I met this afternoon with three of the 13 PSU football players alleging controversial coach Jerry Glanville has kicked them off the team by terminating their scholarships, and giving conflicting reasons for doing so.
GLANVILLE: Looks a bit gay in that hat...
Before we go any further: I am not a football fan. I have no interest in a sport that's designed for pussies—all that padding makes you look scared, boys. However, I do know injustice when I see it. And I think I see it, here.
All three players were huge, one of them practically destroyed my hand when he shook it. And yet, they were terrified of speaking out against Glanville, for the sake of their future careers. Why?
"I think he bought his NFL standpoint over to a college, and that's how he's treating us. But it's education that he's dealing with, not the NFL," said one player—who had planned to graduate in November, but can't now afford to do so.
Some players allege they were told they were losing their scholarships because they had missed weight training sessions when they had attended religiously. Others say they were told they were in bad academic standing when they were doing fine.
"I was told it was because I didn't come to weights by one coach, and then another told me I didn't fit the scheme. Then another coach told me that my grades weren't eligible. It was just conflicting stories all around," said one of the players. "When I finally met with Glanville, he said it was because I got hurt."
While all the players are on yearly scholarships, and Glanville has the legal right to kick them off the team, the players I spoke to were struck by the ruthlessness of the decision. Seven of the former players are appealing the decision and are hoping Glanville has a change of heart. Others have begun applying to other schools.
Some of the players joined the Vikings under former coach, Tim Walsh. They feel he made them promises he couldn't live up to.
"He ate my parents' hors d'oeuvres and told them, we'll take care of your child," said one of the players. "He gave me assurances, saying he'd take care of me, telling me I'd be able to finish my education."
It turns out, such promises mean nothing when the coach gets replaced. It must be a tough lesson for these players to learn. And I hope coach Brokeback feels guilty about it.