USC baseball coach Ray Tanner has kicked junior infielder Casey Rihn off the team. Rihn was arrested in downtown Columbia early Sunday morning and charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Rihn played in 28 games this season and started in eight games. He was hitting .321 with one home run and 5 RBIs.
This was clearly not an easy decision for Ray Tanner. If you listen to his comments on the link at the end of this post you will hear Tanner get choked up as he tries to explain his decision.
This isn’t the first time Tanner has gotten emotional after dismissing a player from the team. Two years ago he had to kick Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Fuller off the team following their arrest. Those two were extremely high profile players that could have made a big impact to the Gamecock program. Tanner shed more than a few tears when he told reporters that he had booted both players from the team. Kudos to Tanner for not being afraid to make the tough decisions and for sticking to his guns. He has a clear cut policy in place that places the responsibility on his players to conduct themselves properly on and off the field. If you violate that policy, you have to pay the price. This is probably why you rarely see a USC baseball player in trouble with the law and when you do that player isn’t with the team much longer. Tanner’s policy also might have something to do with his programs tremendous success over the past decade plus. Bottom line, if you are responsible and disciplined off the field it usually carries over on the field. Perhaps Steve Spurrier is taking notes.