18.May.2011 Mike Riley Described as “Slow” in Oregonian
In an article here about Barney Graff and the medical staff.
Riley seemed slow to acknowledge all of this – perhaps because he valued Graff as a co-worker and as a friend – but the school finally acted on all of the unrest in the department.
I'm not exactly sure what the bold portion means. Did Ed Ray override Riley and the AD to demote Graff?
Either way, there are three issues here:
1. The slow adaptation is classic Riley. Clearly the medical staff has underperformed for over a decade, yet change was only made in 2011. Greg Newhouse hadn't signed a recruit for four or five years, but he was only asked to change roles this year. And then there are the players (#28, Pankey, Quizz getting 99% of the carries, etc). Waiting for Riley to make a change is like waiting for watched water to boil.
2. The players (and their families) are victims.
Guys like Jeremy Perry are what make this story sad. A guy with an NFL future who received questionable medical treatment, and ultimately had to retire.
3. With regard to point #2, did Riley know his players felt this way? If "you should ice that" was a running, inside joke, surely he heard it. I mean, yeah, he had to have known. But there will be people who defend him to their death, just like there are still people who condition themselves to believe Nixon didn't know about the Watergate burglaries. Do what you must to get through life, I suppose, but I don't understand how this fits into good management or the "family" atmosphere. If I were injured, mentally or physically, my family would want me to receive top notch care. Or, thinking back to early childhood when we were poor, at least competent care if the best were unaffordable.
Reading between the lines, this is what I'm thinking: OSU hired Graff because he was a Riley crony who came at a cheap price. That's how OSU runs their athletic department: Money is their God and Riley their Jesus. This report leaves many unanswered questions: who stepped in and made this change? Who is the new head trainer for football? Why did this take a decade to sort out? Was this so well known that schools used it against OSU on the recruiting trail? Why didn't Riley protect his players' health, career, livelihood? The answers can mostly be deduced, but I'd rather hear them from the horses' mouths. The (typical) silence leads me to believe there's contention and disarray in the athletic department.
With the windfall profits headed their way, OSU sees an opportunity to ditch the cronyism in favor of a meritocrasy. Of course, this is a good thing, but while the end result is positive, the means is extremely questionable and demands more answers.