We were sorry to see that Duke has kicked Austin Parker off the football team, no pun intended.
Parker handled the punting and place-kicking this year and was solid, but in some way he violated Duke’s academic code. He has no one to blame but himself.
It’s really unfortunate for the team and makes the bowl game more challenging.
That aside, it’s something that should be celebrated. Unlike some schools we can think of, when Duke finds athletes cheating, it doesn’t try to cover it up or lawyer up. It’s dealt with and everyone moves on. Duke fans should be proud.
As for Parker himself, there is disappointment naturally, but there should be some compassion too. He’s in his third year at Duke, not quite 20, and he’s made a dreadful mistake that has cost him something we’re sure was important to him. He’s let his teammates down and that might be the worst of it. That’s bound to be a terrible feeling.
He can return to school after his suspension but he’ll never play football for Duke again.
If he decides to play somewhere else then we wish him the very best. If not though, we hope he returns to Duke and finishes his degree. Football won’t last much longer no matter what he does. His education will be there the rest of his life.