves and fellow players - during a heated moment. We all should understand that. They're realizing the mistake and are making amends. Give these boys a chance.

It's a real sorry excuse for journalism how the national media is sensationalizing things and bashing UM. (and who's talking about FIU in any of this???) UM's always been the "underdog" in the media. All those clueless haters out there are simply jealous and resentful of the greatness that UM has achieved over the past few decades, academically and athletically.

I don't hate Miami, it's fans, students or alumni. But, I believe I speak for most of the college football fans in America when I say that at the least UM should punish it's players by not going to a bowl this year. Clemson and South Carolina were classy enough to do that, and I would have expected that any other school that might be bowl eligible to do the same. If the Mountaineer players were to be involved in something like what occurred on Saturday I would be contacting the WVU AD and insisting upon it. As far as WVU's lack of success against Miami in the past, you are right, we won't be playing each other this year. Enjoy Boise. I hear the weather's great in December.

I personally believe that people are pushing the envolpe on this a little too much and diving off the deep end. Can't excuse the helmet swinging and stomping. Heck cant excuse the fight. But it happened and everyonce in a while something like this happens. I dont know 1 team in america that wouldn't of reacted like they did (minus the swinging helmet) when their pk and holder were mugged to the ground. Im actually hearing people saying that Miami should cancel their football program. ARE YOU NUTS? and thats not overboard? And they whole thug thing is not sitting well with me. Thug is just another word for N****. One of my mentors told me this while I was in college and I firmly believe it. THERE ARE NO THUGS IN COLLEGE!! there are wannabe thugs, people who think they are thugs, but there aren't any. Even the ones that play football. There are idiots and dumba*** but no thugs. Want to know why there are no thugs, cause thugs dont care enough about their grades or SAT scores to get the minimum grades to get into college. Everyone recruits the same players. Everyone applauded miami when they suspended people for the 1st game, which ended up being FSU. But when the next game is Duke its not good enough? I personally believe off field incidence such as drugs, hitting women, rapes, dui's are a lot worse than what happened on that field. Not saying that what happened on that field was good and is not embarrassing. But why do I say that, because those things are not heat of the momment situations like saturday. And its not Larry Coker's fault!
Another thing which is an ingredient in all this is and in the LSU fight, where Dwayne Bowe a Miami native tried to rip a UM ball from from one of our players in the tunnel began the scuffle. These past 2 altercations have been sparked by Miami natives who's emotions were running high during the game.
Im a USF alum, graduated in '03 and Im a native of Miami, being a young black man I empatize for these players. I played football, I grew up around thugs, I know thugs. Yet I am not one. I made mistakes, and because people helped me out coaches and others I'm less than 1 year away from being a dentist. And I've supported the Univ. of Miami since I was 12. Kind of a tail end of their whole past and this is not the old Miami. This was very quiet program for 10 years. All the people that say miami had problems 3 years ago and no one said nothing because they were winning is not true. I want to know 1 issue that happened from 99-04 besides sgt. winslow.

BEST BLOG EVER!!!!! HIT IT ALL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!!!! THANK YOU FOR WRITITNG THIS BLOG, BECAUSE AS A FAN AND SOUTH FLORIDIAN, I AM PROUD TO DEFEND MY COMMUNITY.

Well said (who ever wrote the article) but everyone else in the nation will only see what espn and other media outlets show and they always have and always will hate UM period! I think it's all pure jealousy , UM changed college football forever when they started winning in the 80's and UM will for ever be hated for doing so!

THEY DONT HATE US BECAUSE WERE BAD! THEY HATE US BECAUSE WERE THE BEST!

HEY CLYDE , HAHAHA WE'LL ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL FLORIDA SUNSHINE! (LIKE ALL THE YANKEES WISH THEY HAD)

GO CANES!

