Tag:Police Blotter
Posted on: September 26, 2010 12:27 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 5:47 pm

Georgia LB arrested for DUI, dismissed from team

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well this is the last thing Mark Richt needs right now.  Following a 24-12 loss to Mississippi State in Starkville on Saturday night, Richt and his team returned to Athens to find out that one of the players they left at home took the time to drown his sorrows and then get in his car and drive around a bit.

Georgia freshman linebacker Demetre Baker was arrested for DUI, improper driving and underage possession of alcohol early Sunday morning and was booked into the Clarke County jail at 4:26am.  Baker had not traveled to Starkville with the rest of the team, so I guess he had to find something else to do with his time.

Baker is the tenth Georgia player to be arrested since March.

While a suspension will be coming for Baker, this could help lead to even worse for Richt.  It's getting harder to deny that Richt is on the proverbial hot seat in Athens following his latest loss, and when you combine the losing with all of the off field issues, you get a coach who is in a fight to keep his job.

Update: Word coming from Athens this afternoon that Baker has been dismissed from the team thanks to his arrest.

Posted on: September 22, 2010 11:44 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 11:46 am

Bryant Gumbel calls out the NCAA

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There are a lot of things the NCAA does that I don't agree with.  For one, I've always been a proponent of the players in football and basketball actually being given their rightful piece of the billion dollar pie they've baked for the NCAA.  Yes, I know, they get full scholarships and monthly stipends, but that's nothing compared to what those players have given the NCAA.

When it comes to punishments the NCAA hands out, I often feel as though they're on a witch hunt, kind of like what's going on with the agent probe spreading throughout college football today.  It's a sentiment that Bryant Gumbel seems to agree with, as he had some pointed comments for the NCAA at the end of the latest Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO.

"Finally tonight, a few words about crime and punishment. I'm no legal expert, not by a long shot, but I do believe that driving drunk, robbing a convenience store, and hitting your girlfriend are all worse offenses than dealing with an agent. Most people would agree with that I think except, it seems, the folks in charge of college football.

How else to explain the fact that the USC Trojans are currently on NCAA probation while the Florida Gators are not, even though Florida's program has seen 27 different players arrested during the short tenure of Coach Urban Meyer. That's right, by NCAA standards, 27 arrests merit not so much as an official reprimand. But dealing with a prospective agent prematurely, as former Trojan Reggie Bush did, gets your program punished for four years.

It's not just about USC. NCAA investigations are ongoing at the Universities of Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina for the same kind of premature conversation with agents that Bush had. And it's not just about Florida. Players at Pittsburgh, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Southern Mississippi, UCLA and elsewhere have also been arrested this year. But all of those programs are, by NCAA standards, in full compliance.

Look, no one's naïve enough to think football's ever going to be played by a bunch of choirboys. It's not. But you'd think that NCAA officials could, at the very least, give coaches and athletic directors a reason to be as diligent about illegality as they are about eligibility - and right now they don't. Until and unless they do, the NCAA's idea of institutional control is anything but."

It's a very good point.  Why is it that one is punishable and the other is not?  In the Bush case, an entire program is being punished for the action's of one student.  Yet, in Gainesville, 27 players have committed actual crimes and not even a slap on the wrist.  Sure, players have been suspended for games, which hurts the team, but until the NCAA steps in and actually hands out real punishment for the programs then coaches have no real motivation to curb the behavior.

Now I now it's impossible for a coach to keep his eyes on every single player he has on his team, and things are going to happen.  I'm not saying that if one player is dumb enough to pick up a DUI that scholarships should be taken away, but if there's a pattern of such behavior and arrests then there needs to be some kind of reprimand for the school and possibly the coach.

It might not be right, but at least it'd be fair.

Posted on: September 21, 2010 3:18 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 3:23 pm

MSU player Dion Sims charged in laptop theft ring

Posted by Adam Jacobi

There's insane news from the land of Sparta today, as Michigan State tight end Dion Sims is one of 10 people implicated in a theft ring involving over 100 laptops stolen from -- of all places -- the Detroit Public School System :

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Detroit Public Schools officials today announced felony charges against a Michigan State University football player and nine others allegedly involved in a crime ring that stole and sold more than $158,000 in laptop computers last school year.

Dion Sims, 19, a player for the Spartans, is accused of receiving and concealing stolen property, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Internal tracking devices led officials to stolen DPS computers in seven other states, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, according to the investigation that involved several law enforcement agencies.

The ring was involved in the theft of about 104 DPS laptops that were stolen last school year and sold on eBay, Craigslist and to friends. 

Mark Dantonio has yet to issue a comment, mainly because he's recovering from a postgame heart attack . But wait a second: what if Dantonio's heart attack wasn't the result of anything that happened during the game at all, but just receiving word about the scope and scale of the investigation against his sophomore tight end? Hey, we don't know.

But regardless of how long it takes MSU to comment on the situation, if the allegations are even partly true, Sims has got to be gone, gone, gone. There's messed up, very messed up, and "stealing over 100 laptops from schools" messed up.

Posted on: September 20, 2010 11:34 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 11:42 pm

Lawyer: Rainey 'misspoke' in text message

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I have an iPhone, and one of the most annoying things in the world with it is the way it autocorrects just about anything I'm trying to type when I send a text message.  Like when I try to type the word "hell" and it corrects to "he'll" everytime, no matter how many times I type it.  Then there's the eventual response from the recipient of "Go to he will?"

