I have read the Cliff Harris story with some amusement.
In the grand scheme of things his situation is really just a blip on the radar. Kids do stupid things in cars or bars or whatever all the time.
It is what kids do.
I am pushing 50-years old, so I have seen plenty. I had some pretty active teenage years...you name it we did it growing up. We drank, we toked and got into all sorts of trouble but nothing too crazy. Every once in a while the local cops would show up to calm us down but it was really nothing out of the ordinary.
But the Harris story is a little bit different for two reasons...
1) Harris plays football for Oregon, who as we all know is getting a lot of publicity these days...most of it good, some of it controversial.
2) The amount of traffic violations and the fines attached to said violations.
I can live with a traffic violation here and there...but 11? With the most recent racing down the interstate at 118 MPH? With fines totaling over $8000?
I really don't care what happens to Harris. I will give Chip Kelly the benefit of the doubt in suspending Harris. But it really is a them problem, not a me problem.
My amusement comes form all the rationalizing I have read about this just being a dumb mistake.
To me it is simple...Oregon is the "IN" thing right now. The spotlight gets a little brighter when your team is getting all the attention. Every little issue, legitimate or not, is going to be scrutinized. Are Oregon fans really happy that Harris put their program in the news because of this incident? If he hurt or killed somebody because of his recklessness would some still continue to rationalize his behavior?
What is the threshold of being outraged?
Oregon has some good things going for it right now, do they really need this?
I won't even comment on the school employee renting the car then allowing Harris to use it...you can draw your own conclusions. I will only say this...Lack of Institutional Control has been levied against other schools for less.
Why take that chance?
This is what happens when you're the flavor of the month. It happened a few times at 'SC during our incredible run and it has happened at other schools who have reached national recognition. It is how things cycle. Our society makes it a sport to take shots at those who get a little too big for their britches.
Welcome to the bright lights!