Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day, Royce

More Royce White drama.  Fitting that it's groundhog day since it seems we've been here before.  No doubt you are aware that Royce has quit the Gopher basketball team for the second time.  Since I assume nobody really pays any attention when I say things, I will guess you are unaware that I said earlier at one point that I wasn't going to bother writing about him any more until/unless he ended up playing in a game.  I'm mostly going to stick to that.  I'm instead going to let the Daily Gopher do the talking instead.  If you click on that link you will find a long, well thought out post by PJS detailing who deserves the blame in this whole mess.

I don't agree with all of it - I think Royce deserves more blame than PJS does (maybe not for just this particular "trespassing" incident, but for his entire time at the U), I think the race discussion is misplaced, and I don't know about the legal particulars because I don't understand such things - but overall I'm in PJS's corner here.  Particularly when it comes to his criticisms of the way Tubby Smith handled the situation.  We received very little information from him regarding what was going on, and that's his right since we're just fans, but it seems Royce didn't receive very clear information from him either, and that's a major issue.  Whether the miscommunications were Tubby's fault or Royce's the blame should lie at the feet of the head coach, and it's become clear Royce had a very different idea about what was going on than what Tubby did, and what reality has turned out to be.

This doesn't in the least excuse White's behavior, but this whole situation was a mess that could have been handled better by many different people.  I also find it fascinating that Nikola Dragovic, a starting forward for UCLA, was suspended just two games despite facing assault charges stemming from an incident/fight at a concert in October.  2 games.  His legal situation is not cleared up.  His preliminary hearing was just pushed out to March.  Yet he missed just two games while UCLA investigated the incident.  I don't have to tell you that Mbakwe hasn't played all year due to a similar charge, and we all know what is going on with Royce due to "trespassing." 

Some may say the U holds its players to a higher standard than UCLA.  I say the U is run by a bunch of idiots who don't realize that winning truly is the most important thing.  I'm not advocating that you look the other way in every situation or offer a scholarship to just anybody, even I have limits, but a trumped-up trespassing charge and a possible assault/possible mistaken identity case?  There is actually footage of Dragovic fighting at that concert, although he appears to be defending himself.  There is nothing on Mbakwe except the identification of some probably drunk woman, and everyone knows all black people look the same anyway.  Maybe this is just frustration with how awful the team has looked lately, but I'm just absolutely disgusted right now.  With everybody.    

And THAT then, is all I have to say on the situation until/unless he ends up in a uniform - somewhere, anywhere.  Besides, why speculate on that garbage when we could be having fun debating who the Gophers might end up playing in the NIT?

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