Hats off to new East
Carolina head coach Skip Holtz for laying down the law!
Earlier this week Holtz announced the suspension of Jamar Flournoy,
East Carolina's third-leading tackler a year ago, for what Holtz called
"a violation of team rules." By now most of you have heard or read
somewhere that Flournoy was recently charged with public intoxication
and possession of an open alcohol container. Coach Holtz would not
confirm that Flournoy was suspended because of these charges and I
refuse to assume what would seem to be the obvious. With that said,
Flournoy did break team rules and he's paying dearly. "He is not going
to play this year, he's not going to dress, he's not going to travel,
he will not step on the field this year, said Holtz. I do expect him to
be at practice every day this year as a Scout Team player for us."
As if the suspension wasn't enough of a message, Holtz gave Flournoy
the option of mending broken fences by redshirting the senior and
keeping him on the Scout Team for the entire season. This accomplishes
a number of things. First and foremost it gives Flournoy a much
deserved second chance. The senior transfer kept his nose clean before
now and who's to say it he didn't make a poor decision that will never
be repeated. Secondly, the sight of Flournoy practicing with the scout
team everyday serves as a constant reminder to every player on the team
what can happen if you break the rules. Absolutely brilliant on the
part of Holtz!
Holtz made no apologies for his stern actions with Flournoy and
rightfully so. As a first year head coach entering a program that has
fallen from national prominence, Holtz had to make a statement. I
guarantee you that every member of this year's football team will have
Jamar Flournoy in the back of his mind every time he steps foot inside
an establishment in downtown Greenville.
Flournoy did practice with the Scout Team on Thursday but would not
speak to reporters following team drills. Skip Holtz did paraphrase to
WITN-TV what was said by Flournoy in a meeting between the two on
Wednesday. "I made a mistake, I let down my teammates, I let down my
coaches, I feel bad about what I did and I just want to be a part
of this program and anything I need to do to turn and help this
football team win I'll be more than happy to do."
Comments like that from Division One college football players these
days is almost unheard of. "I was very proud of his maturity and the
way he handled the entire situation, said Holtz. He didn't try to pass
the buck, he accepted the blame, he understands he made a mistake and
this is what he's going to have to do to redeem himself to put himself
back in this program in a positive light."
The bottom line is that football is a game of discipline and respect.
If a head coach lacks either, he's done! Holtz gets my respect and
while I believe Jamar Flournoy made a big mistake he gets even more
respect for not only standing up and taking responsibility for his
actions, but agreeing to do whatever it takes to regain the
respect of his coaches and teammates.
Mark my words. This incident will have a ripple effect throughout the
next couple of years. Players don't forget!