This is the part where many of us in orange - including those who were clamoring for his return even this morning - say "good riddance" (and lots of colorful alternatives) and wish terrible things upon our once-prized recruit, because he's no longer one of us. I still think there's a lot we never got to know about Bryce Brown...but ending the relationship the way he did is yet another reason why we may be better off never finding out.
As reported by Jimmy Hyams of WNML in Knoxville, Bryce Brown told Derek Dooley today he would be leaving the program...not face to face, but via text message. Sure, he's a young kid that probably doesn't know Dooley very well...but if you're big enough to call your own press conference two months after signing day to announce your school of choice, you should be big enough to tell your head coach you're leaving face to face.
Dooley's policy on releasing players has been unique to each situation, and he mentioned at media days that he does take into account how much the player's departure hurts the team. So while Dooley and the Browns get to sort out how quickly he can play for Kansas State, we get to try and sort out exactly how much this departure will hurt.
And again, there's a lot we don't know: the track record for the nation's best high school player is certainly good, Brown appeared capable running as Montario Hardesty's backup last year, and he did play through some pain and injury. So much of the debate about whether or not Dooley should allow him to return has also centered on his character - is he a spoiled little kid, or is he a guy who made a rash decision to leave and now wanted back in?
Even if it isn't fair to define him fully by the text message, it does serve as validation to a thought that many of us had coming into today: we're tired of this, and maybe it's just not worth it. Brown, no matter how talented, would've been a distraction on a team that's led the nation in that category over the last two years. He would've been an outsider on a team that's trying to rally together in the face of those distractions, especially for guys like Tauren Poole who've stayed and worked hard to play here. And even if Brown really is a good kid and a great running back...he lost our respect a little more each day this dragged on this summer, and each day it got a little easier to just carry on without him...and if he's that quick to say goodbye, we'll be that quick to move on.