Posted by Adam Jacobi
Last month, Miami linebacker Ramon Buchanan made waves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: he was arrested and charged with five crimes, including two felonies, after an incident at a Coconut Grove nightclub that involved police officers. According to the police report, Buchanan allegedly resisted arrest, tried to headbutt a police officer, then spat on him, then allegedly told him “I’m a U.M. football player .... I’ll get out of it. F--- the police," which is highly inadvisable.
Today, however, Buchanan's future seems immensely brighter than those few short weeks ago, as head coach Al Golden announced that Buchanan had been reinstated and was practicing with the team. Not only that, just as Buchanan (allegedly) drunkenly predicted, the Miami Herald reported that he might not face any criminal charges for the incident:
“Ramon Buchanan has been reinstated for us and he’ll be practicing today,’’ Golden said Thursday before practice. “He’s taking part in all team activities. He’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do – both me and the athletic department.’’
Golden was asked if a possible suspension, which has not been announced, would be affected by him being reinstated.
“It has nothing to do with that,’’ Golden said. “Right now we’re reinstating him. Again, he has done everything that we’ve asked him to do, and I’m going to keep those things private in terms of what we asked him to do. But it was a considerable amount of things and it will be ongoing here throughout the summer.’’
As to that whole avoiding charges part, the Herald didn't cite anybody making that specific statement, but Florida law may very well be on Buchanan's side:
According to a search by The Miami Herald, the March 18 incident was Buchanan’s first arrest. It is possible he could enter into a pretrial diversion program, which would result in charges being dropped should he fulfill all the requirements. Such requirements might include, for example, extensive community service, taking anger management classes and completing an alcohol-related education program, etc.
One would surmise that Buchanan has been made perfectly aware by Golden that he is on the thinnest of ice with the Miami program right now. Contrary to Buchanan's claim, his status as a Miami football player isn't what stands to help him avoid charges, it's his status as a first-time offender. Moreover, he's been granted a second chance by Golden and, perhaps, the legal system. He is very unlikely to receive a third.