The suspension of Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris after he was caught driving a rental car twice the speed limit has already become a hot topic as the college football blogosphere wonders what it means for the future of Harris, Oregon and their season-opening game against LSU.
Of course, incidents such as this are never complete until someone takes to a social media platform to express their views.
To add another angle to the story, UO running back Kenjon Barner came to the defense of his suspended teammate last night in the only way that most players know how — Twitter.
Below is the following “rant” by Barner:
“All these ppl talking bad about cliff r funny cuz the minute he scores a TD yall will be the 1st to say he’s greatest guy #fareweatherfans.
“A lot of ppl hold us on such high pedestal tht u forget we r human we make mistakes he didn’t murder,rob,or anything like tht get over it.
“End of the day I support n I’m there for him that’s the bottom line he will do what needs to b done 2 get bak given the opportunity.
“This gonna be my last tweet of the night no one said not to hold him accountable he knows as well as everyone else that he was.
“never said give em a pass leave it 2 the team n coach Kelly if me supportin him is not holdin him accountable then so be it.
“cliff is like my lil brother yeah I’m pissed but I will never stop supporting him that’s what family does bro.”
Barner then “clarified” his comments this morning with the following message:
“No other coach in America has handled off the field issues better than coach K. I will leave to him and so should u!!! God bless.”
“The perception surrounding collegiate athletes is a polarizing one. Fans, both of our university and beyond, quickly criticize Cliff for a mistake he made off the field, but will instantly support him once he turns in an outstanding individual performance on the field. Those inconsistencies support the notion that fans universally hate the player, not the game.
“In fact, many outside the team hold us to such a high regard because of our role on a nationally prominent football program and often forget we are adolescents who are guilty of lapses in judgement from time to time. It is unfair that Cliff’s clouded decision is being perceived as a far greater crime than it actually was.
“Regardless, I still support my dear friend Cliff as he works through this difficult time because he is my teammate. However, it is beyond my prerogative and jurisdiction to enforce any and all punishment against Cliff, as that should be left to the coaching staff and those with the proper authority.”
Entertaining, to say the least, although players need to be careful about putting their thoughts out there for public consumption. Not because of how we — the media and fans– will react, but because of how the their coaches will.