Last month, Miami linebacker Ramon Buchanan was suspended and facing a felony charge.
Today, he's reinstated and facing a felony charge.
After reading the police report, my initial reaction was that Buchanan will be dismissed. The inflammatory police report didn't seem to leave much alternative, nor did the word "felony." Golden's sudden reinstatement of Buchanan was shocking. He wasn't even suspended the entire spring, which goes against Golden's track record. He's a Joe Paterno disciple. He's an old-school disciplinarian. He doesn't tolerate off-field transgressions.
He still doesn't.
Just ask former Temple defensive lineman Junior Galette, who was the Owls' best player and is now with the New Orleans Saints. Golden gave him the boot.
Buchanan isn't Galette, though.
This was Buchanan's first offense, and all indications point to it being the anomaly in his career, far from the trend. His otherwise spotless record, combined with that of Golden's history as a disciplinarian, leaves only one alternative -- Al Golden knows something we don't. It's the only logical explanation for Buchanan's punishment -- or lack thereof. It’s not Golden’s style to make a statement using a player who doesn’t deserve it, regardless of what the public perception might be. Considering that risk for a first-year coach at a program as high-profile as Miami, Golden must have his reasons. There has to be a strong likelihood of these charges being dropped. Golden is tough, but he's also fair, and what he sees in Buchanan as a person has to outweigh how Buchanan was portrayed on the police report -- Has to.
You can trust that Golden will have his own penalties for Buchanan, and that he won't reveal them.
And if Golden is right, you can also trust that this will remain Buchanan’s one and only offense.