When Nebraska offensive tackle Alex Lewis was elected captain by his Cornhusker teammates, he was given a tremendous amount of trust. He was to represent the team as a whole, to be one of their voices.
Following Nebraska’s embarrassing 14-13 loss to Illinois, the senior failed his team in grand fashion off the field.
From the moment Lewis accepted his captainship, he became more than just another player on Mike Riley’s first Nebraska football team. He became a representative for it as 100-plus players determined that his words and actions would be those they could back.
I sincerely hope that none of them would defend the actions of Lewis.
Call me crazy, but I don’t see Tommy Armstrong, Terrell Newby, Jordan Westerkamp, De’Mornay Pierson-El or Brandon Reilly saying, “Hey folks, we stink, I’m sorry you have to put up with it!”
I can’t imagine Maliek Collins, Freedom Akinmoladun, Michael Rose-Ivey, Nate Gerry or any other Blackshirt saying, “Yeah, we’re having trouble with pass coverage, but hey, you’re champs for putting up with our struggles!”
Let's not forget his words for Husker fans following his personal foul against Miami in overtime earlier this year.
Lewis is simply not a captain. His latest verbal botch aside, he’s been good for penalties that come down to mental lapses over the past two seasons.
Some have suggested to me that he be stripped of the “C” and demoted all the way down to scout team until he quits out of embarrassment, but I’m not on that train.
I listened to former Nebraska running back Damon Benning discuss on the radio how back in the ‘90s, such players would be dealt with (ahem) personally among team members before being brought before someone who could make a call regarding their future.
Honestly, the penalty for Lewis’ latest screw up is simple. I agree with taking his captainship away, but I also recommend going a step further and dismissing him from the program.
It’s clear that five games into the season, he hasn’t bought in to what Riley’s planning and he’s had plenty of time to do so. Being granted the role of captain was simply icing on the cake.
He doesn’t represent his teammates well and with these most recent actions and I can see him becoming a locker room cancer quickly, especially with his title.
I understand dismissing players is a fine line to walk (See: Strong, Charlie), but the 2015 Nebraska Cornhuskers deserve a unified team effort, win or lose.
Lewis had a great opportunity to come out and show what he could do on the field, say the right things, do the right things, but he’s chosen to go against that.
It’s time he moves on and finds a place he’s happy at rather than coasting for the free meals and posh facilities.