It took a while for the readers to realized what Oregon State football coach Mike Riley is doing this week with his suspended players. Once they did the Internet has been ablaze on blog comments and message boards.
Starting DT Castro Masaniai, backup TE Connor Hamlett and reserver DT Joe Lopez will be in uniform Saturday against Sacramento State. Masaniai and Hamlett are expected to play.
TE Tyler Perry (knee) is out at least two games and DB Will Storey (redshirt) is not scheduled to play this season. So they are sitting out.
Riley delayed the suspensions of the others because the Beavers are so thin at those two positions. He’s thinking about the team first and doesn’t want those suspensions to hurt the greater group.
If all those who are hurt, redshirting and suspended don’t play there is only one available TE and four DTs — two of them walk-ons — for two spots.
My thoughts are I hope Riley changes his mind. I think it’s not right for a suspended player to play and wait for a better time under any circumstances.
Suspensions should be done immediately, ethically and morally. I’m not even saying what Masaniai did pulling his girlfriend to ground may be considered really bad. Charges were lessened anyway, and we weren’t there to know all the circumstances.
If the suspensions hurt the team, oh well. That’s the point of suspension. They punish the players who made mistakes. If that punishes the others, that’s part of being a team.
Peer pressure can be used positively here, and Riley can show everyone the consequences of dumb choices.
If you think strategically, the Beavers will beat Sac State anyway. Just sit them and give yourself a better chance against Wisconsin.
If Riley thinks there’s no way to beat Wisconsin he can suspend the players then. The Sac State game is a must-win because it is a game that OSU is expected to win.
After that when do you suspend them? When TE Joe Halahuni (shoulder) and DT Kevin Frahm (knee) return? That would be against UCLA. So suspensions will be against a Pac-12 team?
So I implore Riley to change his mind and suspend the players now, and move on.