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Jonathan Newsome Suspended, Cards Fans React Predictably

So let’s get the news of the day out of the way, shall we? Then we can get back to planning out our attack on Eastern Michigan and their fans and preparing in earnest for IU hate week. What’s the big news of the day, you ask? Allow me to fill you in. First for the BSU Athletics release…

Jonathan Newsome, a junior member of the Ball State football team, has been suspended for the first two games of the season due to a violation of team rules, according to head coach Pete Lembo.

“We are fully aware of Jonathan Newsome’s situation from Sunday night. Based on all the information gathered, we have taken the appropriate disciplinary action based on the findings of the Ball State Office of Student Rights and Community Standards, and in conjunction with our football program’s policies.”

Newsome, who redshirted in 2011 after transferring from Ohio State, will serve his suspension for Ball State’s Aug. 30 season opener vs. Eastern Michigan and the Cardinals Sept. 8 game at Clemson.

So there’s that. The Muncie Star Press reported that Newsome was pulled over on Sunday night/Monday morning for failure to signal a turn and police discovered an expired license plate on Newsome’s Jeep, a warrant was issued for a failure to appear charge, and upon further inspection of the vehicle, a small amount of what police believed to be marijuana. So Newsome’s Monday morning was significantly worse than yours, unless you finally got caught being someone’s heroin mule through the Texas countryside.

As the statement above indicates, Lembo’s decision was to suspend Newsome for the first two games and it took approximately 4 seconds for the mainstream media and others to promptly jump on their high horse and proclaim the punishment as soft. I’m not going to specifically call anyone out, but a quick Twitter search for replies to our Newsome tweets or people we’ve been going back and forth with for the day would make them easy to find if you were so inclined.

In summation, most Cards fans that had something to say had something negative to say about Lembo’s decision. Many pointed to the fact that it wasn’t the first time that Newsome had operated in the grey area of legality and in one case they would have liked to see Lembo “drop the hammer”.

I think what’s most irksome in this is not that fans are reacting the way that they are, it’s that they are reacting that way with the assumption that they have been given a complete set of facts about the goings on in this particular incident. I would wager dollars to donuts that Lembo and the conduct office had a bit more information to go on than what the Muncie Star Press has reported, and as such, has now become the factual record of the incident for fans. Keep in mind that what the mainstream media has access to may not be a total picture. It could be the overwhelming majority of a picture. It could be an amount far less than that. There really is no way to tell and to come to a conclusion based on a possibly incomplete or inaccurate set of facts is a tremendously risky proposition.

At bare bones, this comes down to trust. Do you trust Coach Lembo? The same Coach Lembo who had the complete picture of what happened. The same Coach Lembo who has yet to let anyone down in terms of behavior or discipline at Ball State. The same Coach Lembo who isn’t basing his decision on what is in a newspaper and may or may not be slanted or sensationalized. The same Coach Lembo who is universally lauded as a high character high quality individual. If you trust Coach Lembo, now would be a good time to do so. If you don’t, then I would have to ask if you’ve been paying attention for the last 18 months or so.

Let’s all try to keep our eye on the ball here that BSU is now a man down on the defensive front for Eastern Michigan and Clemson, with one of those games mattering a whole hell of a lot more than the other.

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One Response

  1. I love the high-horse riding from the handful of Star Press commenters who have likely never set foot in Scheumann Stadium but still felt the need to chime in. As for me, the most troubling part of this is the warrant based on the fact that he simply blew off a court date. Can’t. Do. That. Anywhere. Newsome’s lucky that he’s not living in the Indiana county where I grew up, otherwise he’d likely still be in the county lock-up for that.

    Otherwise, I trust Coach Lembo is bringing appropriate punishment down behind closed doors based on the actual facts of the case. And I agree that taking the Star Press account as gospel — when the paper has at least a two-decade long history of slanting nearly every story involving BSU as negatively as possible — is equally as silly as taking whatever Newsome’s excuse was at face value.

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