Those are actual excuses I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook. The former is irrelevant. I found plenty of ways to make an ass out of myself even without Twitter when I was younger. My words and actions came with consequences, which is no different than anything that has been said or done by any other adult. The latter is probably not true (unless Stoglin had some ability to battle Miles and Mason Plumlee we’ve never seen before) and is equally irrelevant.
Stoglin should be suspended, pure and simple. Every athlete at the University of Maryland has to know that their social media accounts serve as an extension of any press conference or interview they give. As they are never expected to embarrass the school when a camera or microphone is rolling, they should also never be expected to do so on Twitter.
It doesn’t need to be a long suspension. In fact, it shouldn’t be for more than one game. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Stoglin come off the bench again Thursday when the Eagles invade College Park, but I don’t think that makes enough of a statement.
There are two key issues here for Turgeon. One is that without Stoglin, they’re likely to lose to BC (the same BC team that stunned Florida State last week). Already without sophomore PG Pe’Shon Howard (knee) for the season, the team would again be down to seven healthy scholarship players, only three in the backcourt. Those seven players would enter Thursday night’s game averaging roughly 43 combined points per game this season.
That math doesn’t work.
The other issue is the long-term relationship between Turgeon and Stoglin. After a suspension, it would be easy to see the relationship between Turgeon and Stoglin further strained. This could of course result in an inconsistent level of play from the sophomore for the rest of the season and hurt the Terrapins’ still longshot chances of reaching the NIT. This would be similar to how the relationship between Gary Williams and John Gilchrist clearly hurt the 2004-2005 Terrapins.
(Some fans might suggest Stoglin could transfer at the end of the season. Don’t count on that. Stoglin is a young man with NBA aspirations. Even if those dreams aren’t very likely due to his 6’1″ frame, it’s hard to imagine the young man would do anything that would distance himself from that dream. Sitting out a season or transferring down a level would do just that.)
These are issues, no question. But they don’t change anything about the facts. What Stoglin did was wrong. Every athlete everywhere needs to learn from that.
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…