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Heyl: Biggest foe for Cal U is off the field | TribLIVE.com
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Heyl: Biggest foe for Cal U is off the field

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, November 13, 2014 11:54 p.m.

The pregame show promises to be interesting.

The California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans will conclude their regular season on Saturday. Since the football team garnered recent national attention for its players’ off-the-field exploits, the preview program on university radio station WCAL-FM should be riveting.

Let us speculate:

“Hello everyone, and welcome to Vulcans’ coin toss. I’m Stu Samuels, along with Benny Brautigan. Tell me, Benny, what can we expect today from our Vulcans as they take on the Lock Haven University Bald Eagles?”

“You know, Stu, that’s difficult to say. This team started out red hot with a 7-1 record and was nationally ranked before the bottom fell out. I have never seen a team get hit with the arrest bug like this one.”

“So true, Benny. It’s incredible the damage one man can do to a football team when his face allegedly runs into the fists and feet of six football players while gallantly attempting to defend his girlfriend.”

“Stu, I think it says a lot about the heart of those players that, after they brutally beat their victim, witnesses heard them shouting, ‘Football strong!’ as they fled. They never lost focus.”

“Benny, the players charged with unnecessary roughness weren’t missed in the game against Gannon immediately following their arrests because the university forfeited. But they sure could have made a difference in last week’s disappointing loss to Mercyhurst.

“That has to gnaw at Coach Michael Kellar. One of the few bright spots for him these days is that his own court hearing for allegedly letting his son drive his unregistered vehicle on campus won’t occur until next month, when the season is over.”

“It’s great that he won’t have to miss a game or a practice for a date in court, Stu. The news today for the Vulcans isn’t all bad, either. They’ll still have in the lineup people like linebacker Brancko Busick, who hasn’t let his ongoing probation from a 2011 guilty plea to charges of assault during the commission of a felony affect his game.”

“According to law enforcement scouting reports, Benny, Busick not only hits like a truck, he can pistol-whip pretty well.”

“Stu, the Vulcans also will have available wide receiver Mark Thomas, who pleaded guilty to battery this year after initially being charged with aggravated sexual battery. He’s widely regarded as one of the best plea bargainers in college football.”

“The Vulcans remain a quality football team, Benny. But considering that since 2012, 20 players have either pleaded guilty to, been convicted of, or are awaiting court hearings on criminal charges, do you think there will be calls for this program to dramatically change course and move in a law-abiding direction?”

“A few reactionaries might want that, Stu, but the Vulcans shouldn’t overhaul their game. They’ve won seven division and conference titles since 2005 and were ranked 19th nationally until being decimated by criminal charges they really had no control over.

“Why would you want to alter a winning formula?”

Eric Heyl is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7857 or eheyl@tribweb.com.

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