Look, let’s be real. Gus Edwards is not likely to be the difference between Syracuse having a good season versus a bad one. In three seasons with Miami, he’s totaled less than 1,000 yards. If Edwards came in and gave the Orange 400 yards rushing in ’17, it would be his career high. Edwards injuries have taken their toll on his explosion, and he never quite lived up to the hype anyway from where he was in high school.
But Mark Richt preventing Edwards from transferring to Syracuse for his senior season is ludicrous, selfish and hypocritical. Let’s start with the absurdity. Edwards was benched and relegated deep inside Richt’s doghouse for huge stretches last season. The Gus Bus rambled for 106 yards including a 74-yard TD against FAMU (by far his best stats of the season) and he didn’t touch the ball the next week against FAU. In a 6-week stretch following that FAMU performance, he totaled 6 carries, and was benched for 4 of those games. He was used sparingly in the final month of the season. So why is Richt is so terrified of allowing Edwards to play for an upcoming opponent if he saw no reason to play the kid himself?
Secondly, it’s beyond selfish. Richt enjoys his reputation as one of the “good guys” in college football, but apparently he doesn’t quite care if Edwards recently became a dad and wants to return to the northeast to be closer to his child. When Richt left FSU as its offensive coordinator to become Georgia’s head coach, would he have been prevented from taking the job if the two schools played the next year? Of course not. Richt enjoys complete freedom to move as he pleases to the next place that will help him achieve his goals.
Finally, the hypocrisy is almost too much to bear with a straight face. Richt infamously told CBS Sports five years ago, “If he thinks he will have success at a school you compete against, so be it.” He was defending the right for players to transfer freely. Suddenly, that’s no longer his credo with a player that averaged 5 carries a game for him last year. For the gran sum of one game he would play against you, you’re willing to restrict his life’s path. Amazing.
No one thinks Edwards separates Syracuse from the ACC Title Game, but Richt is losing a lot of credibility by the minute on this ridiculous stance.