Monday, February 06, 2006
THE RAP SHEET
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The week in eligibility-crippling issues - legal, academic, institutional and otherwise...
SMQ is converting The Rap Sheet to a weekly feature so as to make it more comprehensive. After today, it will be moved to Fridays...
Booker Booted: Rap Sheet favorite Booker Stanley, just days after his hearing date was set on one count of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety, four misdemeanor counts of battery, one count of felony bail-jumping and two counts of misdemeanor bail-jumping, was kicked off Wisconsin's team by first-day coach and enemy of dyslexics Bret Bielema.
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Booker, seized by school spirit at the sudden realization that his jersey was the wrong color, attempted in vain to rectify the faux pas at a block party last Spring.
And so ends the long, strange, perversely entertaining oddysey that was Booker Stanley Goes to College - and just one season-long suspension shy from first ballot entry into the Street Clothes Hall of Fame...or does it?:Reached on his cell phone, Bielema declined to discuss details of his decision. Stanley, who had planned to appeal his suspension and return to the team, could not be reached for comment.First, the details of the decision are that Bielema's first act as coach was to rid himself of an intermittently notable career backup who has been accused of multiple violent felonies in unrelated incidents over the length of his entire career. Not exactly a coin flip. Secondly: who's up to creating reinstatebooker.com for the Booker Stanley Defense Fund? C'mon, coach - you're telling me when you were in college you were never booked on nine counts in the latest of a string of legal troubles? Every kid deserves a fourth chance!
Additonally: SMQ is Number One! Who's at the top of Google's search for the term "Booker Stanley arrest history"? None other...
In more Big Ten running back news, Minnesota's Gary Russell, slated to become the main ingedient of the Gophers' insta-star backfield mix after a quiet 1,000-yard season in Laurence Mauroney's shadow, has been ruled ineligible after failing to enroll in school for the spring semester.
We should assume that Russell is going to be back for the fall season, though he will miss the spring, because it seems that he just sort of, you know, forgot to enroll. Warning: This conclusion is the result of rampant speculation on the part of SMQ and as such should be regarded automatically as flatly wrong and irresponsible. But, given the lack of a university explanation - usually we know if a player's grades aren't good enough, yet Minny's not giving any clues - it is feasible. SMQ, for example, almost forgot to sign up for classes one semester late in his college career. Of course, his very non-athletic situation involved justifiable confusion, and did not involve the heavy investment of very interested tutors and compliance officers who check on and possibly fulfill these obligations, as Russell's surely does.
But until we know more, forgetfulness seems to be the simplest solution.
To Iowa now, where Cyclone beat writers are becoming very familiar with the docket after a raucous night at Club Element on January 28.
Three players are gone after the fight: fullback Greg Coleman, cornerback Durrell Williams, both charged with assault Wednesday, and defensive end Jason Berryman, defensive MVP of the Houston Bowl.
Berryman, 20, not far removed from a jail sentence for punching a student and robbing him of four dollars and a cell phone, was merely ticketed for being "on premises under age" at the club. Nothing in the report indicated he was drinking alcohol, nor, apparently, involved in the fight. He was kicked off the team Tuesday, presumably because of his past troubles.
SMQ wonders if his grandfather, a retired two-star general approaching 88, ever visited Club Element during his years in Ames in the late thirties. That was during Prohibition - everyone in the bar would have been ticketed!
Other miscellaneous troubles:
January 31: Wyoming coach Joe Glenn dismissed running back J.R. Moore for the proverbial "violation of team rules."
January 31: Former Virginia Tech cornerback Theo Williams, kicked off the team for academic-related reasons in October, was sentenced to 20 days in jail for driving 110 miles per hour on U.S. 460 in November. Teammate William Wall, a defensive end, failed to show on "a similar charge."
February 3: A man who sold tickets to the Ohio State-Michigan game on eBay but failed to produce the tickets pled not guilty. The man, also accused of failing to produce Daytona 500 tickets, has had 200 complaints file against him and cleaned up an estimated $260,000. He could face 18 months or a $5,000 fine on each charge.
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