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Coaches take different tacks in disciplining players

Wake Forest's Jim Grobe suspends six players for Saturday's game against Maryland for unspecified 'team rules.' Paul Pasqualoni suspends Connecticut running back Lyle McCombs one quarter after McCombs was arrested Friday.

October 06, 2012|By Mike Hiserman

Some coaches seem to get the whole leadership aspect of being in charge of a major-college athletic program. Some don't.

At Wake Forest, Coach Jim Grobe suspended six players for Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference game against Maryland. Among them were a linebacker who was the team's leading tackler, a starting safety, a starting cornerback, a starting guard and the team's second-leading rusher.

The reason: they violated unspecified "team rules."

Meanwhile, Connecticut's star running back, sophomore Lyle McCombs was arrested early Friday morning and charged with second-degree breach of peace after he allegedly yelled at, pushed and spit at his girlfriend during an argument outside a university residential hall.

So what did Connecticut Coach Paul Pasqualoni do? He suspended McCombs — for a whole quarter! Yup, the coach sat him down until Connecticut's first possession of the second quarter against Rutgers.

The girlfriend, it should be noted, was also arrested. Pasqualoni told reporters afterward that he made his decision after hearing what happened from "very reliable sources." Of course, it was a big game for Connecticut, playing its Big East Conference opener against an unbeaten, nationally ranked opponent.

Pasqualoni was just a good role model all around. He had to be physically pushed away from Jimmy Bennett after the left tackle's false-start penalty was a factor in stalling a late third-quarter drive in Rutgers territory. Television cameras then caught the coach screaming a series of F-bombs into his headset on the sideline.

This is not the first time Pasqualoni has been easy on McCombs, who also has an arrest for marijuana possession. McCombs, free after posting a $500 bond, didn't do much in the game. He finished with 32 yards rushing in 12 carries, and Rutgers won, 19-3.

How tweet it ain't

We've seen how exasperated Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer has become this season when his team struggled to execute on the football field. So we can only imagine his reaction when a tweet by his third-string quarterback Friday morning went viral.

"Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS" tweeted Cardale Jones, who hasn't played a down this season.

Oh Cardale, where do we start? Maybe with the importance of paying attention in English class.

Jones attended Glenville High in Cleveland — aren't those folks proud today — and signed with Ohio State in 2011. But his enrollment was delayed — his academic record needed to improve (shocker!) — so he spent time at Fork Union Military Academy before joining the Buckeyes.

Jones' tweet has since disappeared, along with the rest of his Twitter account.

Maybe we shouldn't be too hard on Jones, though. Sadly, he simply (and we mean that literally) expressed an opinion held by a number of college athletes.

Ohio State responded with a statement that said, in part, the university reminds its "student-athletes" not to post anything on social media "that could embarrass themselves, their team, teammates, the university, their family or other groups, organizations or people."

Yeah. Don't embarrass … people.

One-liners

Message in white letters over a solid-blue background on billboards greeting homecoming Penn State alumni along Route 322 outside State College, Pa.: "You can't cover up 61 years of success with honor." … Kansas State has been penalized a total of nine times for 71 yards in five games; USC and Utah combined for 27 penalties for 222 yards in a game Thursday.... In a 44-13 win over Purdue, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson ran for 235 yards and passed for 105 yards, completing eight of 16 and, for the first time this season, without having any passes intercepted.... Duke routed Virginia, 42-17, to run its record to 5-1, the Blue Devils' best start since 1994.... Auburn has been outscored, 45-3, in fourth quarters.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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