Shafer refutes claim that Syracuse is playing for Whigham

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Scott Shafer said using a player’s injury as motivation is “despicable.” Syracuse (5-5, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) will be without cornerback Julian Whigham, who suffered a nasty injury against Florida State, when it faces Pittsburgh (5-5, 2-4) on Saturday.SU will look to qualify for its second bowl game in as many years, but Shafer insists “winning one for Julian” would be “so immature.”“I think that’s for the movies,” Shafer said during his weekly press conference Thursday morning, “and movies are fake.”Movies are about pretending to be other people, Shafer said, and that’s not who he is. Various players have expressed different opinions on the matter. When defensive tackle John Raymon injured his leg, Jay Bromley said the defensive line was using that as motivation.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Shafer has his own philosophy. He’s focused on preparing for the game just like he would any other, even though the stakes are particularly high and Syracuse is missing one of its better defensive backs. Instead of zeroing in on the injury, it’s all about the next guy stepping up, Shafer said. That’s what Whigham did when senior cornerback Keon Lyn suffered a career-ending injury. He simply filled a new, expanded role. “We’re going to come in this room and say, ‘Hey, it’s too bad that one of our guys is down. Who’s the next guy up?’” Shafer said. “What a great opportunity for the next guy.”The next guy will likely be Wayne Morgan. The defensive back has seen significant playing time of late due to Lyn’s injury. Now he’ll see even more with Whigham out against Pittsburgh. Senior Joe Nassib, who earned a scholarship this season, may see time as well, although Shafer said that hasn’t been decided.Shafer said Whigham “got back Tuesday” and that he’s seen him every day this week. He said Whigham is “feeling good.”“Julian is of such high character,” Shafer said. “That’s why I love him so much, that all he does is support the next guy in. To me it’s that approach.” Comments Published on November 21, 2013 at 11:27 am Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHasslast_img read more