Update: Butch Davis says he stands by his statement:
"Certainly Donte [Moss] will learn something. He is a young, immature freshman. Outside of that, we've been so busy recruiting and preparing for a bowl game that we really don't have any other comment to make about it,"
Allow me to translate: Hey, unlike the school in Raleigh we have a bowl game to prepare for and recruits that need to be reeled in so we don't really have time to be sitting around shooting the breeze over crap like this. I realize they are bored over there but that's their own fault for sucking on defense all season.
Anyway. Here is N&O video of the incident which lacks audio(darn you players for not wearing mics during the game!) It is clear Lucas gets withing range of Paige-Moss and then the latter reacts, rather weakly if you ask me. Alan Pelc's push which drew a 15-yard penalty was worse than that. As I said before. Something else is going on with Paige-Moss, this is just part of it. Or he is making an example of someone.
Original post after the jump.
Well this should keep us entertained for a few days.
Earlier this week, Butch Davis announced that freshman defensive lineman Donte Paige-Moss would be suspended for the Car Care Bowl stemming from "unwise actions" in the direct aftermath of the NCSU game. Davis cited taunting by a Wolfpack player as the provacation for Paige-Moss lashing out but suspended him all the same saying he has to do a better job composing himself.
Well, NCSU coach Tom O'Brien, who has an abundance of free time on his hands having been relieved of the burden of prepping for a bowl game, took exception to Davis' offhand accusation to the point he "called a reporter with The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer on Wednesday afternoon to give a statement." And this was that statement:
"Our players know what is expected of them and know how to conduct themselves, win or lose," O'Brien said. "After carefully reviewing this incident, I can say that in no way, shape or form did I see any of our players exhibit inappropriate behavior.
Defensive much? Seriously, Davis' remark upsets him so much he calls a reporter up to give a statement? Let me get this straight, O'Brien and his staff are so awesome and his players so disciplined that they would never taunt a rival player in the aftermath of a huge upset win. Yeah, not sure if I can buy that one. I will let you judge for yourself from this fan footage now appearing on You Tube:
The incident in question happens around the 26-29 second mark. The NCSU player who allegedly did the taunting is #7 Sterling Lucas who can be seen being restrained after Paige-Moss pushed him. Well, they say pushed. Granted the video is not clear but Paige-Moss does not appear to do anything exceptionally egregious other than maybe a bump which takes me back to my original theory that Davis is suspending Paige-Moss for something more than just this one issue.
The bottom line here is there is no way of knowing, based on this video if anything was done or not done. Lucas can be seen facing Paige-Moss, his helmet is off and for all we know he is woofing like a junkyard dog. Maybe he wasn't and was simply is Paige-Moss' path so he bumped aside out of frustration. Who knows? As I said, O'Brien's response strikes me as a bit defensive not to mention a tad fanciful if he believes his coaches set a standard and his player live up to it without any incident whatsoever. Davis for his part probably could have done without mentioning the alleged provocation and only he knows why he included that in his announcement. Maybe he wanted Paige-Moss cast in a slightly better light? I have no idea. I do know that Davis is taking a hard line here with a freshman defensive lineman and hopefully it will bear dividends down the road.