16.May.2010 Brennan Olander: Two Viewpoints

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This is simply a copy/paste job from the comment area of the main thread on Olander, but it so poignantly showcases the viewpoint of Beaver fans and the conflict it’s creating within myself that I thought it would make for good discussion.

Mckalk, a reader whom I respect based on his past insights, had this viewpoint, which having perused the blogs and forums, seems to summarize the majority opinion:

I am ok with James…one game suspension. Somewhat unclear circmunstances, right? Domestic dispute gone out of control? Masoli was kind of premeditated theft. Went into someone’s house and stole a couple of thousand dollars worth of stuff, that is a true felony. Then he lied to his head coach if I understand it correctly. I can see why he got suspended for a season. I don’t know what Riley has said to Olander in the past…maybe it is a three strike situation. I am just saying ( and I could have my head up my) that if you look at the misdemeanor he committed, it is not a career ender in my book. I am disturbed that Riley seems to have his head buried in the sand with all of this going on and really in hindsight there should have been more debate about the Al Alfalava situation…drunk driving is a serious offense. Third wheel on a golfcart joyride..not so much.

My response is as follows:

It’s not a career ender in my book, either, but when you add it to the body of work it should be.

My argument is one of a slippery slope, I realize. To say that because he did x in the past he will do z in the future. But there’s a point where the “slope” dries up a little, a pattern emerges, and you can begin to confidently predict based on that pattern. For me two of these events would be enough, but to someone more lenient I’d hope four is plenty.

My question would be this: how many more “minor” offenses are acceptable to you?

The main issue for me and Beaver fan is the incongruity in their rationalization:

1. Beaver fans who wanted James’ head for a misdemeanor are much more forgiving of Olander.

They act as if the behavior is perfectly normal for college kids, when in fact I’ve never seen a college kid in my entire life driving a golf cart around while drunk and likely neither have they. Further, they completely ignore the danger it could have caused to citizens or (potential) innocent victims. For example, what if they drove this golf cart into the road and caused a vehicular manslaughter? It’s for these very reasons the severity of the law exists.

2. Beaver fans are justifying and rationalizing Oldander’s behavior because it’s a position (DT) of need.

If this were a 6th string safety there would be little justification or care. Think back to Ashton Jefferson or Reggie Jefferson, how minor their FIRST infraction was, and how little anybody cared when they were booted. Further, Riley becomes inconsistent and preferential–the two things with which Beaver fan loaded his quiver while riding his high horse in the Eugene disciplines–if he lets Olander remain on the team.

Consider this quote from Cliff Kirkpatrick after the Jefferson/Williams incident:

“Riley has a near zero tolerance policy for alcohol/drugs. That could have done it. Near-zero because if someone has a long history of being good, he takes that into consideration. (Al Afalava)”

Oldander was drunk, illegally using a vehicle, had a past marijuana charge, and two thefts.

Just think about this for a while before responding.

Which of these viewpoints most reflects what you think, and more importantly, why?

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  • ean says:
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    I think in every program it is all about how good you are. I mean did anyone read the LaMicheal James report, he admitted to throwing a girl to the ground and he gets off with one game (not to mention no apparent discipline on the track team). Although if Quizz did the same thing he would probably be given a game or half a game, he is too important to the Football programs bottom line. There was an article the other day about a girl kicked off of the Stanford basketball team for driving a golf cart drunk. Although if you read the article it says she has struggled with knee injuries and hasn’t been contributing (i.e. wasted scholarship). When scholarships are limited coaches are always going to feel better kicking a guy off the team that isn’t contributing. In a perfect rule punishment would be punishment and your abilities wouldn’t factor in… I think we all know this world is far from perfect though.

    • ean says:
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      meant “in a perfect world” not “perfect rule”

  • JackBeav says:
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    The James situation was different. The fight was so raucous that it brought several witnesses out of their homes to see it. The police were called because several of the witnesses thought it was too ugly to let pass… in an apartment complex where a lot slides. The police went to interview the girl, and the visible physical evidence was so damning that the police ignored the pleas of the girl to do nothing and arrested James for several felony counts… including strangulation.

    Because of the serious nature of the situation, I think his actions warrant at least three games suspension. But the world seems to buy the ‘blame the crazy ex who didn’t know she was the ex’ line of crap.

    Maybe I have a skewed tolerance for the comparison of some of these. If one of my sisters ever had a boyfriend who did the stupid things Olander has done, I would have advised them of my opinion of the idiot boy. If they ever had a boyfriend who did what James did, their boyfriend would have a hard time walking for about three years.

    All that said, I think Olander was suspended for a game last year, but nobody noticed because he was hurt to start the year. I think this incident should quadruple that penalty, and a similar stupidity would end his career by another quadrupling.

    I think the conditions were different for Jefferson/Williams since they were officially representing the school. They also had to either travel with or purchase some materials which the federal government and the State of Nevada frown on a little more than places like Oregon does.

    The possession charge does bother me a bit as far as ‘zero tolerance’ is concerned. Does anyone have any more info on that one?

