Saturday, June 24, 2006
THE RAP SHEET
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The week in eligibility-crippling issues - legal, academic, institutional and otherwise...
"The Rap Sheet" opens with the week's most serious item, the kidnapping and rape charge against incoming Wake Forest signee Dennis Godfrey, also accused by a grand jury Monday of sexual battery and sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl he apparently met at a cookout last October. In the AP account, which even local papers haven't been able to elaborate upon yet, Godfrey's father describes the event as a "family" cookout, though there is no indication anywhere the girl was a relative.
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Dennis Godfrey - allegedly - did a bad, bad thing
There's also no indication that Godfrey, Rivals' 42nd-ranked tight end prospect, was expected to get on the field for Wake Forest this fall, though at 6-3/255, he figures to stack up OK physically. Jim Grobe=incommunicado, though Wake AD Ron Wellman gave the "let the legal system handle it" response. At this early stage, if he's free, Godfrey will apparently be back on the practice field in August.
INDICTED as well, for second-degree aggravated assault, former Texas Tech wide receiver Brandon Douglas, who was accused of breaking a night club bouncer's collarbone with a metal chair in February.
Perhaps because Douglas had been kicked off the team just days before the alleged attack, no shade tree defense this week from Tech coach and actual law school graduate Mike Leach, who last week planted the seeds of reasonable doubt on behalf of accused drunk driving, hitting-and-running offensive tackle Gabe Hall.
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All the bench time got Brandon Douglas thinking maybe he just had the wrong sport
(HT: Wizard of Odds)
MUM, Mike Shula, on the status of linebacker Juwan Simpson, who will enter pre-trial drug program as a result of his May 20 arrest for reckless driving, possession of marijuana and carrying a pistol without a permit. Shula originally intimated vague "consequences" for Simpson's "mistakes," but has not elaborated since. Meanwhile, Simpson's lawyer said the charge, already reduced to misdemeanors because the hand gun..., will "disappear" and "be dismissed" without a trial.
Most interesting new factoid in the case: Simpson, who's already earned one degree, is pursuing another in - really - criminal justice. So the whole illegal substances-firearms-endangering public safety thing was just a little, you know, homework!
DENIED, a release request by projected Florida starting cornerback Avery Atkins, who was merely suspended indefinitely from the team after being accused Monday of hitting his girlfriend - the mother of his child - and locking her in a car for "about 20 minutes" last Saturday. Atkins has not yet been charged - police saythe case may be one of "mutual combat," and not worthy of assault - so this may blow over and keep true freshman Jacques Rickerson out of the opening day lineup (sorry, Orson, know you're freakin' over this, but for his Golden Eagles' sake, SMQ hopes not!)
ALSO in the Jean Short State, Florida State receiver/return man Kenny O'Neal was dismissed for "conduct detrimental to the team." Given the history of the team members' "detrimental conduct" under Bobby Bowden over the last decade - Peter Warrick, Sebastian Janikowski, Chris Rix, et al., among the wrist-slapped - and most recently embodied by former linebacker A.J. Nicholson and dismissed receiver Fred Rouse against their own ex-teammate in May, O'Neal's actions here would have to be very detrimental, SMQ would think.
CHARGED, Nicholson's fellow Cincinnati Bengals draft pick Frostee Rucker, the former USC defensive end hit Tuesday for misdemeanor spousal battery and vandalism way back in August of 2005, which makes Rucker the third high-profile Trojan - along with Reggie Bush and Dwayne Jarrett - to face trouble this offseason stemming from incidents before or during SC's near-championship season. In Rucker's case, involving an incident outside his L.A. apartment - another red flag here, given his teammates' housing issues - he could face up to three years in a county jail if convicted on all four counts. And although the charge is listed in the report as "spousal battery," there is no indication Rucker and the woman were actually married, only that they "had a relationship" at the time.
ARRESTED, Iowa offensive lineman Austin Postler, who was accused last week of driving drunk in Iowa City. Postler's charges are the latest in a long line from the state of Iowa this year, by both his fellow Hawkeyes and the cross-state, bar-brawling Cyclones. For Postler himself, a backup walk-on with no projections to see time this season, his status is unknown.
(HT, again: Da Wiz)
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While all these issues look bad for SC, I'm sure you would agree that domestic violence is a far more serious issue. Couple that with this being kept under wraps for 10 months and it really brings into question the integrity of the program. Pete Carroll knew that Rucker has been through this before and while I beleive in second chances, Rucker has demonstrated that he clearly has a problem. Pete Carroll should have addressed it on the spot but chose to ignore it so he could have this player on the team to help preserve the incredible run we just went through.
Without going into a long diatribe about character i'll simply say this, would Pete Carroll react the same way if it was his daughter who was assaulted? The woman in question was someone's daughter but beacuse she was insignificant in this situaton her day in court was delayed 10 months. Thats a sad commentary on an ortherwise great season.
You have a great site; the content is insightful and well thought out. You really know your stuff.
For all you know this is a money grab. Frostee REPORTEDLY broke the girl's blackberry and she didn't report it until just now. Could it be because he just made ALOT of money in the draft, Einstein?
It has nothing to do with the integrity of the program. When you're in the spotlight, EVERYTHING is front and center.
Dwayne Jarrett checked with SC's lawyers and the school before moving into the apartment, and you're blaming him for SC's misinterpretation of the NCAA guidelines?
Paragon, you really need to take off your kneepads and wipe your lip.
There is an investigation currently underway over whether or not Simpson had a background check run on the gun before he got it. If it is proven that it had a clean background check when he purchased it, the receiving stolen property charge will be rightfully dropped.
Simpson has never gotten in an ounce of trouble (ounce...marijuana...get it) and I think he should receive the benefit of the doubt on this until there is greater clairity on the matter.
I still think quaterback John Parker Wilson should've gotten more than a one game suspension last year for a DUI.
I think these guys shouldn't get away with everything under the sun, but it Simpson's case, there is question about what wrongs actually occurred.
I don’t see anywhere in my post that Jarrett was to blame for the rent issue, I certainly don’t think that was the case and in other posts on other sites I have placed that issue squarely on Bob Leinart’s shoulders.
If Jarrett checked with SC’s Lawyers then the arrangement should be kosher. If it wasn’t then why did SC allow it to continue? They should have had their ducks in a row when the NCAA came calling. If as you say, “When you're in the spotlight, EVERYTHING is front and center”, your words, then SC has a responsibility to be extra careful that they are in compliance with the NCAA’s antiquated rules.
As for Rucker, maybe it is a money grab. IF her Blackberry was broken I don’t know what that has to do with hitting the woman. There is simply no excuse for that type of behavior and Rucker does have a history of it in the past. My bigger question was why is it just coming out now? If it turns out how you say then I will be the first to issue an apology and a full retraction for my statements on my blog, fair enough. But if the allegations are true what will you say then?
As for my lip and the kneepads, just whom do you think I’m kneeling in front of?
I won't apologize for other peoples bad behavior.
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