It’s been over a week since the news broke, so I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that Marcus Curry has been dismissed from the football team for a violation of team rules and is likely to transfer.

Like many Navy fans, I hold my breath from January until August; news that breaks during the offseason is almost exclusively bad. You won’t read fun things like “Associated Press Retroactively Awards 1957 National Championship To Navy,” or “Yellowstone Caldera Erupts– Air Force Academy Swallowed Whole.” No, instead it’s always about somebody leaving the team, somebody getting hurt, someone looking to hire away a Navy coach, etc. It sucks, and this offseason has been no exception thanks to the drama surrounding Marcus Curry. Curry’s troubles came to the public’s attention back in January when it was reported that he had failed a drug test, yet was retained. Now the news of his dismissal from the team is picking at that scab, leading to a re-hashing of conversations that had mercifully ended despite the best efforts of random Facebook moms to stir up enough populist outrage to get a congressional inquiry or something. This latest episode of wailing and gnashing of teeth hasn’t really led to any new or insightful commentary other than serving as a vehicle for some people to take their indignant side out for a spin.

I think a lot of us figured that Marcus would transfer anyway, for his own sanity’s sake. Who would want to put up with the kind of mocking and public scrutiny that he’s seen for the last 4 months? Apparently he was, but couldn’t walk the straight and narrow line that was undoubtedly placed before him as a condition of his second chance. Oh well. We all know that Naval Academy life isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Marcus gave it a shot, and it didn’t work out; just like countless others who, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, have left or will leave the Naval Academy. Attrition is inevitable in every class, and Curry is hardly the first person to be kicked off of the football team. Knowing this, I am absolutely dumbfounded as to why some people insist on making his impending transfer personal. Insulting him? Saying things like, “good riddance?” Really? Have we completely lost perspective? The Naval Academy needs young men and women who are willing to give it a shot, even if some of them come up short. Curry, for all his alleged faults, was still willing to attempt something that most people his age will not. There is value in the attempt, even if it was ultimately misguided. As a graduate I am far less ashamed of anything Marcus Curry has ever done than I am of those who would spit on him as he walks out the door. Tell some people that they’re the “best and brightest” enough, and you’ll create the kind of arrogance that gives Academy graduates a bad name. It’s the stereotype that well-adjusted alums have been fighting for generations, and until this episode I thought it might have been somewhat unfounded. Holy crap was I wrong.

None of this is to say that Marcus Curry is without blame for his own situation. He made his mistakes just like we all have in life. The difference is that the court of public opinion doesn’t rule on our worth as a person based on our mistakes. It is unfortunate, and more than a little disturbing, the way Curry has been dissected in the media. Admittedly, the nature of the Naval Academy makes headline news out of things that might be footnotes at other schools; if a player has a positive drug test, it’s a big deal. That comes with the territory. On the other hand, that isn’t an excuse to broadcast Curry’s entire conduct record to a predominantly clueless audience that has no idea what something like “demerits” at USNA entail. The Naval Academy is not a reality show where we all get to vote undeserving mids off the island. Those of us who are married probably don’t want all our arguments to become episodes of The Marriage Ref.  I’m quite thankful that my conduct record wasn’t public; I inherited my father’s “you rate what you skate” approach to Academy conduct matters. Marcus deserved the same privacy that any other mid expects in Academy matters.

But again, that’s just a repeat of things we’ve already said. Meanwhile, the team has to find a way to replace their top slotback. Conventional wisdom regurgitators that populate internet message boards will say something like “that just means someone else will step up” or some other manner of rah-rah, although that undervalues the contributions each individual player makes to the team. Starters are starters for a reason, and losing Marcus Curry shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.

Curry was a big part of the 2009 offense. Among other things, he was the team’s leading reciever, averaging nearly 30 yards per catch. The bulk of his numbers came in Navy’s biggest games; he had 101 yards and 2 spectacular touchdowns against Ohio State, 5 catches for 97 yards against Missouri, and a 25-yard TD reception against Army. With Bobby Doyle graduating, the Mids now lose their top two receivers going into 2010. Losing receivers probably isn’t the worst thing that could happen to this offense, but it certainly isn’t good. These were some clutch catches, especially in Ohio State and Mizzou games. I don’t think you could say that any random schmo could step in and make those plays.

