Fizzster Mike Couzens’ first-hand account of today’s bizarre Doug Marrone press conference.
What a strange way to start off the week. Doug Marrone begins his press conference with a prepared testimonial for Greg Paulus:
“I have never seen an athlete, at any level including the NFL, work as hard, mentally and physically, as Greg has worked since he’s joined us here at Syracuse. Really, what he’s accomplished is extraordinary. Maybe it can’t be fully appreciated because most don’t know just how difficult it is to play quarterback at a D-1 program.”
This was out of the ordinary because Marrone usually opens with his remarks off the top of his head regarding things leftover from Saturday’s game. He is also usually coming right off the Big East Teleconference so he probably has some things still fresh in his mind.
Today… was different. Marrone then continued on to his thoughts about Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. After that, he laid down the biggest news item of the day:
“Mike Williams came into me today and has quit the program. So again, I do not comment on people who have left the program, but he has quit the program. So if anyone has any questions.”
Silence followed for a few seconds, and then laughter because every reporter in the room just had a bombshell dropped on their prepared line of questioning.
Coach Marone has a well known policy of not talking about players who have left the program, but was friendly with the media saying,¬†“I understand you have to ask questions and I’m o.k. with it. And I know that everyone has a job to do.”
Another intriguing moment was sparked when in the middle of a reporter asking a query, former SU head coach Dick MacPherson shouted out,¬†“Are you opening this up to questions now? I thought there was no questions!”
Marrone then attempted to respond but Coach Mac continued,¬†“Some people are still asking questions!
Donnie Webb of the Post-Standard rebutted saying,¬†“Well that’s why this is a press conference.”
And so it was. Burn.
Are losing your best player, yet still asking the fans to believe in this team contrasting statements?¬†“It’s not about one person. It’s about this team. And the people that are playing out there are giving us what they have. What more would you want from a student athlete? What more would you want from a professional athlete? You put someone out on that football field and he works hard all during the week and he gives you everything he has, what more could you ask for?”
And then this statement about believing in the team:
“You have to believe in the program. You have to believe in what it’s been about. There’s been a foundation at this school that’s gone on for a long time. And that’s called faith. Faith is believeing in something that you cant just touch. I believe, I believe in my heart, I know, I feel very comfortable in saying we are in the right direction.”
The media even found out before an official announcement was made to the team.
“I have not made a formal announcement to the team because of the timing. I wouldn’t be surprised that they don’t already know. I can’t get everyone together fast enough with class.”
Would Marrone not be surprised because word spread quickly within the team, or because of something preexisting with Williams that we didnt know about?
Just a few weeks ago Williams posted on his Facebook page¬†“I HATE COLLEGE I CANT SEE ME DOING THIS FOR LONG.HINT HINT.-0 LMAO”
He followed that up with,¬†“Everyone, I am staying in school to get my degree Sorry for the false information out there.”
For now, Williams is still listed in the SU student directory as a junior enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences. Just another day in Syracuse football.