Gravley: Doeren won't let 5 freshmen derail season
Posted August 22
Updated August 23
The first and most obvious question David Crabtree had for Jeff Gravley is how NC State's dismissal of two players and suspension of three more just a week and a half before the season would impact the team on the field.
"I don't know if it would affect the team moving forward getting ready to play South Carolina or not, because I don't know if any of these five freshmen were going to play right away or not," Gravley said. "So looking at that, I don't know, on the football field, that this would've had an impact at all.
"Their teammates have known this for quite some time because these suspensions actually took place Aug. 9 and 10. That's just a few days after they started practice. So it's not like this is all of a sudden five players gone from the practice."
"There's a lot of chatter about this NC State team this year," Crabtree said. "A lot of expectations. A lot of alumni want to play that down, but across the country, people are touting this as maybe the strongest Dave Doeren team they have seen here. How does this affect the team emotionally?"
"I was told this afternoon that Dave Doeren was not going to let the activities of five freshmen football players derail the culture that he's been trying to build for the last five years," Gravley said. "It's something that he acted on quickly, decisively. So from a team morale standpoint, I don't think it affects the team much at all.
"I do think that Dave Doeren has used this as a teaching point, calling a team meeting to say, 'Guys, this is not what we do here. This is not what we want to be looked at and talked about by these incidents', how big or small, whether it's just drugs or alcohol or whatever. Not to minimize that, but teh fact of the matter is this is not the culture that Dave Doeren wants his players to be in."
"And the book on Dave Doeren is to be quick and decisive on discipline issues," Crabtree said.
"He has a track record of doing this," Gravley said. "He will give players the leeway, as he said in his release today, 'I will be fair, but I will be firm in my disciplinary actions.' We saw that in Shadrach Thornton, the running back who he eventually just had to dismiss from the team. So it reaches a point where he says, this person is tno going to learn from this, he's not going to be in my program and he will be dismissed."