Former Michigan State linebacker Darien Harris co-hosted The Drive With Jack radio program on 92.1FM in Lansing Friday evening, the same night that the news broke that current MSU linebacker Jon Reschke was leaving the Michigan State football program. Jack Ebling read Reschke’s statement (you can read it here) and then asked Harris for his reaction.
Harris: “Obviously, a very unfortunate situation — but probably a situation that was necessary for the betterment of the team, unfortunately. And it’s kind of strange to say that when you take a player of Jon Reschke’s caliber – probably the best returning defensive player we had – but sometimes there’s just situations where things are said that can’t be said.”
Ebling: “You can’t un-ring the bell once words have been said.”’
Harris: “Exactly, when you can’t un-ring the bell. When that happens – it’s gonna be worse if he stayed here, trying to regain trust of teammates and things of that nature. So I think that in just a really unfortunate situation, it’s probably best that he moves on to something else. Obviously nobody at Michigan State would ever wish ill upon Jon Reschke and we hope that he’s able to find peace and find a way to come back from this situation and maybe even one day get an opportunity to play somewhere else again. This is a land of second chances and we’ve seen so many times – especially in professional sports – where guys get second chances to play somewhere else and we definitely wouldn’t want a situation where a kid doesn’t get to play the sport he loves anymore because of one awful mistake he made. But it just can’t be at Michigan State.”
Ebling then mentioned that Harris and Reschke had shared the linebacker room for a couple years at Michigan State and asked Harris for his opinion of Reschke and if he believed what Reschke said – that it was one uncharacteristic moment and that’s not who he is.
Harris: “Yeah, I think it’s just a situation where you want to believe that – and one day probably will be able to. You know, for right now you just kinda gotta look at the situation and say just how sincere of an apology is it? Is it one that is necessary because of what transpired and the fact that you’re obviously losing a great opportunity or is it one that you truly mean? And time will tell on that. I can say that I know for a fact that he reached out to a lot of guys – even myself included, he reached out to me – and issued a pretty heartfelt apology. I appreciated that. I didn’t have anything to say back. But I did appreciate him reaching out and apologizing to a lot of guys. And like I said, we don’t wish ill upon anybody and I really hope he’s able to find his way back from this situation. It is an unfortunate situation but just knowing who he is – having been around him for a little while – you don’t want one mistake to ruin somebody’s life, essentially. I know it is going to be really hard for him to deal with this – especially coming up on his senior year – but he’s gonna have to find a way to get by and just find a way to come back from this.”
Ebling followed up by asking Harris, “What can’t someone say? What is irretrievable? What goes too far?”
Harris: “Especially with the climate of the country now, when you start pulling in things obviously about family, obviously that’s stepping over boundaries. When you start using racial slurs, that’s obviously going to step over boundaries, when you start being insensitive – for myself personally who’s a [proponent] of loving everybody – to the LGBTQ community, that’s something that’s a major turnoff for me. It just comes down to treating people – as I said earlier – the way you want to be treated and just being sensitive in nature to everybody else. It’s just the fact of the matter that you can’t tell somebody what they can and can’t feel is hurtful to them, essentially. You cannot tell somebody that because they feel like something is disrespectful that it’s not. Because you aren’t them and you haven’t grown up how they grew up and you haven’t gone through what they’ve gone through. It’s just a matter of knowing the boundaries and knowing the limits and just understanding the fact that – like you said – there’s just certain lines that can’t be crossed.”