Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eric Devendorf is done ... again

On Monday we wrote about how Eric Devendorf was facing the Syracuse judicial board after being accused of hitting a female student in the face. Well, word has come down that the Syracuse board wants to suspend Devendorf for the rest of the academic year. It would be the second straight season that Devendorf has lost (last year he tore his acl 10 games in).

It looks like Devendorf is going to be appealing the decision, which could take as long as 15-20 days to get a ruling. Now Jim Boeheim has always struck me as a class act, and if he wants to keep my respect, then he will sit Eric Devendorf against Long Beach State on Saturday. And Cleveland State on Monday. And Canisius on Wednesday. And he will keep Devendorf out of the line-up until the appeal has gone through and an exact punishment has been determined.

Let's be real for a second. This is no longer a case of innocent-until-proven-guilty. Devendorf has been found guilty. Of a very serious crime. If Boeheim wants his program to keep any respectability, then he will reinstate Devendorf if, and only if, he wins his appeal and is allowed to return to school.

I mean, are the 14 points and 3 assists Devendorf averages really that important for the next few games when odds are they won't be there in March?

Losing Devendorf is a huge blow to Syracuse (I wish I would have written this a day later). I would argue that he is the third most valuable player on the team, behind Jonny Flynn and Arinze Onuaku. Without him, Flynn will not only be the only PG on the roster that should be allowed to see the court, but he will be the only guy that can penetrate and create for himself and for teammates.

I'm not going to sit here and preach to you about how dumb Devendorf is or how bad of a person he is. Think back to your days in college. We have all had a night where we did something we regretted. What I will say is this: if Devendorf actually did what the reports are saying he did, than I am sure that this was not a first for him. And without a wake-up call like this, I doubt that it would be a last.

If everything were to work out, then Devendorf will realize that he is not only wasting away a possible career in basketball (maybe not the NBA, but he has Europe written all over him) but also wasting away a scholarship to a very good school, and he will decide that instead of letting this ruin him, he is going to use this opportunity to become a better person and a better man for it.

As much as I hate Devendorf as a UConn fan, you hate to see a kid go down in flames like this.

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