Harrison Beck received a release from his scholarship, thus ending the latest drama in the Nebraska football program. In the end, this is probably best for all parties; too many bridges have been burned in this situation.
However, this end isn't a win-win; it's really a lose-lose situation for everyone. All of the principals deserve a share of the blame in this situation. In order of increasing responsibility:
Bill Callahan: There is an unwritten rule in sports that you don't lose your position due to injury. Callahan has violated this rule twice with his quarterbacks in the 16 months. Joe Dailey was demoted from 1st string to 4th string after tweaking his shoulder in Spring 2005, and Beck found himself demoted to 4th string to open pre-season practice. Both situations ended within days with the player leaving.
Evelyn Beck-Bothwell's criticism that coaches weren't spending enough time with lower string players also shouldn't be dismissed completely. We heard this criticism last year, and Callahan changed the practice schedule to devote a practice day to the lower units each week. I do wonder if the development of younger players played an impact in Josh Freeman's switch to Kansas State.
Speaking of Freeman, that drama queen comment sure sounds awfully ironic a few months later.
Evelyn Beck-Bothwell: Standing up for your child is a natural response, but at a certain point, you've got to let go and let your son resolve his own mistakes. Especially when Mom only makes the situation worse. Your boy Harrison is an adult now, let him speak for himself.
Harrison Beck: In the end, the player itself is responsible for his actions. Skipping practice is counterproductive. Your Rivals rating isn't an automatic ticket to stardom. Hopefully, you've learned a hard lesson in your time in Lincoln. Last week, it sounded like Cody Glenn saw some progress on this front. You'll need to work extra-hard to live down the reputation you earned in Lincoln.
So what does this mean for 2006? This season, not much except that protecting Zac Taylor becomes even more important with even less depth at quarterback. That means that the #1 IB will likely be the best at picking up blitzes, not necessarily who is the best rusher.
2007 is another story. With Taylor being a senior, the need for quarterback depth becomes the #1 priority. Look for a strong push for at least 1 JuCo quarterback. And don't discount commit Patrick Witt either. I remember hearing a radio interview with Harrison Beck during the summer before his senior year, and I was immediately concerned about his maturity then. My concerns were warranted in the end. I heard an interview with Witt last month, and came away with the opposite impression.
I heard a report that Callahan might be looking for a JuCo quarterback to come to Lincoln immediately, which could be a huge mistake. I understand the need to build depth, but you don't want to waste a scholarship for 2 or 3 years in desperation. At this late date, any JuCo quarterback still available for this season is unlikely to be more proficient this season than Joe Ganz, Beau Davis, or Jordan Adams. Better off to look to the JuCo ranks for next season, preferably if they are available for spring practice. If those same players are available now, give it a try now.