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Pro athletes seem to have a hard time with actions lately--and some with words. USC's lead rusher, Marc Tyler, has gotten himself suspended after two distinct mistakes: Talking to TMZ, and talking to TMZ on video while drunk. The college football star reignites the USC 'pay for play' scandal and garnered a quick suspension from games.
There seems to be an extra dose of arrogance going around lately among the nation's top sports stars. Pro or college, players seem to prove equally stupid.
Marc Tyler is a college football player while Andrew Bynum is in pro basketball, but the sports stars have one major commonality -- very bad timing for doing very idiotic things. Unfortunately for Tyler, his bad choice of words has exactly coincided -- in the media -- with Laker's Andrew Bynum's arrogant decision to park in two handicapped parking spaces designated for the disabled. End result: Tyler gets to share front-page glory with Bynum, sharing in the glory of dumb decisions that have led to scandal.
In July 2011, TMZ reporters ask what appears to be a loose-feeling Tyler about whether the things he'll be raking in more money with the NFL or playing for USC. Marc Tyler's response was a bad one that conjures up the Reggie Bush era and bad visions for the school that's still paying for allegations of, well, paying. For anyone who questioned whether the Reggie Bush scandal and allegations that put USC's fotoball team on probation were true, wonder no more: In response to whether Trojan football players are paid more in the pros or garner more during that USC time, Marc Tyler told reporters he'd choose USC for the spot to make cash: "USC, they're breaking bread."
That was bad call #1. It probably would've been wiser for the Trojans football star to wait until the USC team was off probation before a video interview referencing that 'pay to play' idea. But things got worse.
Bad call #2 was returning to the TMZ cameras. The (apparently very) drunk Marc Tyler had already left the camera crew, pulled away by buddies. Guys, always listen to your wingman -- even when it doesn't involve entertainment for the night. When you don't, you could end up making some scandalous extra comments. Those would be the 'extras' that are meant to be shared with buddies, not turned into recorded evidence -- including stuff like a lewd comment about USC football's running backs, a comment referring to the "University of Sexual Ballers" -- and perhaps a bonus shot about celebrity Kim Kardashian. The running back just couldn't help himself.
Marc Tyler has since found himself quickly booted by the high-profile school and USC head coach Lane Kiffin -- in comments that sparked a fast and heated controversy. USC doesn't exactly need any more allegations about extra goodies or 'bonuses' involving players right now. Tyler might be good, even really good, but at this point USC can't handle one more scandal related to its football program.
Coach definitely isn't too happy: "I was very disappointed when I learned of Marc Tyler's inappropriate comments that were captured by the media last week. That is not the way that we expect our players to represent USC and our team."
Translation: 'I was very disappointed that fool went and outed our payouts -- and allowed the media to capture it as video evidence'.
The suspended Tyler has been a star in his time with the school -- leading rusher for USC this past season. But, right now, the football star's suspension is about as open-ended as Marc Tyler's video comments: The Trojan is not slated for return -- and no one's talking about when that suspension might be over. Marc Tyler probably wasn't expecting the additional blast from Coach Kiffin, but should have considering the scandal he's worked to reignite after the school's efforts to quell. It's 'goodbye' for now: "I have consulted with athletic director Pat Haden and I am suspending Marc [Tyler] for our [USC Trojans' football team] upcoming season opener and potentially further," says Kiffin, "and in the meantime I am also suspending him from all team activities."
Ouch. The big lesson in keeping your mouth shut.
Tyler's taken the first step in the sports players' handbook for 'I screwed up' steps to recovery. He (kind of) apologized. Well, at the least the USC school did anyway, on behalf of the football team's lead rusher.
The official USC player's statement about his 'pay for play' snafu: "I am disappointed that I let down all the people who have supported me as I have been working through some personal issues," says Tyler. "I realize how my behavior and my statements, even though I was joking, can reflect poorly on so many people."
He has that a bit wrong. Someone may have helped Tyler with spell-check, but apparently forgot about concept check. Marc Tyler definitely got admitted to USC for reasons related to football, because it certainly wasn't an academic scholarship that landed him at the college. For the record, Marc: statements do not reflect poorly 'on' people. Statements are about people. They only reflect poorly on you.
He might get back into USC, but only if the football team decides it needs him badly enough for his senior year. And USC may seriously be weighing those pros and cons. It's hard to gauge how many games the running back will sit on the bench. His return may not be soon: While player suspensions often revolve around 'show', this one appears to be punishment -- payback for reigniting a scandal that's plaguing the football program now. That 'pay for play' issue isn't yet part of the past. The ailing USC team is going to be forced into some pro-active damage control.
What many don't realize is that even before Marc Tyler made his July TMZ 'hall of fame' video appearance, the college football star was already in hot water. The video taken outside of an L.A. club just upped things to boiling. The football star hasn't served as a 'poster boy' for USC recently. In fact Marc Tyler's had two additional alcohol-related events, over just the past several months, that have been plaguing the school's reputation and his.
Tyler had just recently been dragged before USC's Office of Student Judicial Affairs in early July. That little meeting was over a serious look at Tyler's behavior -- and two booze-related incidents that happened in April 2011. If he was absolved of prior sins, the current video evidence by TMZ apparently pushed things over the top. But spitting on one girl, and copping a feel of another, haven't exactly helped Tyler's situation.
Both of Marc Tyler's other 2011 screw-ups had two common factors: alcohol and women. Or, perhaps, women that didn't want him. The football star's accused of spitting on a female USC student after drinking in April. In a separate incident, also in the same month, Marc Tyler is said to have "inappropriately touched" another female student. Surprise, surprise: The second 'touching' incident occurred at a bar, near the USC campus.
He's not a big man but Tyler apparently thinks he is. Maybe that lack of height is part of the problem: Tyler's only 5' foot,10" inches tall. He weighs in at 230 pounds. Before the football player's third screw-up in just a few, short months, he was ranked high -- with scouts grading Tyler as high as a 5th round prospect for the 2012 NFL draft.
In his past season with USC's football team, Tyler led the Trojans football team, gaining career highs for rushing 913 yards and had 9 rushing touchdowns and 10 total touchdowns.
Get the full effect of Marc Tyler plus too many drinks in the July 2011 TMZ video that's helped blow the USC star's college football career.