Of course, the Mids won’t be asking any random schmo to step in and make those plays, since slotback is widely considered the deepest position on the team. In fact, there are probably 5-6 guys who are ready to step in as the #2 guy right now. The question now is whether any of them are ready to be the featured slotback. Curry shouldered a hefty load; despite missing three games due to injury, he still had 46% of all slotback carries last year. That’s the third-highest percentage since 2004:

2008 Shun White 73.7%
2006 Reggie Campbell 53.2%
2009 Marcus Curry 46.2%
2004 Eric Roberts 37.7%
2007 Shun White 35.4%
2004 Frank Divis 32.8%
2007 Reggie Campbell 32.2%
2005 Marco Nelson 30.9%
2007 Zerbin Singleton 30.4%
2005 Reggie Campbell 29.3%

Are any of the remaining slotbacks ready to assume that kind of responsibility? Gee Gee Greene is the leading candidate athletically, but the transition from freshman to #1 guy is a lot to ask. Curry did it, so it’s certainly possible; but it isn’t something that should be taken for granted. The other possibility is that there won’t be a clear-cut #1 A-back, and that carries will be distributed a little more randomly. Either way, Curry’s absence means a change of plans for what was one of the most stable positions going into 2010.


  1. tphuey

    Would love to see a 33% spread across the board, with 3 equally talented and effective slots driving Defensive Coordinators batty. Especially when teamed with a QB that scores 27 TDs, can throw a mean spiral to sure-handed receivers, and a bruising B back combo with speed, experience, and quickness.

    I think we have just that for 2010, and can’t wait to watch our offense against the twerps.

  2. As a graduate I am far less ashamed of anything Marcus Curry has ever done than I am of those who would spit on him as he walks out the door.

    Word. I’m amazed at the venom people direct at Curry, like he killed their family or something, and yet tout how often they went over the wall and how many Black N’s they earned.

  3. Spitter

    No he didn’t kill anyone; but smoking dope with one of his buds (lets be frank — common senses dictates he knew it, and his excuse is a lie) ; then the post-pop lie that only convinced but one in his COC (most likely good advise from a crafty lawyer- which by the way was his right); and then there are the numerous honor (specifically, cheating allegations). One can be questioned, but several…Sir, I dont think so. Big difference between his actions versus “going over the wall and a Black N” One honor violation is one too many for USNA. Guess the only bullet on his USNA rap sheet may be (but he never stole) . So while you vilify me and potential other men/women with honor who you would call spitters; I think you need to rethink this is not about making him a martyr (as this post craftily suggests he has become). The poor scapegoat FB player who despite given a break; but like many before him could just not embrace the system or made a mistake like many. There are many who left under honorable conditions, and many more who did not make those kinds of egregous mistakes. No venom in being honorable and calling one on it

    I suppose all of the act are purported and just allegations. Fact remains that to the “spitters” he dishonored USNA. If that is not enough..then perhaps you just might want to revist that concept you once (perhpas still) embraced. Re:

    Let me pose this…had the man in question not been injured and played a breakout Spring B&G game .do you think his minor conduct violation (u/a – an over the wall thing) would have been overlooked?. You bet it would have. Odd he gets to stay for all the “purported” aformentioned, but then gets the boot (from the team); and eventually allowed to resign for a mere conduct violation.

    Be ashamed at me, but are you then any more or less honorable than me or MC?

  4. Spitter

    Mike….maybe you should read it, and really comprehend what it means to many ..that would be and even better part

  5. Nicole

    “Yellowstone Caldera Erupts– Air Force Academy Swallowed Whole.”


    It’s a shame how the Curry situation ultimately unfolded. People can have their opinions, but there was no need for all the message board loudmouths to publicly stone him to death.

    His dismissal from the team is undoubtedly the loss of a major talent, but it certainly helps to have that depth at the SB position. I don’t know if I’d go as far as to call it a security blanket, but it does make the whole situation a little less worrisome as far as finding a new starter(s) goes. Looking forward to watching that battle pan out in fall camp.

