No. 5: Character Becomes a Question
The FAU football program hasn’t produced an abundance of winning seasons on the field in its 16 year history, but for the most part the the Owls have been quiet in the courts. The hiring of Lane Kiffin appears to have ushered in a new era of tolerance – or, perhaps, forgiveness.
Oddly enough, the past infractions come mainly from the coaching staff. New offensive coordinator Kendal Briles left Baylor amid a sex abuse scandal that enveloped the football program. Defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin is under investigation by the NCAA for alleged infractions committed while the defensive line coach at Mississippi – three of which he admitted to in a filing with the NCAA.
Of the seven other assistant coaches on the staff, two more came to FAU with at least one police incident on their record.
Some issues arose among players, too. One day after introducing Kiffin as coach, FAU signed quarterback De’Andre Johnson, who enrolled at East Mississippi junior college after being kicked out of Florida St. when video surfaced of him punching a girl in a bar.
“We don’t take character issue guys, period,” FAU athletic director Pat Chun said one day before Johnson’s signing. “I personally sit and talk with every recruit.”
Then, two weeks ago, police arrested leading wide receiver Kalib Woods on two counts of felony battery stemming from a fight at a banquet hall party in January.
What We Wrote
Kiffin, Briles Hired as FAU Coordinators
Johnson Receives Second Chance
Kiffin’s Staff Complete
Briles Highest Paid C-USA Assistant
RB Coach Smith Brings the Pro Experience
No Briles Reunion
Mathies Hiring Completes Defense
Mr. Smith Goes to Boca
Chris Kiffin Says No Cause
FAU WR Woods Arrested
Woods Incident Stems from Foul Call
Alleged Victims in Woods Case Making Video of Recovery
Why It’s Important
Offering a second chance by forgiving a past indiscretion is part of American culture. It many ways doing so is laudable. But there were times early in the Kiffin era where it appeared as though running afoul of authorities was a prerequisite to joining the FAU staff.
The Baylor sex abuse scandal will dog former Bears offensive coordintaor Briles, whose father Art was the head coach at the time of the allegations, and now FAU is inextricably linked to it. There is still a chance – although it seems remote – that Chris Kiffin could be suspended for a game or two once the NCAA passes judgment on Ole Miss.
All indications are that Johnson, along with all the assistant coaches, have been model citizens since arriving in Boca Raton.
But the Woods situation is distressing. FAU suspended the redshirt senior indefinitely and has removed him name from the Owls’ online roster. He won’t be arraigned until late July and at the moment needs to wear a monitoring device. It’s certainly possible that Woods has played his last game at FAU.
If FAU starts winning on the field, Owl fans will likely give Kiffin a pass and Florida Atlantic could become the new Second Chance U.
No. 10: Baseball Relationship Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
No. 9: Football Beset by Injuries
No. 8: The Quarterback Battles
No. 7: Schmidt Complex: It’s a Start
No. 6: Buckeye Surprise
No. 5: The Sirens Call
No. 4: One Stormy Week
No. 3: Partridge Fired
No. 2: Forgettable Seasons
No. 1: The Lane Train