On Saturday, the Florida Gators suspended three players – Demarcus Robinson, Jay-nard Bostwick and Darious Cummings – hours before kickoff of the season-opener against Idaho. The game only saw one play and was canceled due to extreme weather. Despite the shortened contest, Will Muschamp reinstated the players this week, and has since received criticism due to the fact that the trio didn’t actually sit out a whole game.
On Wednesday’s edition of “Pardon The Interruption,” one of Muschamp’s critics, Michael Wilbon, laid into the coach. Co-host Tony Kornheiser posed a question regarding the decision to Wilbon, who stated:
“No. This is unbelievably intellectually and sort of morally lazy. If you’re going to act like a tough guy and say, ‘I’m sitting these guys down for a game,’ then actually sit them down for a game. There’s no lesson learned. The lesson learned is: ‘Hey, my coach is a chump. He didn’t even have the guts to sit us down. He didn’t even have the guts to punish us.’ This is bad parenting 101. No, I’m not with Muschamp.”
Kornheiser argued the other side of the script, supporting Muschamp’s choice:
“This is not the pros. This is college. And in college you can fall back on the ‘teaching moment’ theory. What if he believes that embarrassment has taught them a lesson? Because let’s be fair, he didn’t need them against Idaho, which was 1-11 last year. And they don’t need them against Eastern Michigan, which was 2-10. … Those guys were embarrassed already. They learned their lesson.”
While from the outside it could look like Muschamp is making a decision based on the interest of winning, the media can’t see behind closed doors. Only Muschamp and the coaching staff can calculate whether or not a lesson has been learned, not onlookers, such as Wilbon, from the broadcast booth. If there’s one thing Muschamp deserves praise for, other than being a great defensive mind, it’s his ability to run a tight ship. Just take a gander down the off-field issues since his arrival.
You can listen to the entire clip at ESPN, fast forward to the 10:40 mark.