  6. GoalieLax

    lol @ spitter. please keep regurgitating rumors and assumptions. you are the worst kind of grad – i wonder if you ever had to deal with personnel issues in the fleet or if you just let the shit roll downhill to your chief

  7. Witt94

    The biggest thing I keep remembering was the clutch aspect that you mentioned. When we needed a big play, Bobby Doyle and Marcus Curry were those guys more often than not.

  8. JimBear

    The arrogance and anger of some towards Marcus would make Gunnery Sergeant Hartman blush. He tried it didn’t work out.
    Marcus was talented but as I wrote for Go mids recently the slotback position is loaded. I think, and hope, in the end that the SB positions plays out like nose guard did last year. After losing Big Nate the backups did such a good job that except for the Temple game I can’t think of a game that the Mids missed him.

  9. Spitter

    LOL @ GL

    Gues you misses my “I suppose all of the act are purported and just allegations”

    The worst kind of grad or non-grad is one who has no honor…guess you just dont get it. Go back to your coffee clutch

    BTW…No such thing as an Honor Concept in the Fleet…

    LOL….dealing with personal issues at USNA vs. the Fleet is somewhat different and cannot even be compared in many aspects.

  10. Spitter

    Too many firewalls and my PC does not refresh well. Sorry for the mispelling, but I think you are a grad and thus can read and interpret.. :-)

  11. Sort of, Jimbear… Obviously the defense was still good without Nate, but we’ll never know if it could’ve been better. It’ll be the same without Marcus.

  12. Spitter


    Yes its a shame….and people have opinions, but there is even a lesser need on all the message boards to be more venomous and publicly trash fellow alum/grads (i bet even family members) who have not even commiteed the suposed acts that MC is accused or self-admitted of doing.

    The loudmouths who publicly stone him to death are probably no worse than those who publiclly vilify him and then crucifiy the aformentioned for doing so. They are just as much the loudmouths, but its shameful by them making it more personal and venomous.

    Shame you say….It is more of a shame any issue that remotely discusses MC still continues to be newsworthy (e.g. pandering for readers), and grads/alum pro/con throw each other under the bus over him. Its MC who threw himself under the bus and not us loudmouths. Perhaps some even whished they were Ralph Kramden

  13. navyrugger

    Spitter we all know English is a second language for you, so it takes you a long time to make a point, much less a coherent one. But since MC is going away, why so much venom? The way i see it the system worked. A guy who could not do what was required is leaving USNA. Not the first time, certainly not the last. Didn’t you ever have a buddy at USNA who left under less than optimum reasons?

    I’d rather give a guy one too man chances than one too few.

  14. Spitter

    Rugger….actually its a third language…if you really want to know. NO venom…try reading the third post above from ’86 — now that is venom and personal to many. Strange that he is a moderator/collaborator from the “other” board.

    Wrong…the system did not work. If it did…he would not have lasted this long. KN took it onto his own hands and did the right thing. Of course, why it took so long for eveyone to realize that it was inevitable, and a poke in the eye of USNA ,when this came into the limelight…I dont know. I did not have buddies or associate with fellow MIDS that “allegedly” did all those things. They were kicked out . I did have buddies that did leave under other reasons

    BTW…Is that all you think he is…a guy who could not do what was parochial.

    Mike..we can’t all be as distinguished or as intellectual as you.

  15. gonavy81

    As a guy who was a hair’s breadth away from leaving during second semester Youngster year, it appears to me that the system worked as it should have. I thank MC for his fine efforts last season. Too bad he won’t return this season, but it’s clear that he was not a good match for the whole USNA program. I sincerely hope he learns from his experiences there, both good and bad, and is successful in his future endeavors (including football).

  16. navyrugger

    Swallower, if you had stayed in and became Supe than you could have handled it your way. I don’t think anyone would have batted an eye if MC had been dismissed back in January, certainly not me. But I support the chain of command’s authority to make the call, although I recognize different folks may have handled it differently.

    What I do take exception to is your vilification of the Supe for this, as if his authority and decision dishonored USNA. It didn’t. And additionally, your labeling as dishonorable anyone who recognizes the Supe’s authority as the final word and supports his call. And spare me the crap about the Dant and Company Officer recommending dismissal. Noted and so what? Are you telling us all in your otherworldly command tour you never made a decision on your own – you only did what the XO recommended? Har de har har.

