Players discuss party scene, Manning Camp and finales
Posted July 22, 2013
Kareem Martin and Bryn Renner, UNC’s player representatives at ACC Kickoff, made it clear Sunday that they are not members of the Haydn (Fats) Thomas party scene.
“You’re always told to keep good company and stay away from guys who are doing the wrong thing,” said Martin, a junior defensive end from Roanoke Rapids. “Guys on the team just stay away from any trouble like that.”
Both Martin and Renner, a senior quarterback from Springfield, Va., said they had never met the Durham man.
Thomas, a convicted felon, is a central figure in developments involving Tar Heel basketball player P.J. Hairtson, who was arrested in Durham on June 5 for marijuana possession and driving without a license. Police said a pistol was found outside the vehicle, which had been rented by Thomas. On Friday Durham police dismissed all charges against Hairston.
Duke players Anthony Boone (quarterback) and Ross Cockrell (defensive back) said they didn’t know Thomas and had not heard his name before the Hairston incident.
“After it happened, we had a team meeting and the coaches warned us to stay away from that kind of stuff,” said Boone, a red-shirt junior from Monroe.
“I don’t think any of the guys on our team even knew about him (before Hairston’s arrest). I was like ‘Fats? Who’s Fats?’ Then I got up to speed on everything. It’s a thing where guys have to be mature and smart enough to stay out of those situations.
“Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with anything like that. Coach Cut (David Cutcliffe) does a good job of finding high character guys and the ones who didn’t show it are already gone.”
Miami’s Stephen Morris won the skills competition at the now famous Manning Quarterback Camp, which was held July 11-14 at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
Approximately 40 college quarterbacks attended, including Boone, Renner, Maryland’s C.J. Brown and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.
When Manziel left camp early after oversleeping and missing a meeting, there was some speculation that he had partied his way out of the Manning brothers’ good grace and told to leave camp.
Boone and Morris said most of the other players didn’t know what had happened until a day or two later.
““I didn’t know anything about it until campers came up to me and started telling me,” said Morris, a senior from Miami.
Morris and Wake Forest Michael Campanaro were among a number of players who said they would like to see the ACC’s season-ending games reworked.
“I would love to see us end against Florida State every year,” Morris said. “I think it’d be great for both programs and great for the conference.”
Traditionally, Florida State ends regular season against Southeastern Conference power Florida.
Miami ends at new ACC member Pittsburgh this season, but finished against Duke last season, Boston College in 2011 and South Florida in 2010.
The Hurricanes face Florida State on Nov. 2.
Wake will finish against Vanderbilt of the SEC for the fourth straight season.
“I’d really rather play a conference game – State or Duke or Carolina maybe – for that last game,” said Campanaro, a senior wide out from Clarksville, Md. “I think most players on all the teams would rather end with a conference game, but I guess that’s not possible.”
ACC commissioner John Swofford said Sunday that the league is in the process of trying to revamp schedules to create more conference finales.
This season, four ACC teams will finish against SEC opponents.