The Riley Cooper saga took a new twist Friday morning when the Eagles announced Cooper "will be excused from all team activities" to seek counseling, in the wake of the controversy over a video that surfaced on the internet of Cooper using the "n-word" during a confrontation with a security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert.
Clearly the team is struggling to find the right tone for its response to this matter. Quickly announcing a fine, with no suspension, and having Cooper back at practice Thursday seemed insufficient to some observers.
'This is all new territory, and we are going to evaluate his timetable every step of the way," the team said in a statement. "He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates."
It's an interesting move from a PR standpoint. It takes Cooper out of the cameras' glare, but it also refocuses the crisis on Day 3, gives reporters a new angle with which to approach teammates, at a time when the matter might have otherwise started to fade. "What do you think about Riley leaving the team?" "Did African-American players request that this happen?"