The Enigma That Is Robert Marve

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The Enigma That Is Robert Marve
(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Indecision. This one word brings about many other words in uneasiness, anxiety and distrust. For those surrounding Robert Marve, it would appear these words are commonplace.

A graduate of Henry B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida, Marve committed to the University of Alabama. The potential recruit for the Crimson Tide could have changed their entire approach to the offensive side of the sport; Marve broke and reset several single season passing records for the state of Florida his senior year.

Indecision struck. Marve changed his commitment to the University of Miami. The speculation behind this move pointed to Marve being closer to home, playing for a national powerhouse—a team with rich NFL transitioning history.

Marve was red-shirted by first year coach Randy Shannon because of a broken arm suffered in a car accident. Kirby Freeman was given the nod as starter. The car accident seemed not to be Marve's fault; he was a passenger, not the driver.

Shannon, Marve and the rest of the country would have to wait until the following season to see Marve's debut with the Canes.

Uneasiness looms. Marve was suspended for the 2008 season opener against Charleston Southern. Shannon suspended Marve for attempting to evade police after he broke a car mirror. Robert's father Eugene approached the Miami Herald to announce that "Robert is upset. Robert’s family is upset".

This minor move by Robert's father dawned new light on the past issue of Marve originally transferring from Alabama. A player who commits to a university, only to change his decision weeks later seems more suspicious if his father appears to run his life.

Anyone in the college football world would feel Marve's suspension against Charleston Southern (an FCS school) is simply a PR move, rather than punishment for Marve. Again, this was Shannon's first season at the helm.

So for Eugene Marve to take such a large leap forward, instead of letting the coaching staff at Miami deal with the issue, is notable.

Robert played out the remainder of the 2008 season, going 6-5 as the starter, with 9 touchdown passes accompanied by 13 interceptions. He was suspended for the Emerald Bowl against the California Golden Bears for academic reasons.

Anxiety advances. Through the mass of speculation about the once national power Miami Hurricanes dropping off their pedestal, to the new hiring of Randy Shannon, Marve was caught in the thick of things. His play seemed sufficient for a first year starter in the ACC, especially as a red-shirt freshman.

But his off-field issues were dominant. From making mistakes with the wrong social groups, to academic problems, to family issues surrounding his father, Marve brought a lot of negative attention and anxiety to the Hurricanes football program.

Within two weeks of the Canes bowl game against California, Marve announced his volition to transfer from the University of Miami. This move was subject to much meditation about Marve's play, Miami's recruiting, Eugene Marve, and the relationship between Robert and Randy Shannon.

Rumors flew stating Marve as possessing attitude problems. Marve had also been benched several times during the 2008 season. Despite these claims, there was a lot of interest displayed in Marve.

He allegedly attracted the likes of Florida, Tennessee, LSU, South Florida, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Purdue, Syracuse and Oklahoma State.

Distrust reigns supreme. Known to the public, Eugene Marve had been overshadowing his son for the past two years. The elder Marve had often appeared to be living vicariously through his son, giving releases to different media outlets and apparently choosing Robert's source of education and athletics.

With the Marves' statement of transferring, the University of Miami and Randy Shannon were prepared to place restrictions on Robert's landing with a team. Eugene Marve was quick to act in declaring that he was ready to fight those conditions set by Miami and Shannon. (The conditions were that Marve could not attend any SEC or ACC schools, nor any in-state program).

Soon after Miami's release of restrictions on where Marve could potentially play football, it was released that Eugene Marve had a serious illness. This illness was so serious, that Eugene Marve resonated that he wanted his son close to home, which fittingly went directly against the restrictions set by the University.

Many viewed Eugene Marve's actions as ones of high hopes to get Robert into either Urban Meyer's program at UF, the University of Tennessee or LSU. One would think Eugene Marve was serious when he asserted he wanted Robert close to home... but their acceptance of interest of schools located in the Midwest and on the west coast would prove otherwise.

Eugene Marve fielded curiosity from UCLA, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Michigan and Arizona State, as well as Syracuse and Purdue.

A story such as Marve's often materializes into an idea rather than substance. The college football world found themselves pondering Marve's situation daily, but without any solid reasons. He was a sub par quarterback with no real feel-good story behind him.

Why was it that nearly every college football analyst had succumbed to Marve's  status? Was it his boisterous, pressing father? His high school production in the rear view mirror?

Come mid-May of this year, Marve had narrowed down his options to a scholarship at Purdue or a walk-on role at Tennessee.

Without doubt, Eugene Marve had to be somewhat upset. His son could accept a scholarship to a program that had seen recent great collegiate quarterbacks in Drew Brees and Kyle Orton, but was on a steady decline. Or he could attempt to earn a spot, let alone start, as a Volunteer at Tennessee.

Purdue seemed to be the better option: the program had a decent competitor in Curtis Painter, but their recruiting was too horrific to field any sort of surrounding talent. Marve could suffer in two years, or Danny Hope could use his signing to better their recruiting while Marve sat out due to NCAA regulations.

On May 20, 2009, Marve released that he would transfer to Purdue.

Surely, Marve's story is not dead; the Marve's carry a lot of baggage with them. Although Robert may go into hibernation until next April, he will be very much a part of Purdue's program. Boilermaker fans are just hoping Eugene Marve will not be.

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