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Doc Holliday walks the walk

Steward Butler

Earlier today we ran an article quoting Marshall head coach Doc Holliday talking about how the NFL's wishy-washy personal conduct stance makes college football coaches' jobs much harder.

“The NFL talks out of both sides of their mouth," he said. "They talk about wanting to draft character guys, and how important character is and all that, but then they turn around and the first player taken in the draft has all these issues. It just sends the wrong message to the type of kids that I’ve had to deal with and it send the wrong message to high school players.”

He continued: “You know, every time that I talk to our football team, the last thing that I tell them every time before they walk off the field is that every decision you make has consequences. Well I’m anxious to see, in this draft, some of the decisions that some of these top 10 players have made, does it have a consequence?”

As fate would have it, just a few hours later Holliday was put in a situation where he needed to back up his words with action.

Reports surfaced Wednesday morning that Thundering Herd running back Seward Butler was arrested for allegedly beating a pair of same-sex men after Butler saw the pair kissing.

Just a few hours after the charges emerged, Butler was dismissed from the team.

With 798 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last season, Butler entered 2015 as Marshall's second-leading returning rusher. On a team that loses All-Conference USA passer Rakeem Cato, Holliday surely could have made use of Butler this fall.

Instead, he - and his athletics director - made swift and decisive action as to what type of behavior would tolerate on his football team, regardless of how it affects the team on the field.

Holliday would like for the next level to adopt the same level of leadership, but he knows better by now.