  17. hardcore24

    Marcus Curry is no hero, martyr, nor even victim. And he left a far worse stain than the rose-colored glasses lable that some of you are trying to put on him: A guy who just didn’t “work out” being at the Naval Academy.
    His personal conduct records being released/leaked was indeed unfortunate, but once they were, those facts seem to “justify” those opinions that sided with his detractors. Popping positive for smoking dope (Has been a zero tolerance offense in our Navy for a long time now) and committing honor violations are a lot worse that collecting demerits for MHP rules violations (even the class A ones) in my opinion. A number of key leadership folks at USNA invested a significant amount of personal capital to give him 2nd/3rd chances, … and his payback to them, his teammates, and the rest of the Midshipmen was to throw that trust away in a matter of mere weeks. Shame on MC for being a “scumbag” of a person! My son tells me that he caught maximum crap from the other officers in his wardroom because “Navy keeps dope-smokers and Mids who are honor violators because they are Football stars.”. An unfair statement, Yes … but that appears to be the perception outside these Navy sports blogs.

  18. hardcore24

    MC’s contributions on the gridiron will be sorely missed –> He was an excellent blocker as well (and had the size to make it effective). I don’t think I witnessed GGG executing a decent block all last season???

  19. navyrugger

    I can’t believe how stupid and unfair our coaches are to play a guy like GG Greene who can’t execute one block in an entire season. Clearly a conspiracy a hand.

    I wonder who will get the unwarranted affection of the coaches this year? Because clearly they play guys they like instead of the best players…..

  20. Swallower

    Hey Bugger,

    Then please take exception with a lot of other more important, influential and powerful people, in uniform or not, that also vilified the Supe for this. Part of the unwritten job description that goes with public, relatively speaking, figures,

    Spare me the crap, go hold your protest sign at M&T Bank Stadiun, 6 Sep, with a “BZ – Fair Winds and Following Seas/ Good Luck – Sorely Mmissed” and spit on all those that held honor higher than a sports statistic. someone predicted elsewhere, one or both will not be in uniform at that game to appreciate it.

    There is/was only but one consistently dishonorable person throughout this incident.

    I think the team has incredible depth and talent, and Navy will prevail.

    Beat Army

  21. navyrugger

    MC is history. I don’t wish him ill, but I think it is good for USNA that he is gone, not to mention well deserved.

    The difference between you and I is that I don’t see these two things as mutually exclusive – not wishing him ill and recognizing his departure as necessary.

    You’ve taken the whole thing as a personal affront, and that reduces your effectiveness in making your point.

  22. Navy72

    Well said, Mike. MC was a big part of Navy football’s team last year. You back up your argument nicely with the stats at the close. Good stuff.

    You make a good point. I think we lose sight of the fact that USNA takes a risk with every plebe who raises his/her hand on I-Day. That it did not work out for MC is neither a scandal nor unusual.

  23. I always saw USNA simply as the best choice for me based on how I wanted to live my life. Other people apparently see it as an ubermensch production line, churning out people that are actually superior to the rest of humanity. Pretty arrogant, not to mention dangerous.

  24. Brian 3321

    Havne’t you just done that which you complain about by re-hashing a story that was pretty much dropped weeks ago? Let it go – leave the guy alone, it’s over!

  25. Spitter

    Rugger..appreciate your comments. The point was already made and lines were drawn when honor (disbelieved by many), the more egregious offense, was tanked in favor of conduct.

    BTW….you migh want to read an interesting OP-ED in todays Big Apple Times on “The academies’ march toward mediocrity” referenced in a post on the GoMids board

  26. Michele

    I don’t think someone should be given a “pat on the back” or kudos for trying out USNA when they didn’t seem to respect the institution or Honor Code on a consistent basis. He is no better for trying it out than those that had the sense to know the school isn’t for them.

  27. “Better” is an interesting choice of words.

    Nobody’s asking for kudos. There is a large middle ground between patting someone on the back, and calling him a “scumbag” and hoping he fails in life. We’d like people to aim for that middle ground.

