Bean Baldwin and Vernon Adams Jr. are working things out. Sort of.
Eastern Washington’s football coach is working out his plans for spring ball, while his former All-American quarterback is working out at a fitness club in a Cheney strip mall.
Both are fine with the situation, and are surprised that some outside observers created a controversy where none existed before.
Even as Adams weighed the options for his senior year – stay at EWU or transfer to Oregon – Baldwin informed him that if he chose the latter, he wouldn’t have access to the school’s athletic department weightlifting facilities.
An easy decision, Baldwin reasoned, considering Eastern faces Oregon in their season opener on Sept. 5.
On Feb. 12 – three days after Adams announced his decision to move to Oregon – Baldwin explained his rationale.
“I said to him, ‘What’s your plan for the next four months? How are you going to prepare for your senior year? I love you to death, but one, you’re moving on, and two, you’re moving on to who we’re playing in week one.’ ”
The news ignited a controversy that went national, and Baldwin was criticized by some in the national media. “EWU bans Adams,” the headlines said, in print and online.
“Banned – that word never came out of my mouth,” Baldwin said Tuesday. “I think it’s funny that some people need something to talk about.”
Baldwin went on to claim that some are employing a double standard when criticizing the Adams’ restriction. By way of analogy, Baldwin said that no one would protest if Ohio State coach Urban Meyer took the same action against a Buckeye player who announced his intention to transfer to Michigan.
“But because we’re little Eastern Washington, they think that in some weird way, we should be grateful,” Baldwin said.
Meanwhile Adams rises early every day and hits the weights at Snap Fitness in Cheney. He went on to say that he expected to be restricted from the athletic weight room.
After weight training, Adams spends the day in class. In his spare time, he throws footballs to former EWU players and other ex-collegiates.
“That’s one of the tough parts,” Adams told The Oregonian last week.
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