Clyde my friend, those in glass houses should not throw stones. Coming from WVU, where the fans give a new meaning to "redneck thug", you really should just keep your judgmental comments to yourself as you are in no position to say a whisper about UM. I seem to recall a game in 1996, i know because i was freezing my arse off in that hickville excuse of a city called Morgantown, where the "fans" or student body threw garbage cans onto the miami players sideline. Not to mention that when danyell ferguson was injured in that game and needed an ambulance to a local hospital, these "redneck thugs" SHOOK the ambulance as it pulled out of the parking lot. As for the Clemson-South Carolina forfeiting a bowl game that was basically done for them since the next game for either team would have been a bowl game. So rather than suspend half the team for that brawl for the NEXT game, they just forfeited the dinky money they would have made for going to the Weed Eater bowl or whatever third tier bowl they were both attending that year. To draw a comparison to a situation that is not parallel is not altogether intelligent Clyde. Thanks for posting though, we definitely enjoyed it.

Written by Permalink - "I knew those UM guys were thugs." Then, his buddy is going to tell him, "All those people down there are like that."

Written by John - "Thug is just another word for N****."

You have both hit it right on the head. There is nothing that the Northeastern "National" Media likes more than to make themselves sound and feel better than those that they don't understand. We may as well give up trying to please them, because we never will. Thanks for such a great blog Permalink.

Firstly, I was born and raised in Miami but am not a 'Canes fan. Not a hater either. Just a neutral party.

That being said... the excuses, the "media is out to get us" comments, the "they started it!!" comments are really putting the community, the school, and the people saying those things in a bad light.

1. "They started it!" didn't work as an excuse when you got into trouble in first grade, and it certainly doesn't work when you're in college.

2. "The media is out to get us"... please. There was plenty of coverage of the Clemson-South Carolina brawl, but the schools acted appropriately in banning themselves from bowl games. As for "they were just going to a dinky bowl"... with several games the 'Canes are likely to lose left on the schedule (@ Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Boston College), what kind of bowl game do you expect them to go to?

And as for nobody talking about FIU... a. FIU is a nothing school in the national media's eyes (not to belittle the school, but most people have never heard of it), and b. At least they had appropriate suspensions for the players invovled.

Despite his contrition for stomping, Meriweather shouldn't play again this year. Even if that dents his draft stock and stops UM's run of having players drafted in the first round. Reddick's "indefinite" suspension should clearly last the rest of the season, and he should have to prove himself before being allowed back on the field next year.

3. I'll agree that the media calling for the UM program to be disbanded is silly. However, what you have to understand is that UM made their bed in the late 80s and early 90s by allowing these things to go on. They more or less encouraged the idea of UM as the "bad boy" team. Once you do that, you can't complain when people bring it up in the future.

I am from the Southern California area and truly have no biased against the U. I completely understand the pride that we feel for our community and the teams that represent us. When I hear negative commentaries about the teams that I follow it angers me and I take the position that those critizising do not have the facts right.

Unfortunately, in this case there is the evidence of that tape and the unfortuante reputation that follows the team. Miami is a top rated college not only in sports but in academics. Therefore they are an example for those schools who are not. With that, unfortunately, comes the responsibility of being held more accountable than FIU.

I understand that it is unfair but if Miami wants the spotlight for its positive contributions in College Football and the NFL they will also have the spotlight when the school is involved in a negative incident. In case your mother forgot to tell you life is not fair!

I think the media has been harsh because Donna Shalala and the trustees of the university are in my perception very wishy washy. I do not believe that that all of the students in Miami are thugs but there are some who for one reason or another have disciplinary issues. They are not kids they are young men who are lucky to be getting a college education and an oppurtunity that very few ever get.

They should handle themselves with class dignity and pride. Having said that pride does not mean that because some idiot decides to taunt you that your going to kick his but. That is just plain stupid!!!
These men are accountable and, I am sorry, but all those involved should be suspended indefinitely. Merriwether and the player with the helmet should be kicked off the team and expelled from the university.

It is harsh but that would be a strong message not a slap on the wrist as it currently stands. I love sports but what happened in that game was grotesque and shameful. It not only brings shame to the university, the football team and the city of Miami but the country.

