Like most everyone here, when that story was published I was completely pissed off at Cater. I acknowledge I am in the minority here, but I refrained from spitting venom at the kid, and here's why.
1 - I'm more upset about how this tarnishes the school, athletic dept. and football program's reputation rather than how much it sucks to lose another promising young player. Let's face it, we haven't gotten through a full year without some player getting kicked out of school for doing something stupid in a long time. These are still young college kids who come from all different backgrounds. We have to acknowledge that its a fact of life that one of them will do something inconceivably stupid from time to time - just wish it wasn't so often.
2 - I don't ever condone what Cater did, but, whatever his reasons were (greed, most likely), he made a mistake. The fact that it was a teammates stuff (at least some of it anyways) makes it that more dispicable. He screwed up and is going to pay dearly for it. After that, I wish him the best at fixing his broken life. He has an uphill battle ahead of him if he wants to even have a fraction of the squandered opportunity he had at SU.
3 - Cater, in every way, had look of a player who was going to start next season. He also had every look of being a loose cannon, both on the field and off. I loved seing him make those few big hits on special teams and during clean-up duty early on, but, the guy has some serious maturing to do. He couldn't make it through 1 season without screwing up royally. He obviously hasn't been paying attention to anything anyone - especially HCDM & Co. have been trying to teach him.
4 - Cater didn't hurt anyone, and probably never intended to. In the case of DC3, he knocked the living dog crap out of a kid and we rooted hard for him to make it back and rooted hard for him all season. I know that DC is a good kid (who also like Cater just made one mistake) and I'm of the opinion that Hotaling had to do something to deserve getting slugged. But regardless, he messed that kid up seriously and tried not to take responsibility for his actions until the cops finally pieced it all together and caught up to him. In the end, I'm glad in every way that DC3 got the chance to redeem himself and put together a good season - I hope Cater also gets that chance, though I'm 99.9% sure it won't be with SU.
5 - Lest we also forget the young Mikhail Marinovich breaking into Manley incident. I know that was during the GRE and he didn't actually get caught stealing anything. But, what happens to Mikhail if the cops show up 5 minutes later? You can't tell me he and Paul Chiara were there for a late night (and drunken) strength and conditioning training. Whatever it was, the fact that Mikhail didn'd wind up in jail under the exact same charges is just a matter of pure luck and nothing else. I for one am thrilled that Mikhail got his second chance at making something of himself at SU and has followed through on it. Again, I hope Cater gets that chance too, wherever he winds up.
I understand why most everyone else is pissed off and I won't tell anyone to lay off the kid, but this just my $.02. My hope is that Cater can eventually make better decisions a better life for himself in the future.