As was reported by the PG today, Aaron Berry, Tommie Duhart, and Wayne Jones have all been suspended for the rest of spring practices due to unrelated violations of team rules.
This certainly could be the final straw for Duhart and Jones. Duhart was already on thin ice as he was suspended during the season last year and seemed to always be in Wannstedt's doghouse. His past problems coupled with the fact that Craig Bokor has passed him on the depth chart means that more than likely he has seen his last game as a Panther.
Wayne Jones was brought in a couple years ago as a gray shirt. He was always viewed as a project and until this point really hasn't developed. He really hasn't been a guy that we have heard about getting in trouble in the past. Despite this, I think that he may end up leaving team which will open up a scholarship to help us stay under the 85 scholarship limit and allow us to take an extra guy next year.
Lastly, we have Aaron Berry. This one was a huge surprise as Berry is considered to be a leader of the defense and is being projected as a 1st team all Big East player. Berry's situation is very similar to what we saw with Elijah Fields. The difference here is that this is the first time we have heard publicly about Berry getting in trouble. He is the only one of the three that I feel will be back this year.
I'm of the mindset that we need to run a clean, hard disciplined program. If a player gets in trouble people, examples must be made and precedents must be set. We saw Shane Brooks and Mo Williams forced out due to grade issues. Elijah Fields was suspended for a year due to drug problems.
Now we have these 3 latest incidents plus the off season news of TJ Porter's DUI's.
While it may not be the popular opinion here, if the violation is severe enough, the players need to be removed from the team. I certainly don't want to be seen as a school that lets the players get away with anything.
Hopefully all of these guys learn from their mistakes. Playing football on Saturday's isn't as important as it is to make sure they don't end up continually getting in trouble throughout the rest of their lives.