Cater Sentenced, Hard Not to Imagine What Could’ve Been at Syracuse

We now know the fate of former Syracuse linebacker Malcolm Cater, who has been sentenced to one to three years in state prison, after pleading guilty to three counts of third degree burglary.

Nearly ten months after Cater committed the thefts leading to his arrest and immediate dismissal from SU football, the ending to his Orange career still feels disheartening.

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For starters, the Riverhead, New York native had the potential to anchor the SU linebacking corps along with Marquis Spruill and his fellow Orange “dismissee” Brice Hawkes. As it turns out, with studly true freshmen Dyshawn Davis and Cameron Lynch flanking Spruill, it still looks like Doug Marrone possesses a nice core of young linebackers.

Imagine, though, what that unit would look like with the inclusion of Cater. It would’ve been one of the most talented and deep linebacking collections in the Big East.

It’s ironic that Malcolm is headed to prison right now, just days after his former squad narrowly lost to Rutgers. Cater committed to the Scarlet Knights before reconsidering and choosing Orange. He lost out on a chance to help Syracuse stick it to the rival coach that came closest to reeling him in. He once sat down with The Fizz and opened up about his rough hometown and how “cocky” Schiano seemed.

Football-wise, it definitely hurt to see the linebacker lose his opportunity at SU. But it stings even more on a personal level. It’s impossible not to feel bad for a kid that emerged from a tough upbringing to earn a scholarship to a BCS school, only to have his life come crashing back down to Earth again.

That’s not to say that this isn’t Cater’s fault. I can’t for the life of me explain why he felt the urge to steal Ryan Nassib’s television, among other things, and Cater will rightfully pay for the crimes he committed.

But as William Walsh, the judge who sentenced Cater, recognized, this whole situation is a “God-awful shame.” By all accounts, Malcolm is a bright young man who made a dumb mistake. It’s a mistake that he has since owned up to and regrets:

“I just want to apologize to Syracuse University and everyone that believed in me.”

No, apologizing after the fact doesn’t do much good. Actions speak louder than words. If Cater wanted to maintain the respect and trust of his team and the Syracuse community, he shouldn’t have taken his starting QB’s TV.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t feel horrible that Cater is now headed to prison. It’s truly a shame that he won’t be suiting up the Orange this Saturday in New Orleans.

Thankfully for Cater, the judge dealt him a huge favor.

“Walsh ordered Cater’s prison sentence to be served as a ‘shock-camp’ sentence, meaning he could be eligible for release from prison much earlier than the one-year minimum imposed in court.”

In addition to the potentially shorter amount of time Cater will spend incarcerated, the shock camp will be a much better place to serve his time than a normal prison. It’s a boot camp-style facility where he’ll be guaranteed to stay in shape, live a disciplined lifestyle, and continue his education.

Some southern football programs are reportedly considering reaching out to Cater once he completes his sentence. He already blew a golden opportunity presented to him by The Dougie. If he’s fortunate enough to receive another chance, he has to realize it’s probably his last.

Posted: Andrew Kanell


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  1. mdb80 says:

    stop calling Doug Marrone ‘dougie’ it just makes you guys look silly.

  2. Steve Leahy says:

    I second that mdb80. In addition, I don’t feel sorry for Cater at all. He is a thief and a punk.

  3. Kevin says:

    Ha ha but DM IS The Dougie. Just like Teach Me How To Dougie or Dougie Fresh. Bad joke but it’s still not terrible… and with regards to Cater, he deserves whatever he’s got coming to him. Full scholarship at a great school and he has to steal stuff too? Bad choices lead to bad things.

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