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In Defense Of Eric Devendorf

One of the great things about the NCAA Tournament is learning so much about all of the other teams from around the country that you've been ignoring all season long.  If they didn't play in your conference, you probably don't know much about them.

It can all be a little overwhelming so it's good to have a lot of top-line information.  Who's the best scorer?  Who's the game-changer?  Who's the guy you've never heard of who being hailed as a top five pick?  These are the kinds of things that allow us to craft the generalized, sweeping opinions that we then blurt out in our offices to make ourselves seem more knowledgeable about PAC-10 basketball than we really are (Is UCLA still good???).

There's also another very specific category that most fans want to know and look forward to using when watching the game.  Who should I hate?  And according to The Big Lead, there is no one that NCAA Tournament-watchers should, or could, hate more than Eric Devendorf.  Sigh.

Allegedly hit a female student in face late last year, and was nearly suspended for the entire season by the University. The neck tattoos don’t help, nor does the endless preening after three-pointers. Great shooter, but his antics at the Big East tournament vaulted him to the top spot. The word “punk” definitely applies. These guys dislike him greatly.

I know.  I've been spending the last two weeks defending Devo just like you have.  And to be fair, certainly we can understand why he's so disliked.  If he played for another team, we'd probably hate him too.  But like I've said in the past, he's an a-hole, but he's our a-hole.  And gosh darnit ,as long as he's hitting three-pointers with no time left on the clock, he can preen and yell as much as he damn well pleases.

And if that bothers you, you probably don't want to click on the link above for "These guys" either. 

We all know the story of how Devendorf punched a female student in the face back in the Fall while he was on probation for a different violent confrontation with another student. A panel of his fellow students recommended that he be suspended for the entire academic year, but somehow he did community service and now it’s all good.

Fine, he's a punk.  You win.  But if we're going to go down this road, I think it's only fair that folks, and especially bloggers, tell the truth about "the incident."

  1. Eric Devendorf did not punch a woman in the face.  That was conjecture  by one of the police officers on the scene and was later refuted by the woman-in-question.  Officially, she ended up saying that he "put his hand in her face" when questioned by the SU Judicial Board.  Still not a good thing but nowhere near the same.
  2. Even now, this is all alleged and if you want to be taken seriously by folks who love to bash blogs for going all willy-nilly, you should keep that phrase is mind.

Call him a punk, say you hate his tattoos (which I'd love to extrapolate sometime given the sheer number of basketball players who have tattoos but get no grief for them) and he's cocky and an a**hole and he makes poor choices in facial hairstyles and he preens and poses way too much.  But as someone who has seen what Eric Devendorf can do when the game is on the line, there's no time left and you need someone with the onions to want the ball cause he knows he can make the shot...I'll still take him.  Does your team have a guy like that?

H/T: The Orange Fizz