|Lache Seastrunk in Oregon|
We have already seen many articles detailing his departure. Some critical of his time at Oregon; some critical of Duck fans and their reaction to the news.
Once again, as has often been the case in Lache's short stint at Oregon, everyone seems to be missing the point here. This young man made a very difficult decision. This was not a rash decision made in the heat of the moment. And, contrary to popular opinion, the decision had nothing to do with football and everything to do with the one, most important aspect of Lache Seastrunk's life: Family. Before we all begin to question whether he would or would not have seen any significant action; before we begin to analyze his worth to the team, we should step back and analyze his worth as a human being. After all, isn't that what we should be teaching all the young men that play college football; how to be the best person they can be? That certainly should be our goal.
So we need to look at the truth behind the decision to transfer. All too often, college football fans, in their fervent support of their team focus only on the athletic aspect in these decisions. Often, that just is not the case. Sure, young men that get athletic scholarships wish to compete. However, we must remember that these are still very young men; and they struggle with many of the same things we all struggled with at their age.
|Lache Surrounded by Family, January 2010|
We can have a great mind and do what others might consider impressive, but without the underlying form of our consciousness; character; we cannot fully achieve the greatness possible within ourselves. It is not the adversity that defines a man's character, but his response to adversity. Through all of the adversity that Lache Seastrunk has faced, he has always worked hard and moved forward. We see a fluid young man in game films; on the football field and we think everything must have come easy. That could not be further from the truth. Lache Seastrunk, despite the natural athletic gifts we all see, sacrificed and worked extremely hard. He gave his heart and soul to everything he did, including his school work. And this is the sign of his incredible character, his work and devotion to God and his family.
|Lache with Aunt Jen, July 2011|
Seastrunk's interpretation of “A Man of Integrity” follows: “It’s basically, when things all fall down, you’ve got to keep pushing, no matter what,” he says. “No matter how difficult the pain may be, how bad you might feel, or how devastated you might be, you still have to keep pushing no matter what. You still have to keep moving. Because in the worst times, when you praise God, it’s when God sees that you’re really committed to him.”
This transfer, though, finds him living the second part more than any of us really know. As one family member told me today, Lache's grandmother “is not doing well at all. Lache needs to be close to family. It was a long, hard decision for him. But, he made it, on his own. There is nothing in this world more important than family and I am very proud of him. He has plenty of time to shine.” This is not, however, Annie Harris, the grandmother that Lache affectionately refers to as
|Lache visiting his Aunt in July 2011|
And that speaks volumes for Lache's decision. This was not about football; nor should it have been. All along, Lache was following what he felt to be God's plan for him. That plan led Lache to Oregon, and it tested his faith; tested his strength. Through it all, Lache Seasstrunk stayed strong and worked hard at what he does; football and school. Nonetheless, when family calls, family comes second only to God. Family comes before self. Lache made that choice. It was difficult and heart-wrenching. But, like many times in his life, he made a tough decision. And he made it for the right reasons.
In the end, the world will not judge Lache Seastrunk by what he does on the football field; the world will judge him by how good a student, husband, and father he turns out to be. This is what Scott and Deanna Carter judge him by; this is how his family will judge him; and this is how God will judge him. Along the way, Lache will play football; he will continue his quest to attain a college degree. Lache Seastrunk will continue to grow into the man his family dreams he can become.He is a lot closer than many know or understand.
I was able to spend some time interviewing Lache for this article today. The first thing I will say is that Lache Seastrunk is going to make a fine addition to the university he chooses. I asked him if Baylor was indeed where he was transferring. “It's hard to know right now. It's been kind of crazy since I got my release. I'm not really sure where I'm going. It's been like I am on the market again. Just like recruiting back in high school.”
|Baylor Coach Art Briles|
Amidst all the speculation over the past several months, Lache has maintained his family before self attitude. “The toughest part,” Lache went on, “is leaving all of the friends I made here. I made a lot of good friends. Guys like my friends Jimmy and Eric and Derrick who were there for me any time I needed them. We are hanging out right now. In fact, we were already planning on going to Vegas for Spring Break and I'm still going to go with them.”
As many fans may have noticed, Lache is not a big “Facebook” or “Twitter” guy, he feels there is too much dirty laundry that goes back and forth and prefers to stick with other methods of keeping in touch with his friends. “I get to see their face when I Skype, that means a lot. I would rather do that than Facebook or twitter, those seem immature.”
We talked about the reason for his transfer and it still all boils down to one thing: Family.
|Lache and the boys|
While Laches maternal grandmother is ill, his 'Nana' is doing well physically, but, due to reasons of her own, also needs her family close. Lache was really concerned about ensuring that his family stay strong through this emotional time.
Lache has no regrets about his decision to attend Oregon. He has no regrets about his relationships. While many will still presume the worst, he told me that Will Lyles was more like a fatherly influence in his life “My family didn't know much about the football part,” Lache continues, “Will helped me with understanding that part; who was going where, who needed what. He never told me where to go, he just helped me understand how to make the decision. When I talked to my dad about coming to Oregon, he said it was the right decision. It was part of God's plan. I still talk to Will.”
|Lache with Deanna & Scott Carter|
|Lache Seastrunk Sidesteps another defender|
After every game, there were family and friends close at hand to support his life. It is time now for Lache to support his family.
As he prepares to move, his life will be very hectic. “Coach Briles said we've got to get me understanding the play book real quick so I can be ready.”
Lache will be seeking a hardship transfer that will allow him to play immediately as he is returning to Texas due to the ailing health of his grandmother. “I couldn't even think about going nowhere else. If I go to USC or some other Pac-12 school, I'd have to sit out 2 more years because it's in conference; and I wouldn't be any closer to my grandma. I gotta be there for them, I am the head of the house down there.”
|Lache's Cousin greets him after a big play|
When asked if he had anything to say to Oregon fans, “I want to thank the fans that support me and understand why I have to leave. This whole thing is bigger than me. I love the coaches, my friends and teammates. I have nothing bad to say about them. I love Oregon and the University of Oregon. It's just that, my one grandma is sick and my Nana went through some tough times and needs me. It's just time for me to go back home.”
Lache Seastrunk is a positive light in this world. There have been so many things presumed by so many people that the truth is simply lost: Lache Seastrunk is a great young man who cares more about his family than anyone else. He lives for God, and God has led him back to take care of his family. He is certainly sad to leave all he has known for a little over a year behind. As he told me, though, “I am glad for my time at Oregon, away from home. It taught me a lot and I needed that time. But now my family needs me and it is time to go back home.”
His family does need him. “They are all very excited I am coming home.”
I have no doubt that he will not let them down.
|Lache with Aunt and Cousin|