Sports blotter: "Commish got his work cut out for him" edition
Justin Miller redux
In trouble once again this week is former Justin Miller Award winner . . . Justin Miller. The New York Jets cornerback and Pro Bowl kick returner became something of a sports-crime icon some years back, after he was arrested for disorderly conduct on the eve of the NFL draft, with half the defensive secondary scouts on the East Coast parked on the stoop of his Clemson dorm. In that incident, Miller shoved a female cop who had showed up to check out a noise complaint and screamed, “This is my house and my party!” Projected to be a top-15 pick, he fell to the end of the second round. Henceforth, we’ve granted an award each year to the player who most moronically (and expensively) butchers his own draft status with a blockheaded arrest immediately before the draft, with the whole world watching. This year it was Texas corner Tarell Brown, who was popped with a weed-possession bust after a routine traffic stop two weeks before draft day.
Now Miller is back in the news for again hitting a woman, in a week full of arrests of NFL repeat offenders. This time, he was involved in a scuffle outside the Maritime Hotel bar in the Chelsea district of New York. According to some reports, Miller — in the course of arguing with another man — allegedly wound up to punch the guy, missed, and clocked an unnamed woman in the face instead. Police were called to the scene and a foot chase ensued. Echoing one of the most shameful incidents in the history of the famed Florida State University Criminoles — the bizarre arrest of star wideout Peter Warrick, in which the world-class sprinter was caught from behind on foot by a female policewoman — Miller, one of the fastest men in the NFL, was caught on foot by New York’s finest. (It should be noted that then-Patriots cornerback Ty Law was also caught on foot by Miami Beach cops in 2004.) Police charged him with third-degree misdemeanor assault; as for the NFL, the commissioner’s office is expected to issue a punishment of some sort.
Alcohol and pro athletes often combine to produce accidental beltings of innocent bystanders. English soccer player Danny Cadamarteri accidentally punched a woman in the face in Liverpool in 2000, in what turned into a mild football scandal that year. This past year, Ohio University tight end Corey Logan accidentally punched a police horse (although police claimed he deliberately mashed the animal between the eyes), in the process becoming the second Ohio-based college athlete to do so, following Art “Mongo” Long of the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Miller seems like a major tool, plus he plays for the Jets: give him 50 points.
Waive good-bye, A.J.
Again, this was NFL-repeat-offender week in a big way. Cincinnati Bengal A.J. Nicholson absolutely made NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s day this past week when police were called to his home only to discover that the 6’1”, 240-pound linebacker had punched his girlfriend in the eye. Police booked him on fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor. Already on probation for stealing electronic equipment in his Criminoles days, Nicholson was waived by the Bengals the next day.
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