NCAAF

USC Was Wrong to Suspend Running Back Marc Tyler

7/19/11 in NCAAF   |   BenSullivan   |   96 respect

My brother went on a bachelor party weekend recently with some guys that we grew up with. They had a good time, I mean a really good time. And I know this not just because he told me, but because he came home with video evidence.

Nothing special, it was one of those cell phone videos, taken after plenty of adult beverages were consumed, that we’ve all seen hundreds of times by now. The best part was how they all kept asking the man of honor questions that they knew would illicit humorous and sensational responses.

And boy did they get them. The answers were crazy and funny and my brother and I had a good laugh at them when he played the video for me. But then he did what any responsible friend would do, he deleted the video right there on the spot.

It was enjoyed for a minute then we let go of it. Sure, the things on that video were outrageous, but nothing to be taken seriously.

After all, now that we have a camera in front of our faces at all times don’t we have to start using a sliding scale to rate our outrage to someone’s comments?

Too bad USC forgot about this when they decided to suspend running back Marc Tyler for his drunken rant that TMZ caught on tape.

He’s a kid who made a mistake. A mistake that hurt no one. His remarks weren’t insensitive or hateful or anything like that, they were just careless.

He wasn’t making any actual claims that he had been paid to play at USC. He was clearly making a joke, trying to look cool. He failed at that, but his comments cannot be taken seriously.

He’s just another college kid who got drunk and did something stupid when a camera was on. If USC is going to start suspending their students for that, then the libraries and lecture halls are going to be empty this fall.

The fact is that everything these college athletes do these days is captured on film, or some digital equivalent of film, and then Facebooked and Youtubed moments later.

Our collective outrage meter has to be recalibrated. Marc Tyler should have been smarter that night. He should have seen the camera and ran the other way.

But he shouldn’t be suspended because he didn’t.

Sure, Tyler’s comments were stupid. No doubt about it. But when did we start punishing stupid? If that’s our new standard then I think we’re all in trouble. I mean, who hasn’t said things they regret, or could be taken out of context, if they were immortalized forever on tape?

It’s not like he said these things while being interviewed in the USC locker room after a game, or in a press conference, or in any formal situation where he would expect to be viewed as a representative of his University.

In fact, he couldn’t possibly have been in a more informal setting.

He’s a college athlete, someone we’ve been told over and over again can’t be paid for his services, but we can track him down off the field and entrap him into damaging remarks?

Is this what we’ve come to? Stalking amateur athletes late at night so that we can find them drunk and ask them leading questions?

This isn’t journalism, this is sensationalism. Which is exactly what TMZ claims to be. They make no bones about it. This is what they do and they’re proud of it.

And they should be, because they’re in the business of creating entertainment, not news.  And believe me, this video was seriously entertaining. We should all get to watch it and get a good laugh.

But we shouldn’t take the video they produce seriously, and USC shouldn’t punish Tyler for what he said on it.

I’m not saying what he did was right, or what he said was good.

He should certainly use this as a learning experience of what not to do when a reporter starts asking you obviously leading questions, but he shouldn’t lose the right to play his sport because of it.

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7/20/11   |   kobe_lova   |   61225 respect

Joe_L wrote:
I hope he does.

K. Then so do I.

7/20/11   |   Joe_L   |   12371 respect

kobe_lova wrote:

I see your point, but these are the types of things that lead to NFL players saying and doing stupid things, getting arrested, etc, etc. Though, I know he just made a mistake, there has to be some accountability. He is in college and old enough to know better. If you are old enough to drink (I assume he was) then you are definitely old enough to be held responsible for your poor judgement. Plus, there are consequences for all of our actions, no matter what age or profession. One stupid decision can cause major problems in people's lives. I don't know how long the suspension is for, but as punishments go, this will probably be the most effective for the message they are trying to send. Hopefully, lesson learned.  God, I hope he doesn't end up with the Steelers.  (I'm just playing, Joe. Heart you)

I hope he does.

7/20/11   |   kobe_lova   |   61225 respect

I see your point, but these are the types of things that lead to NFL players saying and doing stupid things, getting arrested, etc, etc. Though, I know he just made a mistake, there has to be some accountability. He is in college and old enough to know better. If you are old enough to drink (I assume he was) then you are definitely old enough to be held responsible for your poor judgement. Plus, there are consequences for all of our actions, no matter what age or profession. One stupid decision can cause major problems in people's lives. I don't know how long the suspension is for, but as punishments go, this will probably be the most effective for the message they are trying to send. Hopefully, lesson learned.  God, I hope he doesn't end up with the Steelers.  (I'm just playing, Joe. Heart you)

7/20/11   |   richard_cranium   |   17641 respect

I enjoyed reading this and agree with what you are saying. I don't believe Tyler was serious, I believe he was trying to be funny. However I understand the point that USC is trying to make. They have done everything they can to distance themselves from the Bush situation. So when one of your current players gets drunk and makes a poor/stupid joke about it. The higher ups in the university are going to have their butts pucker up and get scared. They did overreact, but I also understand why. They know that the hypocrites at the NCAA are still watching them and their program. So now they are afraid that his comments could lead to unwanted attention, from the media and the NCAA.

Did USC reveal how long the suspension was for, that is the one thing I haven't heard?