It's incredibly frustrating to not be able to tell people what I think of them!  Though, I suppose I don't have it all bad.  After all, none of my texts autocorrected to something that would get me arrested.  No, apparently that type of thing only happens to Florida receiver Chris Rainey.

Huntley Johnson, Jr., a Gainesville defense attorney who handles most cases involving UF players, said Rainey’s actions do not constitute a felony.

“It doesn’t fit the elements of the crime,” Johnson said. “This kid was never going to hurt her. She knew he wasn’t going to hurt her. The fact that he misspoke in the text is not something to crucify this kid for.”

Oh, lawyers.  What won't they say?

Okay, so let's pretend that Chris Rainey really was trying to say something besides "time to die" in the text, and was just "misquoted" by an evil cell phone hungry for blood. 

What was he trying to say?

Time to diet?  It's not nice to tell a woman she's put on a few pounds, but it's hardly a punishable offense.  You might get slapped, but you're not going to do any time for it.

I'd love to hear your theories on what Rainey was trying to say in the comments.  Let's all work together to keep this poor, cellularly framed kid out of trouble and on the football field.  This is our chance to stand united and make a difference!

Posted on: September 15, 2010 2:12 pm

Urban Meyer talks about Chris Rainey

Posted by Tom Fornelli

After news broke on Tuesday about Florida wide receiver Chris Gainey 's run-in with the law following a rather ominous text to his lady friend -- though "TIME TO DIE" may have been a reference to a spider he'd found in his home -- offensive coordinator Steve Addazio took some time off from yelling "halfback dive" to explain that Rainey was "no longer part of the team."   What he didn't do was expand on whether that was a permanent vacation for Rainey, or whether or not he'd be back at some point in the future.

That decision belongs to Urban Meyer , and on Wednesday Meyer addressed the situation publicly for the first time.  Though he doesn't seem all that sure of what Rainey's status with the Gators will be in the future either.

"I can't do that (give timetable) because I don't know,'' he said. "He's not with the team. It's just further evaluation as we go. As of the immediacy of it, he's not with us.''

So it sounds as if Meyer is content to let the police figure out the matter before making a final call on Rainey.  Which is probably the right thing to do, though Rainey has admitted to sending the text message. 

Whatever Meyer decides to do in the future he'll have a lot of precedents to fall back on while making his decision.  After all, this incident does mark the thirtieth time one of Meyer's players has been arrested since he came to Gainesville.  That's one arrest for just about every two of Meyer's 59 career wins at Florida.

One decision Meyer was able to make is that Omarius Hines will take Rainey's spot in the starting lineup this weekend against Tennessee.

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Posted on: September 14, 2010 8:30 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 8:33 pm

Alabama police use copters to foil counterfeiters

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Of the litany of criminal acts that transpire on a gameday Saturday, most are generally harmless, like public intoxication or cheering for Auburn (oh, we kid, we kid). And few are as pernicious as ticket counterfeiting, which has become an especially advanced enterprise with the advent of high-powered scanners and relatively cheap printing equipment. It's a simple fact that when commodities become significantly more valuable than the combined cost of their materials and production, somebody's always going to be looking to get in on that action--by legitimate means or otherwise.

So technically, it should be no surprise that two men were selling counterfeit Alabama tickets outside Bryant-Denny Stadium last weekend. It should be scarcely more surprising that they were caught by police when fans realized they'd been sold forgeries. It's significantly surprising, however, what lengths the cops went to in catching the alleged counterfeiters:

Two fans approached officers at the intersection of Paul W. Bryant Drive and Hackberry Lane and said they had bought fake tickets from two men in a 2009 Nissan Maxima, said Tuscaloosa Police spokesman Officer Brent Blankley. When one of the officers walked up to the car, the driver sped away. TPD’s helicopter was flying over the stadium and was able to follow the car, while advising officers on the ground of its location.

Officers stopped the car at Buttermilk Road and Parkwood Drive and found three counterfeit tickets to the game and three fake $20 bills, Blankley said. Officers found other tickets in the car and are working to determine whether they are fake.

The helicopter was a necessary tool in catching the men; a cursory glance at Google Maps shows that the alleged offenders were caught 5.5 miles away. And still, the officers were a little lucky that they found some counterfeit bills in the car too; that's a federal offense. If it were just some fake tickets that came up in the arrest, it would be a little hard to justify the use of a helicopter in the suspects' apprehension, wouldn't it? Using those isn't cheap.

Posted on: September 14, 2010 1:34 pm

Addazio: Rainey 'is no longer part of the team'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Following the arrest of Florida Gators wide receiver Chris Rainey after threatening text messages he sent a girl, there are two questions that need to be answered regarding Rainey's future.  First and foremost, what, if any, legal ramifications will he face for the incident?  He was released on Tuesday morning following a hearing in an Alachua County courtroom.

The second question is what, if any, punishment he'll be receiving from the Florida Gators.  Well, we got a hint of that on Tuesday afternoon when offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said that Rainey "is no longer part of the team."

What exactly that means, I'm not entirely sure. 

There's a lot of wiggle room in Addazio's statement.  Rainey may just be suspended for the time being, or he could have been kicked off the time being.  Given Urban Meyer 's history of discipline with his players -- more accurately, his lack of discipline -- in the past, there's no telling what will happen with Rainey.

While Addazio's quote indicates that Rainey is no longer a member of the Florida football team, until Urban Meyer comes out and says that Rainey will never play for the Florida Gators again, I'll remain skeptical.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com