I have no connections to Miami, being a student at Arizona. I have never seen a fight that big in a football game. I have never seen people swinging helmets in a fight. I have never seen such small punishments for such major infractions, such as swinging helmets and stomping on legs. I can't recall any college football team having two huge brawls within 7 games. You would be wise as Miami fans to can both Shalala and Coker. It may be painful in the short run, and you may get a worse coach and president. But it will be a huge advantage in the long run. This will hang like a cloud over everything Shalala and Coker do at Miami until the day they get fired -- as they certainly will eventually. This isn't about "throwing students under the bus." This is about dealing out a just discipline for atrocious actions, which I believe FIU did. Can Coker and Shalala quickly, and get the train back on track. It is much better than delaying the inevitable, and will be so much better in the long run.

m lei,
Let me make a suggestion to you. Review a tape of the 1971 brawl between Notre Dame and USC and then tell me about last Saturday night.

I respect all the success UM had during the 80-90's but not the method. It always borderlined, if not totally crossed over, the line of just blatant unsprortsmanship. Class left with Howard when he moved home to Louisville and turned around the UofL program. Miami's easy to hate and back then you loved it. " Hate us, but will still whoop your a##". These teams can't back this up. Stomping on our logo was stupid and classless. The melee vs.FIU was criminal for some involved. The "they started it"s, the "everybody's out to get us" and like comments coming out of Miami make people wonder if your tv's didn't show the same thing. The posts about "time to get on with football, win and go to a good bowl game.." just shows a lack of any reality. Football is fortunately not life for most. And we're all much relieved of that if the state of affairs in Miami is what it comes to.

To whoever posted the glass house remark, you are 100% correct. I was embarassed and disgusted by the way some of our fans acted in 1996. Those actions were criminal and we certainly deserved the negative national publicity and I believe that our recruiting suffered as a result. I don't know what happened to the fan that threw the trash can, but I hope there was jail time involved. It was probably too difficult to assertain most of the guilty parties in the ambulance incident, but hopefully there were appropriate actions taken against those who were guilty in this incident that could be indentified. I was more disappointed in that disgusting post game display in Morgantown that night than in any other thing that has ever been associated with our fan base. I felt much worse about those incidents than having Tremain Mack block that punt. It is just a game. Plus, we have had our share of thugs in the past, i.e., Chris Henry, Pacman Jones and Jerry Porter are still shaming our program by their actions on and off the field in the NFL and I am just naming the most recent of our offenders.

I'm not trying to come off as sanctimonious here. Football is a game of controlled violence and as such these incidents will occur from time to time and all schools should fear that these thing can and will eventually happen to them. I check out the internet often just to see if any of our players have been arrested lately.

I will say that during the time that I attended WVU in the late seventies that our fans never burned any couches, mainly because we never beat anybody worth burning one over. All joking aside, I am sure that some parents have not allowed their kids to come to WVU because of our infamous penchant for setting furniture on fire. I say our penchant because I feel that idiotic conduct demonstrated in the name of WVU is a direct reflection on me.

I don't believe that the nation is upset with the Hurricane football program because of jealousy of your success, but instead the pattern of thugishness which I believe began with the fatigues and the storming out of the team meal when you guys played Penn State and rightly or wrongly the on line polls seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of stiffer penalties in this latest incident. Actually, I hope your team wins the rest of their games this, but admittedly for a selfish reason. Since Louisville won your matchup this year and the fact that the Big East is getting no love from the computers it is to our conference's advantage that your team continues to win. Still, after looking at the replay of the fight, I believe that Merriweather and Reddick should have been charged with assault and I counted three FIU players that should be looking at similar charges. If you or I were to act this way in public, we would have to answer for it.

Miami supporters seem to be circling the wagons here and I suppose that is understandable. I have nothing but admiration for the job that Butch Davis did during his tenure at UM. Considering the circumstances he did an outstanding job in a difficult situation and I don't think Coker is a bad person, but he may be better off as a coordinator somewhere else.