    And dealing with what-ifs is below you. That kind of fallacy should be left to Duck fans who want to flame to forget their own disappointments. I’ve seen so many people driving golf carts while intoxicated it doesn’t even phase me anymore. I saw/did it in college, on the links, etc. It’s almost impossible for me to feel self-righteous about this let alone trying to manufacture ‘the horror’ of some what-if.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I can’t find many “death by golf cart” stories, but I am sure they are out there.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I’m sure if you look up the Darwin Awards you’ll find one.

  • OSBeavs says:
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    I think that Olander deserves a multi-game suspension because of his track record. I know a lot of people mention Riley being tough on substance abuse, I think it should be reminded that Olander is at least of age to drink which may influence Riley’s decision. I would also mention that just because the frosh got caught in Vegas doesn’t mean it was their first offense, that stuff doesn’t always get reported in the media, those are things easily kept from the media gaze.

    A side note on Afalava, anyone think that if we had had him for the Stanford game that we would have played in the Rose Bowl? His force alone on defense may have been enough to slow the Cardinal down to give us a win.

    • maffu72 says:
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      I don’t think Afalava’s presence puts us in the Rose Bowl. In fact, I think you can make a pretty good case that, even if the Stanford game became a victory, we would not have had the urgency to beat USC… or would have failed in Arizona.

      Seasons are dynamic creatures… they change and an “ass-whuppin”” (i.e. Penn State) can cause a team to come together and gel.

      I hate it when people say… “oh, if we’d won the third game of the season we’d have been undefeated”. As I said, seasons are dynamic… they are always changing.

      If, in 2000, Ryan Cesca’s FG attempt had gone through and we’d prevailed in OT versus the Dawgs… OSU would have lost versus UCLA or Cal, or UO.

      It’s just how these things work.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      +1

      This is very true.

      Also, I’d blame that loss more on Pankey than not having Afalava.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    “Anyone think that if we had had him for the Stanford game that we would have played in the Rose Bowl?”

    Without a doubt.

    I forget who played for him that game, but I remember some key plays in both (lack of) pass and run support that lead to the Stanford victory.

  • Loudo says:
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    I understand drinking offenses. Stupid, not intending to hurt anyone, sets up the opportunity for collateral damage but in the absence of same…meh. Same for pot, but less unsafe. Physical violence offenses, here’s where the knives get sharpened. Can’t be having that, no way no how.

    And then there’s theft…the sheer stupidity combined with the assurance that there will be a victim is a stupefying combo. I really don’t get it. I have no sympathy for thieves. Olander should already be gone based on “slow learner” principles if nothing else.

  • CastorNation says:
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    This whole thing ( commenting online ) is fairly new. These are things that were hashed out at the water cooler or at the fence. I think commenting online has really escalated the vitriolic aspect of the rivalry. The papers have thrown gas on the fire. So it is natural to bust each others balls when it hits the fan. All of these UofO and OSU interactions with law enforcement haven’t crossed any NCAA or PAC 10 rules that I am aware of. So basically they are minor crimes and are handled in-house ( player status ). Without a standardized set of rules and punishments from Kelly and Riley how can we second guess them. They make decisions based on a lot of factors that we as fans don’t have a clue of. Bottom line I don’t think either coach will be made the fool. I think the priority for both coaches is to build young men. They will do anything they can to make these guys successful and would only as a last resort throw them off the bus. I personally thought Blount should have been gone. But did keeping him on the team change his life. Only time will tell.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Interesting perspective. Fair enough.

      As a fan who wants a Rose Bowl, I hope he doesn’t miss a game. As a human being who thinks four strikes is three to many, I want him off the team. I’m a bit conflicted. That Riley is taking so long to make a decision is frustrating. Decide on something so we can move on. The longer it drags on the more I think there will be either no or little penalty. Time makes people forget or not care…so the more that passes the better this is for Olander.

  • pfbeaver says:
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    James – He pushed a girl down on the ground after as I remember it ripped a gold chain off of his neck, stole his car keys, got in his car, and refused to leave his place. I really do not see the reason he was even brought up on charges for this. As much as I hate ducks, I think the only reason he was brought up on charges is because there were concerned witnesses who knew he was a football player. This guy should have gotten off with a warning. It’s not like he was out there beating her up. He was just trying to get her to leave.

    Masoli – I think his punishment fit his crime. He stole a laptop and then lied to the coach. He definitely put himself before the U of O program, and caused all kinds of bad rep for it nationally. I think Chip hit this one perfectly. Burn a redshirt year for behind such a dumb ass.

    Blount – That guy was dangerous. He should have never been let back on the field. He was totally out of control there.

    Olander – Let’s see this guy buys a bike from a guy for $50, and later finds out the bike was stolen when the police show up at his place? I haven’t heard much about him smoking pot, then again I really don’t think pot is that big of a deal. His second offense is catching a ride on the back of a stolen golf cart? I mean all of these are laughable offenses. The real punishment has already been handed out, by the media. If the NFL was likely to look at this guy post season, they are WAY less likely to look now with his history. Anyways, I think he should at most get a slap on the wrist like James got. Perhaps a one game suspension. Then again I’d be just fine if he worked it off by doing some bear crawls. Someone just has to teach this guy to make smarter decisions.

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