Sports blotter: Harvard football edition
Los lobos locos
The last pre-training-camp days of summer are always a bad time for collegiate and pro-football arrests. As players see the ugly specter of “two-a-days” on the horizon, the urge to pound four whiskies and climb into the Escalade in search of a 3 am pole dance becomes unbearably strong. So in June and late July, we get alcohol-related arrests not in twos or threes, but in big bunches.
This year has been par for the course, with our own Harvard University getting in on the action. Harvard has had a tough year. Earlier this spring, it lost two football players, Danny Lane and James R. Velissaris, when the pair was suspended following an alcohol-related confrontation with a shuttle driver. Harvard experienced more than boys-will-be-boys party excess this June, however, when team captain Matthew Thomas was arrested for assault after allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s Currier House room and driving his knee into her chest. Thomas, who allegedly was drunk after a night at the Senior Soirée, is due in court this week. The Crimson also had a weed-related suspension in the fall when a player named Russ Schoeber was busted for possession. Sports crime at Harvard: next thing you know, Florida State wide receivers will start studying on Saturday nights.
THE FALLEN: After he was arrested 10 times as a juvenile, we had high hopes for Willie Williams. Now he’s asking out of Miami.
Speaking of the SEC, the Auburn Tigers took care of their requisite summer alcohol-related arrest when cornerback Montae Pitts was arrested for a DUI late last month; coach Tommy Tuberville is apparently undecided about what action he will take with regard to the fifth-year senior (read: he wants to see how his defensive backfield looks in August practice). Meanwhile, a rising star on the school’s basketball squad, junior guard Frank Tolbert, was busted at an Alabama bar last week for being a minor in possession of an alcoholic beverage (i.e., being a college student).
The loudest recent football arrest took place in New Mexico, where a pair of players from University of New Mexico’s Lobos team was jailed for disorderly conduct and refusal to obey a police order after a nightclub disagreement spun out of control. Linebacker Herbert Felder and safety Blake Ligon were busted for being pains in the ass while boozing at a club in downtown Albuquerque. Apparently Ligon got in a fight with a bouncer inside the club, and a second bouncer called police for help; when cops arrived, both football players were making spectacles of themselves. “While Blake was walking around the club, he was yelling, cursing, throwing his hands in the air and stomping his feet,” the police report read. Felder, too, shouted and cursed in the face of police officers in front of about 100 onlookers (football crowds are smaller in New Mexico). Police put up with this for a short while before dousing the two idiots with pepper spray and tossing them in the clink. Head coach Rocky Long says the team will “go through the legal process” with both players.
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