A Civic Project story: Tales from the huddle
By Cody J. Benjamin
INDIANA – James Griffin Jr., of Wallingford, Pa., attended a team meeting shortly after three of his fellow Indiana University of Pennsylvania football players were arrested in September 2012.
Griffin, a former defensive back, said he remembers when Errol Brewster, De’Antwan “Rocket” Williams and Jerell McFadden were detained on suspicion of drug activity.
Four days after the incident, Brewster was off the team.
Head coach Curtis J. “Curt” Cignetti, in his second year with IUP at the time, told players it was “Errol’s final straw,” Griffin, who now lives in Philadelphia, said in a Nov. 4 phone interview.
“We hold our student-athletes to a higher standard,” Cignetti said, a remark reported in The Indiana Gazette.
But in this case, only one of the three athletes was held to the higher standard, players say. And Cignetti’s standards have prompted many players — current and former, starters and backups alike — to speak out about double standards and favoritism, some of it linked to financial contributions and family connections, some to influential alumni.