Welcome to Syracuse football, Greg Robinson style, where all news is bad news, and it's delivered as late in the day as possible. When the news hit Friday at 5:30 pm that starting defensive end Brandon Gilbeaux has been suspended for the upcoming year due to academic issues, it was just the latest bit of bad news coming from an abysmal program -- and it continues a pattern of secrecy that has become the hallmark of the Greg Robinson era.
Everyone who's ever worked on either side of the news business knows that the time to dump bad news is late in the day on Friday. The Saturday papers are minuscule, people are headed off for weekend plans, and no one is focused on a football team which doesn't play its first game for more than 2 months. To further help bury the story, SU waited until the team's beat writer went on a 2 week vacation. As some one who works in the public relations field, it was a very savvy move. As a fan who wants this team to succeed, it was just one more thing to piss me off.
With the regular school session long since ended, and rumors swirling around the internet for a week that another SU player may be in trouble, this idiot personally finds it hard to believe that the decision on Gilbeaux was handed down at 5:00 pm. on a Friday. However, announcing it at that time isn't surprising.
One of Greg Robinson's first moves as head coach was to essentially close practices to reporters, kicking them out after 15 minutes while the team is still doing stretching exercises and warm ups. Three years of horrific results on the field have lead to increasingly limited access to the team, culminating in a 37 play Spring "game," which was a joke. Its clear Greg doesn't want others to know what they are up to - I guess if word got out that they were practicing over-pursuit and blown assignment drills, opponents would really get a leg up on them.
The head coach of a major program has to be held responsible for all aspects of the program and as things have increasingly went down hill, Robinson has become more and more reclusive. Compared to Pete Carroll, he's practically become Howard Hughes.
I don't chalk up losing another starter to academics as more "bad luck." As the CEO of this program, he needs to have the staff in place to make sure the kids are getting the help they need academically, as well ensure that the guys are acting in a responsible manner. In the last six months, the team has had two starters kicked out for academics, 2 others in trouble for breaking into the weight room after hours, and by my count they currently have 10 juniors on the roster who are eligible to play.
The defensive line wasn't good last year, so you could argue losing someone who had just one sack is no big deal, but for Robinson, who was hired lead Syracuse back to national prominence, its the latest bit of evidence that he doesn't have a clue how to run a program, and it's another set back in what has been 3 embarrassing years of set backs.