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The Verdict on Taj Harris Flipping the Bird

Dennis Nett, Syracuse.com

The nation was already laughing at Syracuse for it’s on-the-field product. 

Taj Harris didn’t need to provide the detractors more ammo with this gesture on the sideline.

Maybe we shouldn’t make a big deal out of this. If you default to criticism as soon as you see a player get angry on the sidelines, you’re being unreasonable. He was losing, he was frustrated, he flipped off a camera. AD John Wildhack officially denounced it. Babers said Harris apologized to the team. Mistakes happen. We can move on, right?

Usually, we could. Not in this case. 

There is a fine line between showing emotions on the field, and becoming a beacon of negativity. We’ve defended Harris in the past for his expressions of passion.

But Harris is picking his spots less and less, and emoting more and more. Against Duke, Rex Culpepper threw a pass behind Harris on a slant, forcing him to contort his body in order to make the catch, eliminating his chance for yards after the catch and a possible first down.

Harris pounded his fist into the Dome turf repeatedly, stormed to the sidelines, ripped off his helmet. His shouts echoed through a vacant Dome. As the punting unit took the field for 4th down, Harris was putting on a show, surely grand enough for Culpepper to notice.

Harris’s clear displays of frustration towards quarterback play, which has been evident for two seasons now, needs to stop. The flipping of the bird was not an isolated incident, but rather a tipping point for a player who has made a habit out of letting his emotions go unchecked.

In order to break that habit, Harris should be suspended for a portion of the Clemson game.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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