Let's start out with this admission: reporters, for the most part, are just doing their jobs when they report news that we don't like. And I'm quite sure that a lot of people who read this site were not thrilled when they read of the arrest of Darian Dailey. Our Andy Egan posted a story here when it happened.
None of us were happy. It was a sad event for that young man, and by all accounts he has some big problems to deal with. For a lot of us, it was a disappointment from a football stand point; he was a player who we likely were going to lose, but one about whom we really didn't know much if anything.
But a few folks, me included, were a little bothered by Dan Duggan's story and subsequent tweet about the matter.
Darian Dailey is the third Rutgers player arrested in the past year: http://t.co/DEjTeGmIIH— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) May 24, 2015
To some of us, the story had turned from a single player being in trouble with the law to Rutgers' program becoming Florida State North.
@DDuggan21 Well, I don't worry about the numbers. Even 1 is too much. Who are we, Florida State?— scarlethorn (@scarlethorn) May 24, 2015
I took issue, as did a few others, with Duggan's report about the three arrests.
.@DDuggan21 You and I are beginning to have an issue, Dan. In what sense is it accurate to repeatedly describe Nelson as a "Rutgers player"?— Joaquin (@BoughtAtAPrice7) May 24, 2015
Well, the fact is we can't say they didn't happen, but that "three arrests" item became, for me, how the story was being told. Ruhann Peele, Philip Nelson, and now Darian Dailey. For me, a big part of this was the fact that with Nelson and Dailey, they were home, a thousand miles away from Piscataway and the cocoon that is a football player's world on campus. They were back with their "friends" - and you can use that term rather loosely - who had influence over them. And that's what I tweeted to Duggan.
Dan Duggan replied, and he was right in the sense that coaches have no control over a player when they aren't in close proximity.
@scarknight that happens 1,000 miles from campus...— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) May 24, 2015
For what it's worth, what I was getting at was that Rutgers hasn't, as far as I know, ever covered up a problem. Kyle Flood has faced them and dealt with them head on. Nelson was removed from the team, Peele was suspended and lost last season, and it looks like Dailey may not be spared the axe, either. As of this writing, Flood has indicated that Rutgers is gathering information - the logical and fair thing to do - and will act when they know what they need to know.
For Darian Dailey, this tweet pretty much sums up the matter.
Indeed, cautionary tale for players....as well as for us. If it bleeds, it leads.