Excerpt from "Forde Yard Dash" on ESPN.COM
The many good guys on the Miami roster and the many good people at the school will protest strenuously that this is not a program with an overabundance of thugs. But you are how you act. And the Hurricanes' actions of late fit that label as snugly as the hand of Anthony Reddick (6) fit around the bars of his face mask, as he swung his helmet like a cudgel at FIU players Saturday night.
Here's your checklist, Hurricanes. If you:
A. Brawl with the opposition in the tunnel coming off the field following a 37-point bowl loss …
B. Have players on your team recording a spectacularly profane rap song about group sex …
C. Stomp on the midfield logo of another team in what could only be an intentional pregame attempt to antagonize …
D. Use your cleats, helmets and fists as weapons in a five-minute brawl with another team -- no matter who started it …
… Then guess what? You're Thug U. You singularly lack class. And your coach and school administration seem either powerless or uninterested in doing anything to alter that. According to Miami media reports, Coker's initial response to the mayhem Saturday night was fairly dismissive of the ramifications. Said Coker: "This won't be a big negative on the University of Miami."
Strock, meanwhile, was promising severe consequences for his Thugs In Training. (FIU followed through by dismissing two players and indefinitely suspending 16 others.)
It took Larry Coker and the Canes awhile to get a grip on the situation. It's possible Coker couldn't grasp the full scale of the brawl while in the middle of it. But to suggest that it wouldn't hurt his program or the school indicates complete cluelessness or brute denial.
By Sunday, Coker had gotten a grip and at least said the right things. But the initial punishment arrived at by the Miami administration and the Atlantic Coast Conference -- one-game suspensions -- was an absolute joke.
Upon further review, league and school located some spine and at least made Reddick's suspension indefinite. That's at least closer to season-ending, which is what he deserves. It also would be the proper punishment for fellow safety Brandon Meriweather (7), whose classy decision to stomp on the legs and backs of FIU players already under assault has not yet earned him more than one game in the cooler.