October 9, 2006

Finally, Ohliger gets the boot

It wasn't the missed field goals that cost Boston College at least three or four games during his career at Boston College. It wasn't the missed extra points against BYU that should have led to a loss. And it wasn't the missed extra point that cost Boston College at least a chance at overtime against N.C. State. No, it took a bar fight for kicker Ryan Ohliger to get the boot from BC.

So what is it with Boston College recruited kickers/punters? Punter Jeff Gomulinski gets booted (I love that pun) after holding his ex-girlfriend against her will in a dorm room and now Ohliger gets kicked off the team for brawling in an apparent attempt to defend his honor.

When you miss extra points, something any slob off the street could make 9 out of 10 times, you're going to get hassled on campus. That's the price you pay and it's the bad part of earning your four-year scholarship. To respond to such heckling leads to your dismissal from the team. Players know if they fight, they're gone -- period. In this case Ohliger forced Tom O'Brien to do something he was too stubborn to do himself.

Some might blame O'Brien for this situation saying he stuck too long with a kicker who was clearly not panning out for the Eagles in any way, shape or fashion. They might say he put Ohliger in this position, but that's not accurate at all.

When you accept a D1A offer, you accept the pressure and scrutiny that comes with it. And if you're a kicker, a player who's in on less than 5% of all plays, that scrutiny is more extreme. Ohliger couldn't handle it and now Steve Aponavicius will take his turn.

Here's hoping that BC's incoming kicker, Billy Bennett, has a thicker skin. Or, better yet, let's hope he doesn't miss extra points.

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