Posted: 3:26 pm Friday, November 13th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
It was slightly surprising when Glades Central coach Jessie Hester mentioned the former Pahokee player and current Tennessee wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson situation at last night’s Muck Bowl dinner with the Blue Devils, but he felt it was the right time to send a warning to players on both teams.
Hester brought up “the news about Nu’Keese” — referring to Richardson’s arrest for attempted armed robbery Thursday — and advised the Raiders and Blue Devils not to squander their college football opportunity “on simple and stupid mistakes.”
After the banquet, Hester said he was disappointed by Richardson’s arrest and called it “a black eye for the whole community.” He said the incident will reflect negatively on both Pahokee and Belle Glade.
“You don’t know how it will affect the way (coaches) look at other kids,” Hester said. “I see too much of it every year: kids from this area going off and doing something stupid when they have opportunities that kids at other places are dying to have. They’re wasting those opportunities.”
As far as Richardson’s future in college football, Hester painted a bleak picture. He believes the next step will be Richardson’s expulsion from Tennessee.
“Now the university has to save face and make sure they don’t have character issues,” Hester said. “The media’s going to beat them up about that. There’s no way he’s going to be able to stay there under those circumstances. Hopefully it won’t end his college career.
“He can probably go elsewhere. It’ll definitely be a lower-level deal unless some school is desperate to take that chance on you. But it’s very unlikely that you’ll end up at another big-name university.”
Hester also suggested Richardson’s arrest, along with two other Tennessee freshman, should indicate to universities that they need to do a better job mentoring and supervising freshmen players.