Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick maintains that he was wrongly dismissed from the team after being accused of urinating from a hotel balcony just days before the Broncos' Hawaii Bowl matchup with Oregon State on Christmas Eve, according to KTVB.com.
The senior signal-caller was sent home from Honolulu and put on a flight back to Boise on Dec. 20 after being suspended by interim coach Bob Gregory for violation of team rules.
Freshman quarterback Nick Patti was also suspended for the same reason but was reinstated shortly after.
KTVB.com reports that Southwick has since taken a polygraph test to prove his innocence. The Danville, Calif., native admits that he saw another player urinate from the balcony after returning to the hotel room on Dec. 19, but says he went to bed right after and believes the results will support his side of the story:
I'm here to clear my name, clear the name of my parents. People in the community hopefully realize I didn't do anything wrong and stop throwing my name in the mud.
Boise State issued the following statement on Southwick's dismissal on Monday, Dec. 23, per KTVB.com:
We investigated the matter with university administrators, coaching staff, a law enforcement official, hotel security and student-athletes. We made the decision to send the student-athlete home, and we stand by this difficult decision.
However, Southwick claims that there was virtually no investigation into the matter and that those in charge "rushed" to a decision, per KTVB.com:
It just turned to finger pointing, and it ended up being three people against one person saying something, and I guess the temper tantrum of one person didn't look good and there was no investigation. This was an absolute rushed decision, probably made in about 20 minutes.
Southwick adds that he reached out to Boise State officials requesting an investigation after being taken to the airport but was unsuccessful.
Southwick has split time with junior quarterback Grant Hedrick under center in 2013, completing 72.6 percent of his passes for 1,654 yards, 12 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He completed two passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in Boise State's season-ending rout of New Mexico on Nov. 30 but had not played in the Broncos' previous four games after undergoing surgery to repair a broken ankle.
Not having Southwick for their pivotal bowl matchup with Oregon State certainly hurts the Broncos' depth at quarterback, per ESPN Stats & Info:
But the bigger issue will likely be the reputation of both player and university. Unless Southwick is able to definitively prove his innocence and that he was unjustly dismissed, his college career will likely end in bitter fashion with his reputation tarnished and many questioning his maturity.
On the flip side, if Southwick is able to prove that Boise State rushed to judgment, the university and the football program will be under pressure to backpedal and restore its public image.
Boise State (8-4) will take on Oregon State (6-6) in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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