  28. EightyFiver

    At the risk of offending the Bruce Flemings and about half the posters on gomids, I wish MC well.

    The place wasn’t for him, and that’s too bad. It did me a world of good, notwithstanding my own missteps while I was there.

    Beat the turtles.

  29. Spitter

    EightyFiver…are you implying an honor offense is merely a misstep; and MC’s missteps were akin to yours, but somehow you fared better?

  30. Spitter

    LOL @ Mike….very cute and ethical. Please follow-up on your main post, specifically your views on honor, honor offense violators vis-a-vis MIDN athletes/student at USNA.

    Thank you

  31. Spitter

    Mike asking varsgoat whether he ever told a lie is calling his honor against him..guess you dont understand that concept

  32. Spitter

    Mike why dont you just tell people you want to out Spitter that he is varsgoat from another board.

    1. You are totally out of line
    2. Clearly unethical
    3. Not to be trusted with personal/privledged information clearly privvy only to you when one replies or registers here or on your message board
    4. You are seriously running a dishonest game

  33. varsgoat

    Mike – I’m not who you think ..:-)

    I am O-positive, married, social and dont like to hold hands while walking on moonlit beaches..anything else?

    Mike are you ethical and have you ever committed an honor offense?

  34. OK, given that you have lied, how should we all treat you? Such a violation of honor should surely be met with scorn and derision, correct?

  35. And varsgoat, I do not know nor do I have access to any of your registration information on the GoMids board, so I can’t “out” you. It’s just obvious from your extensive use of sentence fragments, incredible arrogance, and habit of referring to yourself in the 3rd person. Of course, if you weren’t referring to yourself in the 3rd person and instead were attempting to decieve everyone by making them think that “Spitter” was not “varsgoat,” then wouldn’t that be… an honor offense?

    I do not require commenters to provide their e-mail addresses because I would actually prefer not to know that information. I can see the IP addresses on comments, which helps keep conversations above-board. For example, it prevents one commenter from posing as multiple people. As for the ethics of “outing” one anonymous internet persona as being the same as another anonymous internet persona, well, I may never be able to look at myself in the mirror again.

  36. varsgoat’ve been fishing and playing sea-lawyer. It does not take a lot of analysis to figure out you cunning way.

    The fact that varsgoat and spitter happen to have the same e-mail does not necessarily mean they are the same person. No one is hiding or being deceptive.

    You lost neutrality and forgot boards are mutually exclusive.

    BTW…why did you ban theexit from your message board….when theexit did not even post an item or word? What rule was broken and why the ban.

    Dare I say you added 1 + 1, made a bad assumption, and then well did what Phat can only do best. It your right…its your board. Doesnt really matter…you know what this is all about.

    There is an expentency of privacy and confidentiality and some moderation by the owner. You have not run it with that kind of work ethics or decorum.

    I’m pretty sure you will continue to look in the mirror and smile.

  37. varsgoat

    LOL @ Mike (OK, given that you have lied, how should we all treat you? Such a violation of honor should surely be met with scorn and derision, correct?)

    Its immaterial how you treat me now.

    Tell you what when you post the Birddog Honor Code or Concept and I raise my hand and take an oath, and violate it repeatedly…..then you can meet me with scorn and derision…OK with that?

  38. Just so I have this straight… You lied about posting under two different user names, and were caught. But you say that it’s technically possible for two people who just happen to post on the same blog within minutes of each other to have the same IP address, so I shouldn’t jump to conclusions? (Even if common sense dictates your excuse is a lie). And either way, I should be criticized for even bringing this up because you think you should have an expectation of privacy?

    I wonder if there’s a parallel to be made here…

  39. GoalieLax

    lol – i guess in VG’s world, it’s perfectly acceptable to lie to people so long as you haven’t sworn an oath not to.

    and he calls other people scum…

  40. varsgaot predicted…Phat-pycho-babble.
    Posting on two different and mutually exclusive boards with different screen names is now considered a lie? Ok Cap’n America…just continue to champion honesty and integrity as as Mike or Phatphelix or whatever.

    I think you smoked a few too many blunts on the Eastern Shore with some of your favorite sports has beens. You need to remove the straw from the cesspool of the absurd.

