Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in college sports

In the past I've written about how, once you start attending a large university, it doesn't take long for any view of the college athlete as role model to melt away. My guess is that to compete at that level you have to focus on your sport to such a point that it's a detriment to the development of any sort of social skills for a lot of these guys. I don't want to paint all of them with that brush but I think it's tough to grow up in an environment where you're idolized and coddled from such a young age without being somewhat affected by it. It reached the point where nothing I heard about an athlete would legitimately shock me in any way but what happened in the last 24 hours is something pretty astounding.

It started last night when news broke that a skirmish/brawl (depending on who's telling the story) in front of around 100 people had erupted outside of Burge Union on the KU campus. Police were dispatched and Tyshawn Taylor, a sophomore basketball player, went to the hospital to treat his hand.

Tyshawn must have been in a helpful mood because he pretty much laid out the whole thing leading up to and after the fight. From the KC Star (because I like how they replace the n-word with "racial slur":
Taylor reported the result of the incident on his Facebook page. “I got a dislocated finger ... from throwing a punch ... so don’t let the news paper gas yall up aite,” Taylor wrote.

Minutes earlier, around midnight, he wrote: “real (racial slur)s do real things .. point plankn.”

His earlier posts indicate there may have been escalating tension.

“keep my name out ya’ mouth for you get smacked in it,” he wrote at 11:12 a.m. Tuesday, and 30 minutes later he posted, “never get outta character .. I’m always a G about it.”

About 4 p.m., Taylor posted, “(racial slur)s be muggin me know I’m mugging back.”
Yeah, so, pretty clearly he was looking for some trouble.

Then late last night another story broke that there may have been an incident brewing in front of the residence of several of the players but details have been pretty sketchy about that. Apparently it went over the police scanner but was broken up before any press arrived.

Obviously, this was all pretty big news today so the AD Lew Perkins releases a statement saying things are under control and they're investigating, etc. Not half an hour later ANOTHER fight erupts just outside of the Underground food court in Wescore Hall, one of the most highly trafficked areas on campus. From the Daily Kansan:
The fight broke out among football and basketball players this morning after one of the Morris twins pushed a football player down stairs behind Budig Hall. According to one KU senior who witnessed the initial outbreak of the brawl, players from both teams began throwing punches and shouting racial slurs at each other at 9:48 a.m.

Basketball players congregate outside of the Wescoe Underground on Wednesday at about 10 a.m. Brett Ballard, wearing a red shirt and black jacket, is the director of basketball operations and former backup point guard for the Jayhawks for two seasons.
Wescoe Hall altercation

Among them were the Morris twins, Mario Little, Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Brady Morningstar, Travis Releford, Tyrel Reed, Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson and many other players. The only football players identified in the group were Dezmon Briscoe and Chris Harris, whom police from the KU Police Department were questioning.

The KU senior said she heard a football player yell, "What did you say?" at 9:48 a.m. and run up a set of stairs behind Budig Hall. She said she saw one of the Morris twins throw the football player down the stairs. She said the football player fell backwards down six stairs before being caught by a fellow football player. She said immediately after, several pairs of football and basketball players began fighting.

The reporter said he heard one of the Morris twins tell the police later, "One of them just jumped out and threw his hands on me," referring to the football players who were involved in the fight.

Another source, who did not want to be identified, confirmed this information. This source described seeing football players running toward the scene from Sunnyside Avenue. They joined in the scuffle, which Skevington said continued for a few minutes.
At this point the police showed up with various coaches and athletic department officials fast on their heels. I can only imagine what was said as soon as they heard the news. From that link above you can find some entertaining photos of the aftermath. Mostly the basketball players standing around and being loaded into a van with a lot of pissed off athletic department personnel.

I'm generally holed up in my lab with no access to any sort of gossip whatsoever but once something like this happens everyone's an expert, I guess. Apparently this has been building for quite a while and the recent events involve some girl that is/has dated somebody from each team. Who knows what's true and what's not but she must be the Jayhawk version of Helen of Troy or something.

So, yeah, who knows if they will be brawling in the streets again or if I'll step outside my building and into the middle of a full-scale riot with every participant wearing the blue sweatpants they wear every day. There's part of me that wants to see it escalate even more but, really, it's pretty freaking embarrassing for the university and for both of the teams. If things have gotten to this point the athletic department has some pretty tough choices to make if they want to get it under control. Is it worth it to kick potential All-Americans like Sherron Collins or Dez Briscoe, two guys prominently named in the stories, off your #1 ranked basketball team or top 20 football team? Suspend most of your basketball team? Half your football team? Just let it go? Good luck with this one, Lew.



Blogger rcombs said...

Oh my god, please somebody show us this girl! I think she's really a femme-bot planted by the Mizzou athletic dept. Remember Austin Powers?!

12:06 AM  

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