A little while back Taran Buie and Curtis Drake were both cited for fighting in front of McDonalds in downtown State College. It wasn’t the sort of thing to get worked up about. The police and witnesses both reported that they were in a non-violent fight, something more like horseplay rather than a brawl. DeChellis and Paterno both responded to the incident understanding they needed to sit down with each player, but were also wary that the situation may have been blown out of proportion. For the most part the story came and went without a fuss.
Well now Buie is back in the news, this time it’s an underage drinking charge. Nothing new to Penn State, but an issue that will surely have to be dealt with. Small issues like fistfights get swept under the table as long as you aren’t Chris Bell and pull a knife. The real problem becomes the clash between DeChellis’ philosophy and how Buie has acted since he has gotten on Penn State’s campus. Underage drinking is something the university takes a lot more seriously than a wrestling match in the bushes, and will most likely garner some sort of action from the team or university.
On the team end of things it doesn’t matter where you stand on DeChellis’ employment, he runs a clean, respectable program. While Memphis is buying recruits cars (Ok..assumptions) DeChellis is graduating players and molding men into the sorts of people you would hire in your office. When it comes to running a clean ship, DeChellis’ ability to do that is more than likely a good 50% of the reason why he still has a job.
The problem will now be how Buie responds to the actions the team takes after this incident. The basketball team really doesn’t have a very long history of legal trouble, and this could end up being a non issue depending on how it is handled, either way Buie will need to curb his actions before he gets into serious trouble.
Buie’s issues could end up being a key aspect of his time at Penn State after Talor Battle graduates. Currently there is quite a lot of speculation on Buie’s chances of leaving Penn State after Battle leaves, IE- the Crispin brothers. Just a few months ago Buie responded to a friend request on facebook from Proivdence head coach Keno Davis. That mind you is a NCAA violation. When Davis was approached he stated that
“any Facebook interactions would have come BEFORE Buie had commited to Penn State”
The problem with that theory is Taran’s activity on his facebook page. He just this Sunday added 18 friends to his facebook account. At the time Davis was added as a friend to Taran’s account, Buie would have had to have waited almost a whole year before accepting the request. A request Davis would have issued before the NIT Championship. Something that seems rather unlikely for an account as active as Buie’s.
While Facebook and violations aren’t important in the grand scheme of things, the point remains the same. Buie is maintaining some sort of relationships with coaches outside of Penn State, and outside of the Big Ten. If Buie continues to have legal issues that will certainly rub the DeChellis philosophy the wrong way. Less playing time for a player that talented and actions directly opposite of the programs philosophy is the recipe for transfer.