If you have not followed the reports regarding Sam Ukwuachu and the Baylor football team, you may want to do some Google grazing. In summary, Ukwuachu was a LB at Boise State who had an excellent freshman year but was then tossed from the team. He transferred to Baylor; but before he ever played there, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a Baylor freshman and was sentenced to 180 days in the hoosegow. Baylor coach Art Briles has thrown up on his shoes in the wake of this. First he claimed that since Ukwuachu was not on the team, this was not a problem for the football program. Then, he claimed ignorance of any prior behavior by Ukwuachu that would preclude him from being part of the Baylor campus.
At that point, the former Boise State coach, Chris Petersen said that he had called Briles to let him know why an excellent football player had been tossed from the Boise State team. The reason was a domestic assault situation that had occurred in Boise where Ukwuachu allegedly choked his former girlfriend and punched her repeatedly in the head. Perhaps Petersen is just covering his ass in this mess, but the better way for him to cover his ass would seem to have been to keep quiet about this.
Not only does Coach Briles have some ‘splainin to do [/Ricky Ricardo] but the entire Baylor administration needs a whack upside its head. The school did an “internal investigation” of this matter that was so shoddy and so useless that it was declared inadmissible as evidence at Ukwuachu’s trial. Ironically, the Baylor President is Ken Starr who one might think should know what it means to do an investigation…
That internal investigation was so shoddy that Baylor will now conduct another internal investigation to determine how and why the first one was done in such a perfunctory manner. Honestly, I could not possibly make that up; that is what they are going to do. I can hear the announcement at Waco Airport now:
Paging Inspector Clouseau. Inspector Clouseau, please meet the Baylor University chauffeur service at baggage claim carousel number 4. Inspector Clouseau…
If you do not want to read all the sordid details of the trial and that kind of thing, that is your choice. However, there is a piece that you really ought to read. Charles P. Pierce has a feature on Grantland.com regarding this matter that I strongly recommend that you read in its entirety. One reason to read Pierce’s column is that he ties the Ukwuachu mess with the next issue up for comment today.
That next issue is Cris Carter’s comments to the NFC Rookie symposium last year. The NFL requires all rookie players to attend a rookie seminar to inform them about league rules, financial responsibility, social responsibility and the like. Cris Carter has been a fixture at those seminars for a while; Carter was sufficiently involved with drugs and alcohol during his time with the Eagles that Buddy Ryan just cut him from the team instead of trying to rehab Carter one more time. Carter has said that Ryan saved Carter’s life with that action because it forced Carter to get sober. That is a great story of redemption and it is a message that can have meaning for NFL rookies.
Last year, it seems that Carter took his story to a darker dimension. He told the audience that in every player entourage there needs to be a “fall guy”. He is the guy who – when bad stuff happens – takes the fall and goes to jail for whatever happened and is taken care of. That is not exactly the kind of social responsibility that the NFL wants to promote. Carter is an ESPN employee and the World Wide Leader wasted no time in saying that those remarks were absolutely antagonistic to ESPN’s values and policies. Presumably the story will end there. However, I have two fundamental questions to pose to the suits at the NFL who set up these rookie seminars.
Onstage with Carter when he made those remarks – there is videotape of this so there is not a whole lot of conjecture here – was Warren Sapp who agreed with Carter on the idea of a “fall guy”. In previous rookie seminars, Michael Irvin has been a speaker/motivator/example.
1. Can’t you find better role models to stand in front of your mandatory Rookie Seminars?
2. If these are the mentors/role models you offer up to your young players, how can you then be shocked to find that some of them behave anti-socially?
It would not even take Inspector Clouseau more than a few moments to raise a few red flags in the background checks of these folks who are the ones to provide guidance here.
Since I have been focused on disgusting topics this morning, this next item seems to fit nicely into the milieu of the day. The Las Vegas 51s – the AAA affiliate of the Mets – had raw sewage back up in the dugouts at Cashman Field recently. Recalling that a similar problem happened at O.com Stadium in Oakland last year, one might ponder the impact should those two similar events have a common cause. And that impact would be maximally disgusting given that Las Vegas is 400 miles away from Oakland and a sewage clog big enough to have that widespread an effect is close to the nadir of human supposition. Then again, it might explain some of the “water problems” in the California Central Valley…
Finally, here is a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
“Spanish champion Imanol Lopez retired from Miami Jai-Alai surprising analysts who had forgotten that jai-alai still existed.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………