Syracuse fans are asking why two of the most dynamic players in Syracuse’s ’11 recruiting class, Ashton Broyld and Tyree Smallwood (pictured), may miss the entire season. It’s interesting to note the background situations of both players, since both had rocky senior seasons. The Fizz learned Smallwood had conflicts with his head coach and was at times difficult to reach in the locker room and on the sidelines. By now, we all know the Broyld soap opera.
The trials and tribulations of Broyld took on a life of its own as the New York State Player of the Year had his worst moment played out publicly in court. While The Dougie was vague on why the players may miss the season, he did say they “have work to do.” It’s impossible not to wonder if the ongoing Broyld drama that placed SU in a poor light is the reason why.
Many believe it’s an academic issue with Broyld and his legal trouble is not the reason. But it certainly allows the Rush-Henrietta star to make amends for attaching SU to an ugly incident. Behind the scenes, it seems as though Marrone stood by Broyld throughout months of speculation about his scholarship being revoked and promised it would be honored. But in return the head coach may have demanded a probation year of sorts – a chance for Broyld to prove he is mature enough to have learned from the incident and deserving of a spot within a program that suffers few fools. He could work alongside the team in a redshirt capacity and prove his worth athletically and academically, essentially trying to earn a renewal of his scholarship for his freshman season.
For Smallwood, the reasoning on the surface appears grade-related. The Times Herald-Record reports the running back “recently learned that he didn’t meet NCAA clearinghouse requirements to enroll at the Big East school. The sticking point, Smallwood said, is his math grade. According to Smallwood, he needs to improve his math score in order to qualify. He is taking math in summer school, which concludes on July 28.”
Smallwood attracted lots of interest for his dynamic running ability, absurd productivity and flat out speed after his junior season at Cornwall (NY). His incredible season that year included more than 1,500 yards rushing and 8 games of 100+yards. He had three games of 200+ yards.
But in his senior season, in which he allegedly clashed with coaches and was known to tune out those around him, he finished with less than 1,000 yards rushing and only three 100+ yard games. It’s possible Smallwood is sitting this season due solely to academic requirements. But if he did have run-ins with coaching last season, this could be a good opportunity as well to prove to Marrone and Tyrone Wheatley the days of being difficult to deal with are over. Two players, two chances at redemption for new starts at Syracuse. Here’s hoping they both take advantage.