One of the bigger things we missed this week is that defensive lineman Dillon Quinn was ejected from last weekends scrimmage after throwing a punch at a teammate. Quinn is an excellent young talent on the line, but his infractions are quite frankly adding up to the point that they are overshadowing any potential he has. There is no tape on the play and I would assume that Quinn felt that the offensive line was playing either a little dirty or too hard through the whistle for his liking. I honestly can't blame the line for playing hard because there is a lot of competition for starting spots, and the group's opportunity to play together in live action will be limited between now and the start of the season.
I don't know that this is something Spaziani kicks Quinn off the team for, but the incident should certainly be reviewed. At the very least, I would expect Spaz to suspend Quinn for the spring game, because taking a shot at a team mate is pretty much unconscionable. Add this to the suspension that Quinn suffered last year, and we have a pattern of disruptive behavior forming. Rumors about PED use followed Quinn's 2010 suspension, although there was never any official word from the university. A three game suspension usually indicates a major rule infraction though.
If I'm Spaz, I sit Quinn down in my office and tell him he's had two strikes. One more and he's done. This is admittedly a lot easier for me to say sitting here from my computer because the pressure to win now isn't sitting on my shoulders, but I have to think that BC's patience with Quinn is wearing thin. How much longer is Spaz going to put with this, especially if Quinn becomes a locker room distraction? What do you think, Mike C., and how much does Quinn's talent weight into this equation?
I definitely don't think this is something you kick him off the team for. Take him aside, talk to him and tell him he won't be playing in the Spring game and that he needs to get himself together for summer practice. For the record, I wouldn't be surprised if incidents like this occur from time to time. Players get pissed during all competitive ventures, even scrimmages. I wouldn't necessarily say that his talent should certainly keep him on the team if he does something bad enough to be kicked off, but it would leave quite the hole in the depth chart at DT without him. As long as this incident is adequately addressed, it shouldn't pose a problem in the short term.
For the long-term, it raises issues about whether Quinn has too many off the field problems. At this point, I wouldn't say that it's too much of a worry. There are plenty of athletes who have problems in the first year or two in college and then straighten themselves out. Quinn hasn't done anything terrible yet, so I would stick to guidance and motivation for the time being. The only players to be kicked off athletic teams recently had a clear criminal record off the field.