Boise State’s Joe Southwick Sent Home From Hawaii BowlBy Amber Lee
Last Friday Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick was sent home by interim coach Bob Gregory just hours after the Broncos had arrived in Honolulu. The team is in town to play Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
Southwick was accused of urinating off a hotel balcony; a charge he has vehemently denied. Initially backup quarterback Nick Patti was also suspended for an undisclosed rule violation, but he was ultimately reinstated.
Since arriving back home, Southwick has gone to great lengths to clear his name. According to KTVB in Boise, he immediately made arrangements to undergo a polygraph test, which he reportedly passed. Of the results Southwick said, “Really, this gives me a leg to stand on.”
Apparently what happened was Southwick had witnessed another player urinating off the balcony, but didn’t do it himself. Nor did he rat out the (alleged) urinator. It happened during what was described as an “alcohol fueled” evening in the Aloha State.
After the incident he went to bed and was informed of his dismissal the next morning at the team breakfast. Southwick was then whisked off to the airport, where he sat around for nine hours waiting for his flight. During that time he said he made many attempts to contact Boise State administrators, none of which were successful.
On his excessively hasty exit Soutwick said, “They had to make a call very quickly. Unfortunately, they made the wrong one.” Although that’s not how the university sees it and they are standing by the decision to send their QB packing.
They issued an official statement on the matter:
“We investigated the matter with university administrators, coaching staff, a law enforcement official, hotel security and student-athletes … We made the decision to send the student-athlete home, and we stand by this difficult decision.”
So if Boise State jumped the gun or jumped to conclusions in an effort to clear things up quickly—and that certainly seems like it may be the case—it’s clear they have no interest in sorting it out. The university considers the matter closed.
Southwick’s frustration is understandable, because it’s hard to believe he would’ve been treated the same way if he wasn’t a senior and the Broncos hadn’t already been playing without him since late October. He missed a number of games with a broken ankle.
Combined with the fact that the entire coaching situation is in flux since Chris Peterson left in early December to coach Washington, Southwick may have been seen as disposable for a team with an uncertain future. This is the last game situation they have this season to evaluate that critical position.
Especially if the real urinator is someone considered more essential to Boise State’s success now and moving forward. Not saying it’s a conspiracy or anything…but it kinda sounds like a conspiracy.