My Take...

5 November 2013

Hindsight is indeed 20-20

Richie Incognito has been identified as a bully.  This may be open to interpretation and there are - as of this writing - still open questions as to the level of complicity there is in his team mates and with management and ownership.

There is NO question, however, that the confrontations with Martin [based on what we currently know] were way over the line.

And he was ALMOST a Duck.

Incognito, from Glendale, Az., was an all-Big 12 selection. He had withdrawn from Nebraska after being suspended from the football team for disciplinary problems. He then enrolled at Oregon and was on scholarship. He never practiced with the team. Mike Bellotti, head coach at the time, had placed strict guidelines on Incognito. These reportedly included the completing of an anger management class and adhering to a strict code of conduct.

He failed those requirements.

The Cornhuskers had suspended him indefinitely for "repeated violations of team rules". Earlier in the year, Incognito was charged with three counts of assault stemming from a fight at a party. He was found guilty of one misdemeanor assault charge after a three-day trial in June and paid a $500 fine. Another charge was dismissed, and he was found not guilty of the third.

Prior to that - under Frank Lolich - he was suspended in the spring for unspecified reasons and was later reinstated to start and play in all 13 of Nebraska's games.  The year prior to THAT, as a freshman, he was ejected from a Penn St game for fighting and had to sit out part of the Iowa game as a result.

Bellotti was heavily criticized for taking a chance on Incognito at the time but Oregon athletic director Bill Moos said Dan Williams, Oregon's vice president for administration who oversaw athletics, and then-university president Dave Frohnmayer were made aware of Incognito's transfer.

John Canzano at OregonLive has it right, I think. "Richie Incognito was on the ropes, and needed a favor.  .... "We talked as a staff and decided to give him a chance," Bellotti said. It was a gift. And Incognito stomped all over it. The Rams then picked him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. This season, Incognito's base salary is $4 million.......

Incognito took to Twitter to defend himself, saying he wants his "name cleared." He termed the allegations, "slander," and said those who issued the reports are hiding the identity of sources, "who are not man enough to put their name behind the BS (reported)." .....

What is the phrase? A leopard can't change his spots?

 I hope the full story is revealed.  Perhaps he is not solely responsible for this on going incident. But he has apparently taken the point. Is this the kind of person that should be designated as a team leader?  It suggests many questions are yet to be answered. Never the less......

There have been many, many student-athletes who have come through the doors of the University of Oregon.

I am glad and grateful Richie Incognito was not one of them.