I do not agree with those that are calling for a a disbandment of the UM program. That is a horrific overeaction.

Well, that's my two cents worth and I'll just leave you good people with this final thought:

"Throughout history, all over the world, regional disputes have been contested by wars. In America, we play college football games. I believe that is progress."

You guys want to hang Miami out to dry when other programs with similar infractions have not had their student athletes expelled?

Why the double standard?

the UF-FSU '03 game featured swinging helmets and required police with pepper spray to break up the pre-game melee. Where is the outrage over that? Where are the expulsions?

How about in 2003, the Ohio State player Reynolds who, with no provocation, CHOKED Wisconsin QB Jim Sorgi, who was completely defenseless at the bottom of a pile? What was his punishment? A 1-game suspension from the Big 10 that Ohio State didn't alter. Why wasn't he expelled? Surely something so heinous deserves that action?

How about the Peach Bowl last year. Miami got into an altercation with LSU, yet it was the LSU players who swung their helmets KNOCKING OUT and sending to HOSPITAL two Miami players? What was their punishment? Nothing. Where is the outrage over that incident?

Who are you to dictate that these players should lose their scholarships? What is the precedent for it given previous actions of other schools and players?

You want to set-up new policies and rules for these types of incidents? Fine, go do it in the off-season. But don't decide to arbitrarily levy punishments COMPLETELY above and beyond what has previously been instituted for similar offenses in college football.

It smacks of being a hater, and everyone can see it.

To Clyde:
Your latest post was mostly very thoughtful.
Most of those who actually went to Miami want Coker gone after this year but not because of the donnybrook that happened last Saturday night. Miami is a program that deserves better than a three loss season. I understand no program can be on top year after year but objectively,see the NFL rosters, we have far too much talent that isn't being coached as it has been in the past. I believe Coker is a "good guy" but he is not a head coach for a major Division I power. I was embarrassed at out lack of effort against LSU, the theatrics at Louisville (your game against them should be a classic by the way)and the method of fighting some Miami players employed that could've have seriously injured someone if the recipient had not been wearing his helmet. I do know the players are better young men than that and Reddick offered a multi-drafted written apology for his actions. Miami's new zero tolerance rule for leaving the bench, results in suspension for the year, is harsh but will enable the team to move on.
I am not mentioning FIU because as a Miami alumnus, I don't care about FIU. They will do what they think is best and will develop into a good team over the upcoming years.

"I think I can count on my hands the number of guys from UM who have gone on to a life of crime and thuggery. Yet, that's what The U is known for. That's what South Florida players are all about in the eyes of the nation"

Manny, your hands have more than one finger. The fact that you can count on them multiple Miami players who have led less than upstanding lives is 1 more than most D1 schools nationwide.

Miami long ago made its bed - so shall it lie in it

FSU can boast Derrick Brooks in the NFL. Miami Ray Lewis.

There is a remarkable difference bewteen a University trustee, charitable foundation chairman, and 9 time pro-bowler versus an accessory to murder.

During the Miami-UNC telecast a few weeks ago, ABC did a great pan out shot of the Orange Bowl, showing the entire upper decks void of any fans...

Great support and loyalty you so-called Hurricane fans claim to have in South Florida...

I guess unless its UF, FSU, or VaTech playing, there aren't enough wallets for you to steal in the stands or fights to pick to even show up for a game.

How many of your "loyal" fans attended the U???

I too am a native South Floridian. I watched Miami beat Nebraska in my living roon as a young man, and was hooked for life. My 6 year old went to the OB last year and watched his team win, and was hooked for life. With that said, thank you for putting into words everything that we are feeling. I had to sit there and tell my son (who plays football), why they were doing the things they did, and what was wrong, and right. I applaud Coker for helping the kids instead of throwing them out like trash. I just wish all the talking heads on ESPN radio would read your comments, and think about what they are saying!

Yes, my son did get ridiculed at practice for being a cane, but at the end of practice, he came off the field and was proud to say that he played like his favorite Hurricane (Calais Campbell), since they are both #81, becasue he had two forced fumbles, and three sacks!

