This may be news to college football fans outside of the Kansas and Missouri areas, but Leon Patton of Kansas State has been arrested and suspended. As the starting running back for the Wildcats, he was the only RB to have seen a down at the Division I level. I say it could not have happened to a better team.
My disdain for K-State notwithstanding, I look at the negative impact of this kind of action and wonder if the Huskers are properly shored up in case of a major development.
In all actuality, I applauded Ron Prince for taking immediate action by showing no tolerance for reckless behavior.
Bo Pelini was forced by Andy Christensen to respond to the March incident by indefinitely suspending him. It will be August before there will be any resolution in that case, but it has the same impact that losing any starter would bring. Players fill in while coaches game plan around important players.
Hunter Teafatiller's drinking issues are another point that drives us fans crazy. Missing one impact player is hard enough without more bone-headed mistakes off the field.
While Teafatiller's punishment is mainly focused on in-house discipline, both legal and athletic department resolutions take away from the many goals of Nebraska Athletics. Tom Osborne said that one of his goals as the Athletic Director is to have the players better off than when they arrived.
So does this mean that 2008 may be ruined in terms of wins and losses? Absolutely not. We have a staff of motivators. We have young men that can step up and take personal responsibility for their actions.
If we have any more players with legal issues, I would only be concerned that our players are not getting the lifetime lessons that come with being a responsible student athlete. This would be a negative towards Osborne's evaluation of the football program at the end of the year.
Pelini and company need to continue to show Nebraska and the world what "the Nebraska Way" is really like.