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Babers-DeVito saga is SU’s version of Reality TV

Orange Nation

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 10: Tommy DeVito #13 of the Syracuse Orange drops back to pass against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Carter Finley Stadium on October 10, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Since the turn of the century, Reality television has taken the airwaves by storm, but I have always considered sports the ultimate Reality TV. 

Unscripted raw emotion, where ecstasy or excruciating pain is right around the corner. For the last three weeks, Syracuse has experienced the latter. And after Tommy DeVito announced his departure and transfer from the program, SU and #OrangeNation is in the middle of the less, or more fun depending on your TV interests, version of reality TV… the breakup. 

You know what I’m talking about. It is what we see every season on the Bachelor, Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise franchise. That point where two people who seemed made for one another call it quits. Except we are not getting the arguments, tears, or passionate confessionals to the camera. No, this breakup between Dino Babers and DeVito is civil. There is no SU version of “Men Tell All” in our future. At least not any time soon. 

Dino Monday told the media what you expect to hear from a man that respects the privacy of a one-on-one conversation. 

“Tommy was very mature about the things he expressed to me. Those were some private things. We’re tied at the hip. I love that guy. He’s part of our family. He’ll always be part of our family. We’re going to always root for him. And we wish him nothing but the best. We really do,” Babers said. 

The current starting quarterback of the Orange, Garrett Shrader, who was in this same position last season when he decided to leave Mississippi State, also is saying what you would expect someone who won the quarterback competition to say. 

“A lot of people disagree with this, but I think it is best to (transfer) early. So, you don’t sit until December and it’s like, ‘Okay, now I have to find a place to go play.’ Giving yourself some time to do that is the best thing. I’m sure he already has a handful of offers at Power 5 schools and FBS programs. It gives yourself time,” Shrader said. 

As for DeVito, he was a little more open with his recounting of what went wrong when he gave his first interview since announcing his transfer

“I waited four games after, didn’t get a single snap, so to me, they made their stamp that they’re just going to roll with the run and whatever they can do in the pass game,” DeVito told Nate Mink of the Syracuse Post Standard. 

There is little doubt this is the best move for the program. Syracuse had regressed and then became stagnant in that regression with DeVito under center, but that does not mean it is entirely DeVito’s fault. There is plenty of blame to go around with the offense being as inconsistent as it has been over the last three seasons.  

But it would have been worse to keep things the same. Give credit where credit is due, because as Dino points out, the game has changed, and Syracuse must adapt. 

“I don’t think it is a shift. I think it is a chess game where you are playing with your strongest pieces. And as your pieces change, your game should change. We don’t want to be like the dinosaurs. There were certain times when we came in here our receivers were extremely strong and we used that with a very mobile quarterback. I thought we had good backs, but we didn’t have anybody like Sean (Tucker). Sean is different. The biggest waste we could do is treat him like he is not different,” Babers said. 

Opposing defenses have come to that realization too. Tucker is different. He will create plays. It is now up to the rest of the offense, more specifically Babers and Shrader to produce or Syracuse will once again be the odd man out in this proverbial bowl game rose ceremony. Which might cause fans to change the channel to a different Reality TV show. 

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