A Bison Reflection
Not long ago, on the 18th to be precise, I made some comments about the coaches ability to get his own guys into the program. When the news broke on Monday that three of his recruits had been dismissed and another suspended I tried to come to a conclusion about it with my previous assertion in mind. An original conclusion, not just a regurgitation of the takes of others in this market. I may or may not have succeeded with that, but here goes.
The dismissal of a couple key recruits shows that the head of the state of North Dakota's premier sports team holds his players to a set standard. It isn't lip service but has now been shown to be an actual standard...a culture, as much as I don't like that word because it's become too buzzy. How many other colleges claim to be something but when pushed do a slide step to avoid an issue so that the team can win. Louisville, Baylor, Penn St., Miami, and on and on and on. It doesn't take long to think of a laundry list of programs that have had their dirty laundry aired out because the people in charge made the wrong choices.
Does this mean that CK has an even greater chance of jumping into a better situation? Probably, I mean what athletic director wouldn't want a guy who can recruit, coach em up (and kick em out if they get out of line) and win games. That's a total package if you ask me!
So while it means that my guess for player to watch this year (Engel) was a total error, that had already been pretty well established. Gosh would it would have been nice to see a red zone threat like he could have become!
That potential benefit didn't outweigh the need to enforce the following of team rules so it's a net positive and by a wide margin if you ask me!
But where does it leave the team? Easton has proven to be quite durable over his 2+ years of play and I see no reason why that would change during his senior year. Except for the fact that NDSU has had a bad run with players staying healthy. I still contend that it's not much worse then what other programs endure, but that doesn't make it any easier.
For argument's sake, say he goes down for 2, 3, 4 or more games next season. There is now a space behind him that should be concerning to all fans. One option may be James Hendricks, but with as good as he's shown he can be at Safety I'd rather they not yank him out of that more then they've already had to this year.
Could they go the transfer route? It's a possibility but one that has been lightly utilized by the coaches and for good reason. It makes a lot more sense to get guys with their full eligibility, I mean really we don't want to become the Gophers. But in this case, if there's a guy with a year or two of scholarship eligibility left then I'd like to hear them at least throw the bait out. That way they would have an insurance policy and a bridge to some of their young guys if Easton does get hurt. It's too bad Cole Davis isn't one year younger! That would solve this whole thing.
We won't know the true effects of the dismissal's until next year and beyond but it's the biggest news story in the lead up to Saturday so I thought now was a great time to address. Maybe I'm not seeing it clearly. Maybe there's angle's to all of it that I glossed over or forgot to mention but if any of that is the case then I expect I'll hear about it. Until then I'm glad for the decision that was made, even if it leaves the future with some uncertainty!