Go Canes!

FYI, for all of you out there who keep bashing UM:
Miami has had fewer arrests and NCAA incidents in the past 10 years than almost any other major football program.
Before you spout off at the mouth based on video replay posted by an obviously biased media, try checking out the real facts.

Great job on this post.... And now... I find it remarkable how those wonderful media personalities who have never been to the University of Miami can pass judgement on the lives of players they have never met and will most likely never meet. For Chris... you mentioned the Derrick Brooks/Ray Lewis comparison. How about the mentioning the Peter Warrick and Laverneas Coles/Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne comparison?? Or how about the Sammy Smith / Edgerrin James comparison?? Lets see... Peter Warrick and Laverneas Coles were caught in a Mall department store shopping for hundreds of dollars worth of clothes and yet paid about 50 bucks for it. Coles got kicked out of school and not Warrick ((because he was supposed to be a good football player)) Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne went on to become legends at their school and first round draft pick and BOTH are still tearing it up in the NFL. Coles is a mediocre receiver for the jets and what team does Peter Warrick play for? Oh yeah... that's right! He was cut by the Bengals and is still looking for work! Sammie Smith??? Remember him? He's the guy who could hold on tothe ball in any goal line situation and guess what??? He's now in Prison for drug possession and traffic with his brother. Edgerrin james is just a first round draft who became an all-pro running back. Don't DARE TRY TO COMPARE FLORIDA STATE PLAYERS WITH MIAMI PLAYERS!!!

Oh by the way... How's Fred Rousse? Oh yeah he got kicked off the team for breaking into his teammates dorm. Where the real "thug U" located? I can tell ya. It's along I-10, west of Jacksonville!

Hold it down folks.

Bottom line here is you have a group of young men who did a horrible job of acting like respectable young collegiate athletes at a major institution of higher education. Not saying the sec, or any other conference has all perfect teams by any means. But the class not shown by both teams on saturday was pathetic. To think it's ok to act like that on national television while so many people are watching, thousands of which are probably young miami fans, is not only disgusting it's the worst kind of showmanship they could do. Those players are handed thier education on a silver platter simply because they have athletic ability and they show their thanks by acting like idiots. My heart goes out to those players and their families.

I have never seen so many psychopathic ignorant inbreds. You all need to take a look at what the world sees in you. You do conform to the standards of human decency. The fact that you stick up for yourselves is commendable, if you were right, but you are not right... which makes you all ignorant inbreds.

edit: You do not conform....

wow, jeffrey, such hatred...tsk, tsk...you might want to consider some counseling...

c'mon jeff, tell us how you really feel...

The game was not on national tv, keep making up opinions and trying to pass them off as facts....

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
It would have been terrible for me, to see that a holder was thrown to the grown, then kick from behind in the helmet (while on the ground), and not see the team-mates defending him. To all of those riping apart these young kids...what would you have done in your 20's if you would have seen something like that happening to one of your team-mates? Would you have run away? Or just pray to God to bless the guy who just leveled your friend and give a cookie to the one who kicked him in the back of his head?
by the way...I am not a UM fan...

everyone should read michelle kaufman's editorial today in the Herald and also this article that was forwarded to me by another poster on this thread (thanks ladyibis): http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/stewart_mandel/10/18/mandel.bag/index.html

I am so tired of all these college football "experts" talking junk and calling for hysterics when there are multiple programs committing offenses almost everyday off the field (think Tennessee this past summer was getting one of their players arrested EVERY day it seemed) and on the field (the UF-FSU brawl of a few years back, LSU last year concussing a couple of UM players by swinging their helmets). It's an absoulte joke and one day when your school is getting lambasted by the national media for some offense or other dont expect ANY of us that are associated with this school or program to give a rat's ass about you.

The U have taken a beating in the national media, now it's time for the players to stand up and shut people up. Destroy Duke by more than 50, whip GT,VT and BC soundly and earn the right to play in a damn good Bowl game and win it too, none of that LSU sh-t......GO CANES keep your heads up.

