Mac Comments on Jason Berryman

Former Freshman All-American Jason Berryman is back...well, sort of. After the conclusion of Tuesday's session at ISU's padded camp, Dan McCarney spoke about the thought-process that went into the decision to allow the 2003 Team MVP a shot at redemption following his eight-month incarceration in the Story County Jail.

In the evaluation period what are you looking for from him?

McCarney: I'm looking for a great commitment to this football program, to the staff, to his teammates as a student athlete. The football stuff – the rushing the passer – all that stuff has little to do with this. This is about coming back and earning respect again as a person, as a citizen, as a student. Before the couple instances he was involved in we never had one second of a problem,
one minute of a problem with him before he got to Iowa State. So somewhere along the line we failed in trying to keep him within the framework and the structure, and the disciple of this program. He's paid a heck of a price and everyone's very well aware of that. I'm going to give him the opportunity in the next couple of months to try and come back and earn a position on this
football team. It's not on the depth chart. I'm talking about as a teammate, as an unselfish person, as an unselfish teammate, as a citizen and doing a good job as a student.

Is it comparable to a zero tolerance situation?

McCarney: Absolutely, we've met many, many, many times. I've lost track of how many times we've talked, but that was because that was what I wanted. Jason has done everything we've asked of him so far. Every minute of the follow up of the things we've asked him to do he has done that and I think a real good job. This is all about days, weeks and months now of responsibility ahead of him right now. It's not what about he says in my office.

In a way you've put your reputation on the line.

McCarney: There's no doubt every decision falls back in my lap I know that. Every decision I make – I rely on a lot of people in my staff before I make any decision – but in the end everything comes back to me and I understand. We're still in the business of trying to help young people; I think there's a lot of good with Jason Berryman. He's made clearly some – a couple of real poor
mistakes in judgment and behavior, no question about it. One of the reasons I am giving him this opportunity to be evaluated this summer, to have a chance to come back on the team is because of the way that he's handled it and his remorse and his disappointment with himself. Frankly the easy thing for him to do would have been to get the heck out of here. Go somewhere else, go to
another Division 1 school, which there were plenty opportunities to do that. Go to a junior college. But he wanted to come back here and face the people that he let down, that he disappointed and try to earn that respect back from so many people he let down.

Will you provide the same opportunity for Tyease Thompson and Jerry Gair?

No, absolutely not. You're talking about apples and oranges. All you're talking about is what you read in the paper with arrests. My guys are evaluated on 365 days of their behavior and their commitment and the things I ask of them in the program. All you're doing is taking an arrest and comparing them when you're throwing those guys out. This has a lot more to do with it than that. That's all you know about. What I know about is what goes on 365 days a year with my student athletes. So it has nothing to do with that. It's not even related at all whatsoever.

He's not on scholarships is that correct?

McCarney: He's coming back this summer on his own expenses and paying his own expenses going to summer school. If he does the things that I ask of him and meets my expectations over the next couple of months than he can be put on scholarship in the fall.

Do you have a read on how your other players feel?

McCarney: I didn't take a vote, but I talked to many of my leaders, many of my best players and talked to them about the situation and the possibility of an evaluation period that I was going to bring him back. I think almost [all] felt he deserved a chance to come back and be evaluated this summer, but I don't get into votes when it comes to making those type of decisions. I listen. I'm a
great listener and I learn. I absorb and then I make the final decisions. In the end this came down to me and Jason Berryman.

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