Frank Beamer dismissed another football player the other day. Redshirt freshman cornerback Theodore Miller was kicked off the team for unspecified reasons. Miller along with another Hokie player were arrested for firearms charges after threatening a fellow student with a pellet gun. Earlier in the year Beamer dismissed senior DJ Walton after he was arrested for armed robbery and drug possession. Walton had also been arrested for drunk driving the year before but was reinstated to the team. Their starting QB was arrested twice last year, including once on a rape charge. Two other Hokie players were arrested on the rape charge as well but the only player kicked off the team was a backup WR. Frank Beamer didn't need him to win.
Their program is an embarrassment to the ACC. Our own Jerry Lundegaard commissioner John Swofford included VPI as part of his money grab during the expansion debacle of 2003-4. Actually no one really wanted the Hokies in the first place. Syracuse was the original target for expansion. It was only after UNC and Duke vetoed the whole expansion that Virginia's swing vote became critical. Virginia Governer Mark Warner put pressure on UVA to hold up the vote and let VT join the ACC. The rest of the schools, hungry for the increased revenue, joined along and a university that has no business being in the ACC was offered a chance to be a member of a conference that never wanted them in the first place. It was something like watching Billy Bob Thorton walk down the red carpet at the Oscars, a vulgar and uncouth hillbilly who lucked his way into a better life.
Their football program became a national laughingstock after over 20 players were arrested during a 13 month period in the late 1990s. National newspapers and commentators pointed to Frank Beamer's program as an example of college sports run amok. There was even a Supreme Court case revolving around a gang rape of a coed by members of the football squad. They became a symbol of football programs that allowed thugs and predators, who happen to have good 40 yard dash times, to victimize its students in the pursuit of bowl money. If the people at Virginia Tech would rather win football games than improve their mediocre academics then that is their choice. The ACC should not have vindicated that Faustian bargain by giving them the legitimacy that the ACC affiliation bestows.
I feel the same way about Miami's entry into the ACC as well, but that's for another time. The Hokies are like the Beverly Hillbillies who bought their way into the country club and still don't know what fork to use at dinner. If they bring some of the football team to dinner just make sure you count the silver after they go home.
Added October 19th
Reactions from Hokies
Vulgar and uncouth?
There were some gems like "your[sic] a douche" and "I hope you die and your mother witnesses it" variations from the always unintentionally humorous Hokie fans in response to my recent entry about their program. One woman said she wasn't sure any lawyer could care about the victims of their out of control football team. Interesting, because the only people who seem to care about those victims in southwest Virginia are the lawyers at the Commonwealth Attorney's office. Another luminary guessed that I was a "Eastern shore public defender", but I must say that if I was a defense attorney I would just go down to Blacksburg and the Hokie players could keep me in business all by themselves.
I was called self righteous, arrogant, snobby, childish and a whiny brat. To the first three I'll pull a Marcus Vick and plead no contest. Further more, as it concerns the festering boil that is college football, when defenders of the corrupt status quo use those words to insult me, I take them as a badge of honor.
So I would say check and check to the above question. I would like to thank all the visitors from that cesspool over at Techsideline for proving my points with such enthusiasm. Excellent work.
What we now know is that their fondness for moral relativism and half baked working class populism are not recently acquired skills. Too bad they don't reserve some of that outrage for their own institution. I'm sure there are some decent graduates of VPI, and I would hope that they would be uncomfortable with the reputation that these shameful episodes bring to their alma mater. I wouldn't be comfortable giving money to the Terrapin Club or buying season tickets if Ralph Friedgen's program made regular headlines for off field violations. I know that he has kicked players off the team for being trouble makers and it didn't take their 3rd arrest, or their backup status, for him to make that decision. Integrity isn't something you gain by winning games, nor can you acquire it only when the circumstances make it easier. Notoriety isn't the same as respect and notorious means more than being famous. As long as Ralph Friedgen runs Maryland's football team with the probity he has to this point I'll be content regardless of what happens Thursday night or on any other gameday.
Tomorrow Maryland will have Sam Hollenbach at quarterback. Sam is majoring in mechanical engineering at one of the finest programs in the nation. He is a humble, thoughtful and respectful young man. He endured some setbacks during his time on the team but worked hard and earned a starting spot. Sam now leads the ACC in passing yards. Frank Beamer starts a kid who...well, you get the point.