Purify Gets a Game

Maurice Purify was in a bar fight, was charged with two counts of assault (including allegedly hitting a woman), resisting arrest, and a month later was cited for driving while intoxicated. Now he will miss one football game. Bill Callahan met with Purify on Friday, reinstated his best receiver, and released the following statement to the media:

“I met with Maurice Purify this afternoon and I believe that he has made a sincere effort to redeem himself and move forward in a positive direction. During his suspension from our program these past six weeks he has complied with all of the requirements imposed upon him by the legal system, the general expectations of a student-athlete in our program, and the specific additional conditions demanded of him as a result of his actions. Our primary concern for Maurice continues to be his personal well-being and we will continue to be pro-active in that regard.

Maurice has been re-instated to our football program and will participate in the final week of summer workouts beginning on Monday, and will report to training camp as part of our 105-man roster on August 5th. Maurice will be suspended for the season opener against Nevada, and will face continued additional discipline within our football program, including extensive community service starting immediately and continuing throughout the entire season. Provided Maurice continues to meet the guidelines of his legal probation (prohibits any appearance in a drinking establishment that primarily serves alcohol, and submission of random testing for use of drugs and alcohol) as well as the stipulations for his behavior set forth by our staff, he will be allowed to resume participation as a member of our team. Maurice will still be subject to any additional possible University Judicial actions, but those actions remain a private matter.”

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When the incidents first occurred (within the span of one month) I felt a three-to-four game suspension was in order. However, the further away I got from it (time-wise) the less passionately I felt about it. Earlier this week I made the comment to someone that he should be suspended for no more than two games. While I do believe this one-game punishment is pretty tame, I also know that Maurice will pay a severe price in the court of public opinion.

Did Callahan go easy on him? Perhaps. Especially when you consider that earlier this week Purify released a statement wondering if he would ever be allowed to play for Nebraska again. Had Callahan gone with a three or four game suspension, people would’ve had a hard time being tough on the coach. Fans are more apt to side with too stiff of a punishment than one that is too light. But let’s be honest, Callahan also would’ve been chewed out whether it was a two game suspension, with some saying, “Oh sure, coach knows he needs Mo for USC.” Now Callahan has opened up the door for criticism.

This is a tough spot for a coach to be in. What this punishment says to me is this: Mo needs to be held accountable, but Nebraska also needs to win. It’s a tough spot for a football coach to be in… especially for a coach that is expected to win this year.

Of course, all punishments are arbitrary, but in my book the Husker scale of “crime and punishment” has now been set.

Two arrests, including two counts of assault, resisting arrest, trespassing, and driving under the influence = a one game suspension.

And the next time a Husker football player gets into trouble with the law (perhaps one that is of lesser caliber) it’ll be interesting to see how it’s handled.

Maurice admitted his wrong-doing, which is the first step in regaining his integrity. With the help of the coaching staff, he’ll get there. I understand the one game suspension, and hope that it’s the last suspension of Purify’s Husker career.

What do you think? Was it too tough? Too light? Just right?
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6 Responses

  1. I would just like to voice my oppion over the recent issue of U.N.L.’s Purify…I can’t believe that he is not kicked off the team…in recent news OU was slapped on probation over players earning extra money..the NCAA said the probation was due to OU not monitoring their players very good…But U.N.L. can have players commit criminal actions against the public such as beating up people in bars and driving while drunk…I think the NCAA needs to start looking into UNL program I would say that they are not monitoring their players very good and maybe they need the same probation that OU has been slapped with…If I’m not wrong didn’t Coach Stoops and OU kick the players off the team?…But UNL has players that go out and beat people up and can stay on the team and the NCAA does nothing about this action?…There is something really wrong here…or is it UNL just can’t afford to kick off players? As I said the NCAA needs to look into this…this is a serious problem.

  2. I think it was okay to just suspend Maurice for one game… I will admit I was suprised… but after thinking about it… Maurice admitted wrong doing and will be punished. Now if he does it again and there isn’t a stiffer sentence then there’s a problem I think. But look at all the chances other Huskers have had under leadership of Solich, Osborne, and even Devaney.

  3. I think you nailed it on the head when you said something about the schedule playing something into it. If the first four games of the season were guaranteed cakewalks, Purify would have been suspended for four games.

    But he can’t suspend him for two games and have him play against USC without paying saying, “Isn’t THAT convenient?”

    I just can’t see somebody sitting out against Nevada saying, “Boy have I learned my lesson!”.

    Now if you throw the guy off the team, it sends a message and just maybe people will wise up.

  4. I think its funny Sooner fan is coming on here telling us how to run a program. Last I checked, 5 probations this century does not say much for you’re program. Your the last program ANY program needs to be taking advise from.

    I personally feel 1 game is fine. The key to the suspension lies with the contract that Callahan made Purify sign. Purify knows this is his last chance, I highly doubt he messes this one up. And if he does, he’s gone.

  5. One or two games does not seem like to lenient a punishment from Callahan…but he it sounds fair..his punishment was probation and fine $1250 anyone with similar background and criminal history would face same/similar penety…sodo readers want coach to punish he committed crimes and pays through our judicial system

  6. it seems to me that when Callahan first came to NE he came by the majority of the people unliked. I personally decided to give him a chance. i think that cosidering the previous punishments by Callahan has been severe by kicking a few players off the team that this means that maybe this time the media has blown this out of proportion. Even though i think that the punishment is light if he actually hit a female,started another fight and especially a DUI. The point i am trying to make is that maybe he is a good kid that was at the wrong place at the wrong time as far as the assault charges, but as far as the DUIi think that the coach should have preset punishments besides what the law has already gave to the individual.

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