It is only March, and there are already some notable suspensions for next fall’s football season, most recently with Oregon quarterback, Jeremiah Massoli, who just pled guilty to a misdemeanor burglary charge from his involvement in an alledged theft on Oregon’s campus.
Masoli is not the first player to throw away a promising season (and perhaps, a career), due to horrible judgment and lack of character. In this edition of College FootBlog, we take a look at our College Football All-Suspension Team, comprised of unbelievably talented players who have cost themselves prestigious awards and, in a few cases, cost them a lot of money from the NFL, due to character issues. This week, we focus on the offensive side of the ball, with the defensive members of this exclusive club.
Quarterback: Rhett Bomar (Oklahoma): Bomar, who was one of the most highly touted players in the country coming out of high school, edged out Masoli, mainly due to his potential and hype. The former Sooner burst onto the college football map when he took became the starter in his freshman season. He never made it to his sophomore season for the Sooners because of his employment at a local car dealership, in which he and another OU player were paid as full-time employees, despite actually working there. It was estimated that Bomar really only worked 5-10 hours a week to earn his 40-hour a week paycheck. He transferred to Sam Houston State, costing him huge national exposure and the opportunity to be up for all the major awards in college football.
Running Back: Lawrence Phillips (Nebraska): We have quite a few players to choose from at this position, but Phillips alledged crime and his fall from grace ultimately won out. Phillips was on top of the college football world as he led Tom Osborn’s Husker squad in 1995. Amid allegations of assault of his ex-girlfriend, Phillips was suspended by Osborn during that season, knocking him out of Heisman contention. Osborn lifted the suspension and ultimately named him the starter at RB just before the National Championship game against Florida, where Phillips rushed for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. Osborn’s not-so-hard stance was vastly criticized and despite being a first round pick by the St. Louis Rams, Phillips never managed to stay out of trouble and is now serving a 31-year sentence for assaulting his girlfriend and running his car into three teenagers.
Wide Receiver: Peter Warrick (Florida State): Going into his senior season, Warrick was widely known as the best player in all of college football. A shopping spree at Dillard’s in which Warrick and teammate and current NFL WR Laveranues Coles purchased $421 in clothes for $21. He was suspended two games after pleading down to a misdemeanor, but the negative publicity likely cost him the Heisman. Although he was selected fourth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, Warrick’s talents never really translated to the NFL, and critics questioned his work ethic.
Offensive Lineman: Andre Smith (Alabama): Although the former Alabama O-lineman was selected a First Team All-American and won the Outland Trophy in 2008, his dealings with an agent surfaced in December of that year, prompting his suspension from the 2009 Sugar Bowl. His Crimson Tide teammates were upset that season by the Utah Utes. Smith recovered nicely, however, and was a first round NFL selection and currently starts for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Head Coach: Mike Locksley (New Mexico): An argument could have been made for a number of coaches, most of which are now unemployed, but Locksley has made effective use in his short time in Albuquerque. Since his arrival last season, Locksley has managed an age and sexual discrimination lawsuit (which was subsequently dropped), and last fall, he punched one of his assistant coaches in the face for saying “whatever” to him, which prompted a 10-day suspension without pay. Amid the controversy, Locksley led New Mexico to a 2009 record of 1-11. The good news for the Lobos? Assistant coaches have been seen this spring with reinforced boxing headgear and mouthpieces, so their cut man should be able to focus more on the players.
Check College FootBlog next week to see which intellectuals qualify for our defensive unit on this classy squad.