<
>

Syracuse and the departed

There's an interesting story in the Daily Orange about all of the players who have left or been dismissed from Syracuse since Doug Marrone took over before last season.

The story pegs the number of departed players at 28. Marrone has a stated policy of not speaking about players who are no longer on the team, so reporter Brett LoGiurato contacted some of the ex-Orange players to get their side of the story.

Defensive lineman Lamar Middleton says he was kicked off for missing a 6 a.m. meeting because he had a stomach bug and being termed late for curfew one night after attending a concert. He says that Marrone did not give him a chance to explain himself.

JohnMark Henderson says he left because Marrone's discipline was too much. He bristled at Marrone's rule against facial hair and other restrictions.

“I did feel a little disrespected. That’s what it was,” Henderson said. “Because I wasn’t told any of this when I came here. I wasn’t told I would have to cut my facial hair. I wasn’t told they were going to strip every little thing away from us like accessories.

“It felt like a boot camp. It just wasn’t fun at all.”

Mike Jones, who quit the team just before spring practice, said he did so because of academic reasons. He and ex-players like Donte Davis said there was a culture shock in the transition from the more laid-back Greg Robinson to Marrone's tight ship.

“I mean, I think he didn’t have to go that far,” Davis said. “But then again, I was seeing what he was trying to do. Because coming off (Robinson), we got away with a lot of things. (Marrone) was just a stickler on doing the little things right.”

It's important to remember that because Marrone won't comment on specific situations, we're only getting one side of the story here. Still, it's an interesting take on Marrone's style of discipline and toughness, which he hopes can help get Syracuse back to the top. He didn't cut corners, and he was left with a thin roster as a result.