Oregon State football coach Mike Riley issued a statement Wednesday about the string of the run-ins with the law by his football players this offseason.
“This behavior is totally unacceptable and the appropriate discipline started immediately with each event and future incidences could result in exclusion from our football program,” the e-mail read.
Those words could be his, or come from the PR department. However, I’m sure Riley feels at least that strong and I’m sure stronger.
Players behaving badly is never a good thing, but even worse coming off two losing seasons. Riley is under a lot of pressure, and I’m not saying hot seat yet. However, another losing season will stoke the flames.
Riley needs to be firm with these players: CBs Jordan Poyer (criminal trespass), Sean Martin (DUII), S Ryan Murphy (trespass) and Malcolm Marable (excessive speeding, assault).
What should have come out with the statement was the suspension length, which should be at least one game for Poyer, Murphy and Martin, and three for Marable if you use the OSU code of conduct as a guide. Marable has had two different incidents.
Another firm statement would be the suspensions would be served at the beginning of the season, not select dates like last year.
Last year DT Castro Masaniai, TE Tyler Perry and TE Connor Hamlett didn’t serve their suspensions the first game due to the team being thin at their positions due to injury. Riley didn’t want to penalize the team for their mistakes.
Well, that hung over Riley as he was constantly badgered about when these guys would serve the suspensions until mid-season.
The Beavers can’t afford bad press or distractions now. While these players are responsible for their actions, Riley is the one who will get beat up in cyberspace unless he controls them.
OSU needs to start the season fast to get the as many fans behind them as possible. Tickets sales have been strong the last two seasons, but the backlash at the gate will start to be felt if wins don’t come.