Friday, August 12, 2011

A Reminder

If memory serves me correctly, the last time you heard from me, was around the time of the NFL draft.  To state the painfully obvious, much has happened on all BC sporting fronts since then.  I look forward to catching up and hearing all of your thoughts again.  I wanted to ease my way back into the BC sports blogosphere with a thought that’s been in the back of my mind for a couple of years now.

With the start of college football (everyone’s favorite time of year) right around the corner, I was thinking about all that has taken place since Auburn won the BCS National Championship.  This off-season has been nothing if not tumultuous.  Jim Tressel is gone.  Butch Davis is gone.  USC’s 2004 title is gone. On Monday, Ivan Maisel had a piece on ESPN.com in which he addressed the interesting position college football finds itself in.  Maisel pointed out that while popular opinion remains fixated on the scandal surrounding the game, college football is experiencing tremendous growth.


The reality is that the product is attracting fans in unprecedented numbers.  The perception is that college football is the most screwed up it has been since the days of the wild, wild southwest 30 years ago
Mr. Maisel then goes on to propose a “New Deal” for college football.  He chooses not to elaborate on what that New Deal might be, but that’s beside the point.  The thing that bothers me about the shroud of scandal around college football right now is the presumed universality of cheating.  The casual observer sees violations being committed by USC, UNC, Ohio State, etc. and projects them onto the entire landscape of NCAA football.  The implication is that if USC and Ohio State are breaking the rules, everyone is breaking the rules.

I’m not naïve enough to think that these programs are in some small minority.  I realize that there are huge issues that need to be addressed across college football.  At the same time, I would like to remind everyone that it is possible to run a clean NCAA program.  Yes it is very difficult.  Yes it involves a lot of sacrifices.  But yes, it is possible.

I won’t waste your time going on about how a team can abide by the rules.  Nor will I give you examples of teams that haven’t been marred by violations.  I just want to bring up one example that I think demonstrates what it looks like when a program does things the right way.

During his tenure on the Heights, Montel Harris worked at Hillside Café.  For those of you not familiar, Hillside is an on-campus dinning facility at Boston College.  Montel Harris generated extra money in the off-season by making sandwiches in the cluttered cafe for the very kids who turned out to watch him tear it up on the gridiron every Saturday.  Take a second and think about that.  By the time the Atlantic and Coastal Division champions meet in early December, Harris may hold the all time ACC rushing record.  Here is a man who is poised to have run the football for more yards than anyone in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and he spent Wednesday afternoons in March stacking turkey and brie on cranberry bread.

BC hasn’t made it to 6 straight BCS bowl games.  They haven’t made it to any BCS bowl games.  But when you see Harris rocking new shoes to class, you know how he paid for them.  I don't mean to put the guy on a pedastal.  It's simply good to remember at amidst all the stories of the Terelle Pryors of the world, there are many many guys like Montel Harris out there doing it the right way.

2 comments:

  1. New England Classic. Yes, please. Montel is a great guy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post. This applies to academics as well. Castonzo was a Rhodes candidate while rumor has it that Kuechly is a very good, dedicated student. BC's two best players, Kuechly and Montel, are also the best ambassadors for the football program.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.