After junior Harrison Beck and sophomore Justin Burke were eliminated from N.C. State's starting quarterback race, fans sent e-mails asking why.
The short answer is that coach Tom O’Brien didn’t go into detail about their shortcomings.
He simply said that N.C. State continues to search for the best player for the job and is moving forward with senior Daniel Evans, redshirt freshman Russell Wilson and freshman Mike Glennon.
That’s as it should be. O’Brien doesn’t owe the public an explanation, especially when anything he says would reflect poorly on Beck and Burke.
One e-mailer was off the mark in suggesting that O’Brien was being unfair by not allowing Beck to participate in Sunday’s scrimmage.
If the coach already had seen enough in practice to determine that Beck and Burke weren’t right for the job, he would be doing a disservice to the team and the two quarterbacks by pretending otherwise.
This is difficult for some fans to believe, but O’Brien needs and wants to win as much as N.C. State fans do. His livelihood – and the livelihood of his staff members – depends on it.
If Beck or Burke gave N.C. State the best chance to win, O’Brien would play them.
Instead, we’ll wait to see whether Evans, Wilson or Glennon can get the job done.
It’s natural to feel sorry for Beck and Burke, who have worked their whole lives in hopes of starting for a program such as N.C. State.
But only one quarterback lines up behind the center on any given play, and the cold reality is that hearts are broken every year at this time when players fall short of their dreams.