Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hokie Pokey

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.


hokie hi said...

billy bob accepted the invite then proceeded to mop the floor with your precious terps. 55-6. ouch. obviously that cut deep. you do win when it comes to academic all american football players. md had 6 and vt had 5 in 04. not as lopsided as you think.

also, marcus and company were convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for serving them alcohol. not rape. the girl admitted the sex was 100% consentual. i might be splitting hairs but there is a bit of a difference. and you're in law? that's nice.

i have nothing but respect for md and all of vt's FELLOW acc schools. it's a shame there are people like you to spoil the good spirit of college athletics.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes very young children, when they see someone with something that they want and they can't have, well, they just don't know what else to do but call them names. Your "facts" about VT are incorrect. As far as mediocre academics, VT ranks in the top 100 schools in the nation, along with Maryland. I guess a bunch of dumb "hillbillies" done got them thar edumacation.

Esquire said...

Actually the numbers you were referring to are the All-ACC academic teams, not the Academic All-American teams, which is a huge distinction.

Yes, he pleaded no contest to those misdemeanors but if you read carefully I said he was arrested on a statutory rape charge. Not convicted, arrested. Hopefully that distinction is clear now. Virginia is one of the only states in the country where what he did would not have been a felony. In fact the statutory rape charges were dropped because the girl would not testify. Consent is irrelevant in statutory rape crimes, that is the point. Being a lawyer helps me appreciate the differences.

I feel that sleazy win-at-all-cost football factories like Beamer's are what ruin the "good spirit of college athletics", but that's just me.

hokie hi said...

"Not convicted, arrested. Hopefully that distinction is clear now. "

got me there.

"Virginia is one of the only states in the country where what he did would not have been a felony. In fact the statutory rape charges were dropped because the girl would not testify."

because she conceeded that she initiated it

" Consent is irrelevant in statutory rape crimes"

which is in itself irrelevent because there is no statutory rape charge. what's your point?

"Being a lawyer helps me appreciate the differences."

you're cool, i mean no you're not. you're a whiny brat. i feel your md alum cringing everytime you post.

55-6 said...

Come on Terp fans, quit stealing UVAs lines. This is a tired routine that wahoos have been reverting to for years now. We're all educated, we all know Tech is no worse than another other team when it comes to discipline, and we all know who is the champ and who embarrassed who on national TV. PS, you're a horrible lawyer, you opened up your whole arguement by saying Coach Beamer dismissed someone from the team, only to fill your text with references of an undisciplined team and an unwilling administration. You're an Eastern Shore public defender right? Focus on the football hard charger.

Esquire said...

Again, even if she did initiate the sexual encounter that is irrelevant to the charge. These kinds of crimes are strict liability. It does not matter if she initiated it, consented, told him she was 21 or claimed to be Tyra Banks. If she didn't consent it would be forcible rape regardless of her age and he'd be in jail for a long time. 18.2-371 is the statutory rape law for 15 year olds, I suggest you take a look at it.

If this is the kind of program that Hokie fans are happy with, a handful of players getting kicked off the team every year, forced to argue about the propriety of their star QB having sex with a 15 year old, not raising a peep when the same players get arrested time and again, then that is your business as fans, alums or whatever you may be. Just be honest about it. If you just said, "I don't care what Frank does with his team as long as they win" then at least one could appreciate your consistency.

I suppose when your team is as well known for getting players thrown in jail as it is for winning games then you're past the point of being ashamed of anything.

Anonymous said...

That's right at Maryland it's only ok to lower your morals and standards for basketball, because all those guys leave early anyway. MD Law....hahahahhahah now that's funny.

Anonymous said...

I love how you're deleting every good rebuttal in your comments section, if only you could do that in the court-room right? I'm also so glad that you pointed out to us that you're a lawyer, thus making you automatically more intelligent than myself. I am so glad that you have graced us Hokies with your well-informed opinions.

Esquire said...

"you're a douche, get a life nerd"

Yes, I should have left pearls of wisdom like these from Hokie fans so everyone could read how I was bested by skilled rhetoric and the "facts".

Just My Opinion said...

Being that you are a lawyer, I was assume you have heard of what the entire United States Justice System is based upon...Innocent until proven guilty. What kind of lawyer would sit there behind the protection of his computer screen and brag about how someone was arrested for doing something, when the whole field in which his career is based is exactly the opposite? My opinion...well, I'm sure you know my opinion by now. I'm not saying what he did or didn't do is right or wrong. I wasn't there in the room with them (were you?) so I don't know what did or didn't happen...but everyone is entitled to a defense.

The Kettle said...

why did you delete my post? not cool. I hope you guys put up a good fight on Thursday. So much for open discourse.

The Kettle said...

I'll post it again...Anyone who reads me and sees that it's gone in a minute. Know that he deleted it...why? not sure. come one Turtle Waxer, what are you afraid of?! If you're righteous, then no problem, right?

Don't reduce your team to victim status. It does them an injustice. Perhaps you and your fellow Terps
find solace in the belief that other teams success is tainted by criminals and um...."hillbillies". Uh, good one. But Maryland is no martyr in the world of college football....

'Maryland wide receiver Gregory Powell was found not guilty of assaulting police and disorderly conduct. Judge R. Patrick Hayman, who attended the University of Maryland Law school, is quoted as saying, "Son, you are about to get an early Christmas present, because I knowwhat effect a probation would have. And it is a gift, because you are
guilty as sin. I'm going to find you not guilty." '

Regardless of the idiotic behavior of a college football player (it happens far too often...everywhere, including Virginia Tech), I respect the Maryland football team for their achievements. It's a shame a fan has to resort to childish name-calling and bigoted, classist statements to show his support.

And as far as "mediocre academics", Virginia Tech joins Maryland on the list of the Top 100 Public Universities. Both institutions should be proud. Apparently your academic experience has not taught you pride, just how to lay blame and whine.

terps7402 said...

There appears to be an overflow of somewhat half-witted 'chokies' from www.techsideline.com, posting here, Esquire. It's a somewhat half-baked operation populated with semi-literate denizens of southwestern virgina, who appear to be close in kindred spirit to similarly enlightened souls living in Morgantown, WVa.

A quick read through their board is a guaranteed laugh. The vast majority of their posters have already pencilled their squad into the Rose Bowl, while the other half of the board rails against that papal plot residing in South Bend.

And you know, in KLan country, them catholics are evil...

Makes you wonder why any black football player would want to hang out in southwestern Virginia.

Go figure.....

Just get those hillbillys back across the Potomac before midnight Thursday before they end up in Baltimore, drinking our beer and hanging out in our welfare system along with the rest of West Virginia.

The Kettle said...

Classy...perhaps you think resorting to crude insults regarding the rural poor and the reinforcement of stereotypes is a noble pursuit.

What exactly would make you wonder why a black football player would want to go to Virginia Tech?

Virginia Tech has a long history of diversity. The first black student was admitted in 1953, Maryland was 1951.

I thought this was about football.