Unable to join the growing list of schools who can hide their on-the-field deficiencies behind off-the-field embarrassments such as Texas, Iowa or Toledo, the
"I kinda just assumed sooner or later one of our players would smoke a little weed or get a little too frisky with the ladies," said Gross. "Hell, I even had my guys compile an entire strategy plan on how to deal with an HGH or steroid scandal. It just sits there on top of my cabinet, collecting dust."
After an exhaustive search that included police records, campus safety reports and interviews with students and faculty on campus, no instances of illegal or improper activity were discovered. A probe into the habits of
"Where are all the steroids?" asks quarterback Andrew Robinson. "Every day I turn on the TV I’m seeing a story about steroids this and steroids that. They make it seem like you can get steroids out of the candy dispensers in the gym for a quarter. Well you can’t. I’ve looked. But they do keep the place stocked with Mike & Ike, so that’s a nice little bonus."
Wide receiver Taj Smith shares his sentiment.
"For real, Thursday I tried to start up a group on Facebook to see who was interested in picking up a group of underage girls, grabbing some purple drank and crossing state lines to gamble on the Louisville-Kentucky game. You know how many people joined the group? None. I was like, 'For real???'"
Gross said he even had some of his assistants befriend every member of the Syracuse football team anonymously via their Facebook and MySpace pages, hoping to find incriminating photos to leak to the press. The most damaging things they found were "a before photo of a pizza box containing a meat lover's pizza and an after photo of that same empty box after Patrick Shadle ate the entire thing himself."
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They do keep the place stocked with Mike & Ike, so that's a nice little bonus."
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— Andrew Robinson
The onslaught of attention to
"I wish we had some distractions. I really do. The players do. We’re trying. It’s a work in progress. We just try to go out there every day and hope that eventually someone will slip up. Do I want some of my players to do dumb things to take attention away from the coaching job I’m doing? Of course I want some of my players to do dumb things to take attention away from the coaching job I’m doing."
"I’d love to see the student section come together in a show of unity and, I don’t know, jingle tiny swastikas instead of keys on 3rd down. That would be just the kind of thing to get people talking. But I guess that would actually require students to show up, and at this point, that’s no guarantee."