Local News

N.C. State's O'Cain Says His Action Will be Swift and Harsh

Posted November 22, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Sympathy, concern and disappointment are all words to describe the reaction from N.C. State's athletic community.

N.C. State has worked hard to improve the off-field behavior of its athletes, but some do not seem to get the message.

There was a sense of disbelief at N.C. State Monday evening as as the football team gathered for the first time since Sunday's incident. The players are trying to concentrate on their upcoming game with North Carolina on Saturday in Charlotte, but that is not easy.

Coach Mike O'Cain said Monday that the players involved made a very poor decision.

"It makes you sick to the stomach," O'Cain said. "I'm old enough and mature enough to know what they've thrown away. Young people have this idea that they're invincible and that nothing's going to happen to [them]."

Away from the playing field, administrators stress that the behavior of the overwhelming majority of the team has been exemplary.

"They've been doing things the right way. They guys that are playing now are not guilty of anything. The others who aren't playing, the three involved, made a bad decision, and they have to live with that mistake," said N.C. State Athletic Director Les Robinson.

O'Cain said he had not had a chance to speak with the three red shirt freshmen players involved.

He does want to get their side of the story before taking any additional action on their status with the team.

O'Cain did say anyone who has followed his football program knows his action will be swift and harsh.

Three years ago, O'Cain suspended several starters in connection with an off-campus incident.