We heard the report yesterday that former Indian River star and Penn State running back Curtis Dukes wouldn’t be opposed to playing at Syracuse next season. After an interview this morning on Mike and Mike in the morning, we now know that Doug Marrone has been making calls to the Penn State football program.
“I respect the coaching professions and I have a lot of respect for the coaching profession and the coaches in the Big Ten. But a lot of coaches, they are playing under the rules no question about it, but have recruited our players without the courtesy of calling me to tell me that they are doing that. But there are some coaches who have called. I can tell you that Doug Marrone has called.” -Penn State Head Coach Bill O’Brien on Mike and Mike about coaches recruiting Penn State players.
Could the two be related? I have no idea. There are six players from New York State on the Penn State roster, not to mention all the players on the team don’t mind the northeast since they are playing in Pennsylvania. But with the tradition of star running backs at Syracuse, along with the fact that this is a local player who would love a chance to play could lead to great things for Syracuse. Dukes is not on the depth chart for running backs heading in to this preseason, but was as high as the #2 back last season.
Some have argued to the ethics of recruiting away Penn State’s players following these sanctions, saying that the culture is terrible in college football, and that this is just another example of that. To me, I believe that if you are going to allow under the rules that players can transfer without penalty with these sanctions, if the players want to leave it should be allowed that they are recruited so they can make the best possible decision for their future.
O’Brien spoke to the positive that Marrone had the courtesy to contact him before contacting any of his players, and that just speaks to the integrity that Syracuse saw when they hired him back in December 2008. It is clear that he is making the right moves for the betterment of the football program, and he is turning the corner with this football team.