  41. Anonymous

    Hey… I like this blog a lot better when we are talking Navy Football. Curry is gone as he should be. I wish him the best. Life goes on.

    Who among the talented A-backs will surface? In my opinion after watching most practices and scimmages, I like Howell and Snelson. They are both the complete package (run,block,catch) backs in the Marco Nelson/Reggie Campbell/Bobby Doyle mold, capable of the clutch plays and tough yards after contact. Santiago, Greene, and Byrd seem to have better speed, but all three are easy to bring down, but if they get free give you the big play capability. Stukel kooks like the best of both type back, but for me did not standout this spring. I’m hoping he will progress more by the fall.

  42. varsgoat

    Mike….like you said “I always saw USNA simply as the best choice for me based on how I wanted to live my life.”

    very poignant…and the best one line wonders I’ve read from you with the exception of all your excellent post game analysis. Now do what you set out and champion that mantra to Team Phat. Have a nice day.

  43. Matthew G Warner

    Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this thread. Carry on.
    (USNA class of 99 but left (voluntarily I swear) at the end of youngster year)

    Go Navy

  44. hardcore24

    I was agreeing with tbd that the loss of MC’s contribution on the gridiron was (potentially) a lot more significant than many are stating, … and his blocking ability was an excellent part of his game (in addition to the other stats). Mike tbd himself stated that GGG was the likely successor to take over MC’s role on Offense (at A-back). I don’t see it, … and pointed out a clear deficiency in his observed game. What was your point?
    Beat Army!!!

  45. Joe92

    Reading some of the commentary, above, about two separate postings from the same email, same IP addresses, etc. reminded me of a funny line in “A Princess Bride”….

    “Perhaps he’s just a fisherman… out for a pleasure cruise… at night… through eel infested waters…”

    Thanks, Mike. Keep up the good work.

  46. DJ

    I had 4 plebes in my company play football, and 1 didn’t make it. I had a total of 36 (I think) non-football plebes in my company, and 4 of them did not make it. One was a Mormon, one was a female, one was from Guam, and the other was a white male cowboy from Oklahoma.

    There was always speculation regarding the football player about how he didn’t belong at USNA, how he only got in because of football, how he never took the academy serious, etc. But when the other 4 left, the rumblings were simply, “Maybe it wasn’t the right place for them.” For some reason, nobody writes a NYT article about the non-minority who couldn’t make it at the academy, just because they didn’t receive a favorable admissions process. On the flipside, nobody writes an article about all of the football players (or former athletes for that matter) who serve in the Al Anbar or Kaspisa provinces.

  47. Andrewde78

    Aside from the recent arguments and posts……….but in relation with the subject matter of Mike’s article, I am not surprised at the outcome of Marcus Curry. I also find it embarrassing because whether people agree or disagree on MC’s preferential treatment on his failed drug test, I am positive that ALL would agree that MC was placed on thin ice, probation, narrow line to walk, etc for the time after the drug situation. I say ’embarrassing’ because he’s kept at USNA after failing a drug test because of his direct involvement with the football team since he totes the rock really well, and then later is kicked off the team. Either something internal is going on (outside of MC’s control) for which we don’t know or MC is a complete idiot.

    Personally, I’d be a saint if I were kept at USNA after screwing up that bad whether I knew it or not, in hopes of staying in everyone’s good graces. My 2 cents.

  48. 89inthehouse

    Well said! That stuff doesn’t make headines, or push guys like Fleming’s objectives, and somehow gets forgotten when different agendas are being pushed. Mike said it too that we forget about guys like Ron Winschester and others who gave their “last full measure of devotion.” Frankly, how about the 99% of the ones that are at sea, flying, or simply serving honorably at whatever the Navy has asked of them.

    I wish Marcus well, and hope his time at USNA serves him well in the next chapter of his life. I wish it were different, but is isn’t, so we can move forward now. I do however, wish that the vitriol that gets tossed about whenever these type of issues arise ends, and we can gain a new perspective about issues such as these.This will not be the last time something like this comes up, and somehow, the same cast of characters always come out and damn’s the whole institution based on one situation about which we really know very little. For what it is worth; my $.02


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