Created: 08/13/2014 10:41 PM
By: J.P. Murrieta, KOB Eyewitness Sports 4
Let me start this blog by saying I love college football, but I would not put “FBS Head Coach” high on the list of desirable jobs I would like to swap for. It’s become a 24/7 occupation that rarely has a break 12 months out of the year with unimaginable pressure to perform each season or find yourself looking for a job. No thanks. I’ll pass.
That being said, University of New Mexico head coach Bob Davie had a tough decision, one which college coaches all over the country have to face each year. Would he let his two suspended players back on the team? The answer turned out to be yes.
Running back Crusoe Gongbay and cornerback Saquan Edwards were arrested this past spring on charges of rape and kidnapping. According to the police report, a student accused them of raping her at gunpoint inside a BMW. The charges were dropped.
Since Gongbay and Edwards no longer faced criminal charges, at this point, Davie felt he should allow them back on the team. No charges? No reason to leave them off the squad said Davie.
"I wasn't there,” explained the head coach. “I'm not in a position to say that they did act below the line as far as what I expect out of our football team. I'm comfortable with this (allowing them back)."
Davie says he had many sleepless nights coming to this decision. He repeatedly said he would not allow players back on the team just for the sake of winning games. I’m sure his players have listened to many lectures by the coaches about staying out of trouble. On Wednesday, Davie explained sometimes players are going to do what they want regardless of any warning.
"When you're a little kid and people tell you about circumstances or events you should stay away from, the little kid has to touch the stove sometimes even though you tell them and tell them and tell them to stay out of certain situations,” said Davie. “Hopefully this can be a tremendous learning experience for our players."
Playing college football, or any sport, is not a right. But with the privilege comes responsibility.
College kids make mistakes. College athletes sometimes make poor choices. This was one of them. I’ve heard from fans asking ‘what’s the punishment?’ Davie’s response might be ‘there was no crime.’ According to the legal system, at this point, all the players are guilty of is poor judgment and putting themselves in a situation they should have never been in. None of us were there and can say exactly what happened, but I can say they should have never been in ANY kind of scenario like that one.
Davie has given second chances to his players before. He gives them the opportunity to earn their spots back. Both Gongbay and Edwards saw significant playing time last season. They will both likely be starters when the Lobos open the season against UTEP. Again, we weren’t there that night Davie’s two players were accused of rape, but the fans will be in the stadium August 30th when they take the field. Let’s hope their decisions on the field are better than the ones off.