WMU’s Fleck takes blame for recruiting dismissed players
Western Michigan head football coach P.J. Fleck said during the MAC coaches’ conference call Monday morning that the responsibility for the two players facing criminal charges “falls on me.”
WMU freshman linebacker Ron George and freshman wide receiver Bryson White are accused of pushing their way into an apartment Friday night and robbing a woman while using a gun and knife.
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says his office has authorized charges of armed robbery, first-degree home invasion and larceny in a building against George and White. If convicted of all charges they could face life in prison.
George and White appeared in court Monday, and bond was set at $100,000 apiece.
Fleck kicked them off the team last weekend.
“I talked to the team right when it happened, and all I’ll say on the whole thing is that it falls on one person, it falls on me,” Fleck said Monday. “I am the one that offers scholarships. I am the one who brings people in here. I am the one the last four years that have brought in the type of student-athlete that we want to be very proud of here at Western Michigan, and somewhere along the line I obviously didn’t do a good enough job or a thorough enough job on a few guys.
“I have to do a better job and continue to get better at simulating exactly how a player will be when they get here away from their family, away from their family’s morals and values and get into college life on their own.
"It’s unfortunate. I take responsibility for it as the head football coach. This is my football team. I have to be completely better. We talk about failing as growing in our program and that goes for me too, and I told our team that, as well. When you fail you grow.”
Fleck suspended George and White indefinitely when he first learned of the news, before kicking them off the team Sunday. George is from Pittsburgh and White is from Mason, Ohio.
The Broncos are the preseason favorite to win the MAC championship after finishing 8-5 last season, earning their first bowl win. They will open their season Saturday at Northwestern (noon, ESPNU).