CFT- You have to love half-game suspensions against FCS opponents. That is what Rutgers has handed to quarterback Chris Laviano and star wide receiver Leonte Carroo. Laviano and Carroo will each serve a half-game suspension when Rutgers takes the field next week in the season opener against Norfolk State. Both will be eligible to return in the second half, and Rutgers hopes to avoid needing either to have an impact in the second half when they do. A curfew violation reportedly is what led to the mild suspensions.
In addition to the suspensions of Laviano and Carroo, linebacker Kevin Marquez, punter Tim Gleeson and cornerback Ruhann Peele will also serve half-game suspensions.
With Laviano now out of the quarterback mix at Rutgers, for a half at least, Joe Schad of EPSN.com reports Hayden Rettig will assume command of the offense. The two had been competing for the right to replace Gary Nova. Rettig is a transfer from LSU who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Listen, if you want to be pessimistic and read this as "Rutgers suspends it's senior captain, potential starting quarterback, and three other players for breaking curfew" then that is your prerogative. However, I happen to fancy myself a glass-half-full kind of man. After spending the morning fighting off the Star Ledger's repeated attacks at the character of one Kyle Flood, I just don't have it in me to discuss more negativity surrounding the Rutgers football program. Especially since the itch I have gotten for football season is like two scratches away from breaking out into a full blown eczema. So you know what? This isn't about Chris Laviano and Leonte Carroo acting like normal college kids, most likely having one too many drinks, and losing track of time. This is about Hayden Rettig starting the season in charge of the Rutgers offense.
I think this is what a majority of Rutgers fans wanted to see. Well, not like this obviously. However, Rutgers fans want to see the best possible quarterback be the signal caller for this team. Through training camp Laviano and Rettig have remained fairly equal in terms of performance, hence why it has taken so long for Kyle Flood to announce a starter, but the fact still remains that Rettig has more god given ability than Laviano. While Rettig may not have the experience, it makes way more sense to take a chance on his potential when the rest of the offense is littered with playmakers. Rutgers could easily be an average team with either quarterback at the helm, but starting Rettig gives this team the possibility of becoming something more. Sure, right now he is the starter by default, and that very well could change after Laviano serves his suspension. Although, given my optimistic view of a suspension, I am going to roll with this whole positivity thing and assume that once Rettig takes the reigns of this offense that'll hell ride that sum' bitch into the sunset.
P.S. I don't know if the timing of this news is ironic or intentional considering the controversy around Kyle Flood, but I'll tell you this. A guy that suspends important members of his team for coming home after hours isn't the kind of guy that is going to risk an entire season, and possibly his job security, by sending an email to a professor with foul play in mind. Even if it just a one half suspension against an FCS opponent.