Believe me, not the last thing I wanted to read before going to bed last night nor the first thing I wanted to write about this morning...but it has to addressed. Late last night, Dave Southorn of the Idaho Statesman dropped a pretty blistering bombshell about the dismissal of two redshirt freshman football players and the suspension of a third over allegations of sexual misconduct. The players involved in the mess are LB Marquis Hendrix (expelled), CB Donzale Roddie (expelled), and DB Darreon Jackson (one-year suspension). I don't want to take away from Southorn's fantastically-thorough article here by trying to summarize. Suffice it to say, it lays out every tawdry detail from the school's Title IX sexual misconduct investigation. I can't recommend strongly enough that you read the entirety of the article (HERE).
Whether you just read the article and are circling back to OBNUG or if you're looking for the high-level details here with the intent to read the full report later, the best summary is just this: 3 Boise State players were found to have acted inappropriately toward a female student and have been punished accordingly. At present, it does not look like criminal charges have been filed, nor do we know if they are forthcoming. Boise State acted in the best interest of the alleged victim and the institution in recommending the punishments, therefore the small twinge of "bummer" anyone feels about the hit we're taking on the roster has to be immediately tempered given the circumstances. We know most of the details but not all. The bottom line is that student safety comes first and allegations of any stripe must be taken seriously. The families of the punished parties are justifiably upset, but given the current mess at Baylor, Title IX compliance, and the recent Lack of Institutional Control finding against Boise State—I'd say it was wise for the university to act swiftly and decisively here.
Another troubling detail from Southorn's story is that an attempt was allegedly made by the accused players to arrange further sexual acts for a visiting recruit—from the alleged victim. Some have intimated that this reflects poorly on the coaching staff for their failure to know the whereabouts of a visiting recruit. I'm not sure I'm willing to go as far as blaming an administrative breakdown on that little detail of the investigation—incoming recruits are "hosted" by current players and can't be under the watchful eye of the coaching staff or recruiting coordinators 24/7. However, I do think this situation could force Boise State to rethink some of their processes and procedures with visiting recruits and have a frank discussion with "hosting" players about what is expected of them (with plenty of details about what constitutes recruiting violations and school policy violations).
Three players were found to have breached the school's code of conduct and were punished accordingly. It's difficult, but I think it's important to resist the urge to jump to your own conclusions about this case or assume that this has anything to do with a cultural breakdown in the program. The same types of dismissals happened under the previous coaching regime and I think we should count ourselves unlucky that these sort of things occur but very lucky that they're dealt with in (what appears to be) the right way. You simply can't feel outrage over the situation at Baylor and outrage over the treatment of the accused. The university puts the safety of students first and foremost and it should stay that way.