Friday, August 14, 2009

MSU And Dantonio Need To Get The Message About Winston

Given the circumstances, Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio and athletic director Mark Hollis should reconsider their decision to rush Spartans’ kick returner Glenn Winston back onto the practice field.
While it’s true Winston has served his debt to society in regard to a jail sentence, the fact an MSU athlete, hockey player A.J. Sturges, was so severely injured in the incident, and has spoken out strongly and publicly against Winston’s return, needs to be considered.
It is understood Dantonio doesn’t want to "turn his back" to his player and wants to offer support, but it’s also understood there are others involved in the situation, and that the incident did severe damage, not only to the athletic program’s reputation, but also that of the university as a whole.
It was an exceptionally violent incident that doesn’t exactly provide comfort to parents about sending their children to Michigan State.
When Winston started practicing with the Spartans not long after being released from jail this week, it raised a lot of eyebrows. It should have. The message it sent wasn’t a good one.
Michigan State athletics has had a really good run recently. The football team’s surprising success, and his no-nonsense approach, has made Dantonio wildly popular. Hollis has received many kudos - and they are justified - for bringing much-needed stability to the Spartans’ often- tumultuous athletic department. The basketball team’s run to the NCAA title game in Detroit was wonderful.
But Dantonio and Hollis better nip this in the bud. Their decision-making on Winston is not appreciated nor accepted. They’d be wise to get the message and change course quickly. That doesn’t mean running and hiding from Winston, but not being so light when it come to the repercussions from the university and athletic program standpoints.
It’s obvious to everybody else. Why isn’t it to these guys?

Random Thoughts

- Jim Schwartz made the right decision starting Daunte Culpepper at quarterback in the Lions preseason opener Saturday. His veteran status dictates it. However, he has to give Matthew Stafford at least equal time with the Lions first stringers in the preseason. Stafford should start Game 2 at Cleveland. I still believe Culpepper should clearly outplay Stafford in order to start the opener at New Orleans - not the other way around. I don’t believe the Lions can be afraid to play Stafford, that he needs the experience of playing, not that of holding a clipboard. And in real games.

- The Royals are not good, but there is something about that club coming to Comerica Park with a lot on the line for the Tigers that is discomforting. It’s not just 2006, either. They always seem to stick it to the Tigers when it is least expected.

- Mauricio Robles, the left-handed pitching prospect the Tigers gave up in the Jarrod Washburn trade with Seattle, has an 8.53 ERA in this three appearances for High Desert in the Class A California League.

My column in Friday's Oakland Press about how the Lions have exposed the sham of the NFL's preseason forever



Blogger maddog52 said...

Book I think I am looking for a few things this preseason. 1st and for most if the team goes 0-4 and 4-0 mean nothing to me. #1 progression game 1 to game 4 I want to see how these rookies do. I want to see them progress. Heck personally I'd like to see the ones the lions expect to make an impact go early as oppose to the 4th quarter against garbage. Cause they are the key to the turn around for the lions. Last year our starters did CRAP!! we won most of the pre-season games against garbage. So it makes sense why we struggled so bad when it counted. #2-I want to see how we do with field position. I think field position has destroyed us. It be nice to see our offense start at the 35 to 45 line marks more often as oppose to inside the our own 20.. #3. I want to see adjustments. I want to see Mayhew/Lewand and Schwartz be active with this roster during the preseason. If a player blows, an an upgrade is out there make the move.

To me a lot can be told about this new regime, but us as lions fans I just say stay realistic.

5:42 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

maddog, I think you're remembering incorrectly. Our starting offense last year was moving the chains at will in each preseason game.

Unless I'm confusing it with the 2007 preseason. I just remember our starting offense going out there for one or two drives every game and seemingly getting a TD almost every drive, and then getting taken out of the game early. May have been a different story against the Colts in the 3rd game, but the first two games for sure. Sure looked promising at the time. :-/

11:42 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Staying realistic is the key with the Lions. It was apparent Saturday they still have a long way to go.

12:54 PM 

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