ESPN is absolutely hyprocrtical in this matter. All there announcers are/were condeming the actions of the Miami players yet their network was replaying the game on pay-per-view. Their brand on morality stinks.

It's amazing the way you have defended these ... THUGS!!!

You don't "shut these people" up by destroying your opponents -- you do it by behaving like men, not THUGS.

Guys, I think it is time to be realistic. People are saying in the press that shalala should be fired because of this. Ummmmmm...last time I checked, the University of Miami's first agenda is education. Yah we have a good football team, but if we did not, the University would still exist. She has brought up the educational standards at UM and that is a fact. Hell, I went to UM and now Im in med school as well as my 3 other roomates. It is ignorant to say UM is a failing school because of a brawl. For people to say otherwise, just shows how sports writers are a bad influence to kids. College is not only about sports.

That being said, there are a couple points to be made. 1) What happens in a baseball game if a player gets hit by a ball and he charges the pitcher? The benches clear and there is a brawl. Are those teams suspended? NO. 2) What happens in Europe 50% of the time during a soccer game? Umm, I think thats where the term BRAWL came from. Are those guys kicked out of school or off of a team? NO. 3) What happens in any sport when a fight breaks out? Is everyone banished from the school, the coaches fired, and players suspended indefinetly? NO. So my question is, why now? The reason is because people do not appreciate college football in this rough nature that UM plays. Guess what guys, its football, and it worked. Why do you think teams like UM or even FSU have been so successful?

UM is like the TO of college football, the media loves it when something happens that they can pry at. The fact of the matter is, no major story happened last weekend, except the UF upset (WHOHOOO) and this will all be forgotten in 3 weeks after the world series. That is the way the media works.
Most sports writers feel the need to jump on the bandwagon and agree with a stupid theory that Miami is bad and that is all.
Here is some good reading...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/stewart_mandel/10/18/mandel.bag/index.html

I am amazed at the number of people posting on here that don't have anything better to do than to get on their high horses and overstate the events of that game.

The fight was bad, but no one seems to get so worked up when professional baseball players empty their dugouts for a free-for-all. The fight was on different than other fights involving other teams and it was far less serious than the many things that have gone on at other programs over the last several years. Comparing Derrick Brooks to Ray Lewis? Why not compare Sammie Smith to Jim Kelly?

The obvious bias, veiled bigotry and not-so-subtle jealously that underlies most of these posts is the most telling thing in this blog. It is the same bias that colors the media's irresponsible overreaction to the incident. At the end of the day, the overreacting media has shown itself to be worse than the kids that it is salivating to continually criticize.

Criticize the fight. It deserves criticism. But, recognize that UM's response was provoked, the officials did nothing to control and avoid that outcome and most everyone that has jumped on UM about it has gone way too far.

Fortunately, the people at UM, like President Shalala, are not the kind of people that let media pressure and phony outrage dictate their decisions.

At the end of the day, the fight says far less about UM than the reactions to it say about the people reacting.

i HAVE BEEN A MIAMI FAN SINCE I WAS 12 YEARS OLD AND TO HEAR SO MUCH TRASH TALK FROM THE MEDIA IS CRAZY. THE MEDIA ALWAYS LABEL MIAMI AS THUGS WHEN A FIGHT BREAKS OUT AND ALL IT IS ARE RACIAL SLURS. YOU DONT HER THEM CALLING THE DARTMOUTH AND HOLYCROSS PLAYERS THUGS BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE. THE ONLY QUESTION I HAVE IS IF ALL THE PLAYERS THAT COME FROM MIAMI ARE THUGS? HOW COME THE OHIO STATE'S,THE MICHIGAN'S, USC'S, THE NOTRE DAME'S,AND ALL THE OTHERTOP PROGRAMS IN THE NATION COME TO MIAMI TO GET PLAYERS. I GUESS COLLEGE FOOTBALL LIKE THUGS.

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