|The Humiliation, and Destruction of One of many Hockey Players by the Michigan State Hockey Coaching Staff: Rick Comley, Brian Renfrew, and Tom Newton. Provided via Spartantailgate|
College hockey fans, here we are, it's senior week. Where we usually celebrate and say farewell to the seniors on the MSU ice hockey team. But this year is very different. The class of 2010 was meant to be eliminated by this coaching staff. Just look around the arena - the seniors pictures usually found on the entrance doors of the arena have been put in a very obscure place, and disrespected by erecting a booth to block them. With the exception of Sucharski, of course, who was hated by many of the players for the last five years, but coach loves him, so go figure?
The class lost a couple of players along the way, but three remained to be part of the team. But this writing's about #16 Justin Johnston. He left the team today, and couldn't take being humiliated and not dressing on senior night. He was recruited by this staff and accepted an the invitation to MSU proudly (as this is always where he wanted to be), but did so under the clear expectation that being in the line-up and playing were the most important thing.
He had many choices of colleges to play for along the way, but dreamed of playing at MSU, and jumped at the chance to be here. His freshman year, the 2006-2007 national championship year, he played three games, was of course humiliated, and was given virtually no reason as to why this was happening.
The next two seasons he saw limited ice time in order to prevent any type of meaningful development, and no promotion whatsoever, except for Ron Mason saying to Smiegel (Comley), "Why aren't you playing him?" Justin was given the most improved player award, to "make things look good," he was already very good. But the coaches had their foot on his head, and would not take off, while touting other equal or lesser players.
Players said early on when he was a freshman, "I can't believe it, the players spend most of their time in the locker room planning Comley's death and laughing about it. The success of the team has nothing more to do with the coaches." Justin had nothing but the best coaches previous to MSU. Psych major? No, this coach has an authority complex and significant issues as a person in society, let alone a D-I hockey coach. (Are you kidding, the guy should be in the nut house.)
Of course, this school does have convicts playing D-I sports, so why not have a nut-job as the head coach of your hockey team? It's really sad. Everyone knows he should have been fired four years ago, but the emergence of Jeff Lerg saved him, although everyone is sure that was a total surprise, and gift to him, that the team turned itself around that year and won the NCAA title.
This coaching staff is clearly sick. Other premier programs don't treat their recruits this way. Justin has been a good kid, not drunk every night like the hockey house crowd. He has practiced hard to get past whatever false issues the coaches used. Johnson was given scholarship money his sophomore year, and was told in his junior and senior years would be paid for as well. He never saw a check after the first one, and they had the nerve to say, "Maybe if you played a little better, who knows?" Well, we sat back for four years, and took this crap, and we are all relieved it's over. But the damage has been done.
So, we will be carrying the torch from now on for all the players/families (too many to mention) who just got screwed and kept their mouths shut. We promise! Go MSU players!
- The Freshman Class of 2006
Who wants to take bets this was written by Johnston's girlfriend or Dad?