Texas trouble

Sports blotter: "When's he going to talk about Michael Vick?" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  June 6, 2007


Some college-football positions just seem to be cursed, arrest-wise: Florida State wideout, Miami linebacker, Ohio State . . . well, pretty much any position from Ohio State. Now we may be inching closer to a new tradition in Austin, with yet another Longhorn running back lining up for a mug shot.

Texas has had some problems in recent years with dumbass high-profile backs, such as Cedric Benson and Ramonce Taylor, who each had brushes with the law during their college careers. Keep your eyes on “Blotter” star-in-the-making Henry Melton. Vince Young nicknamed Melton “Hemi,” because he plows over everything — and now perhaps because he drives one under the influence.

According to police reports, Melton, who is underage, failed a field sobriety test and was “insulting” to the arresting officer. Two questions arise from this incident: 1) what position will Melton play this coming season (Texas coach Mack Brown moved the 6’3”, 270-pound Melton to defensive end after he rushed for 432 yards this past year, but Melton is still listed as a running back on the roster), and 2) will this arrest get him suspended? The standard punishment in the Big Ten for this kind of thing is a one-game suspension, but Coach Brown is pretty thin on the line this year, so you never know.

Meanwhile, Melton follows in the not-so-great tradition of Tarrell Brown, Tyrell Gatewood, Taylor, Aaron Harris . . . what is it about Longhorns and routine traffic stops? Dudes, take the bus!

Recruiting blues
You know those investigative services that do background checks on Internet dates, just to make sure they aren’t, say, convicted cattle molesters (rather than the orchestra conductors they claimed to be)? Well, they may need to get one of those services for college-sports recruiters soon, as yet another case emerges of a star recruit who seemed to be a model citizen but had a criminal record.

Boston-area sports fans may recall Travis George, a onetime Boston-area hoop star who, before he was 15, was already being tabbed the “next T-Mac.” George moved across the country, making stops along the infamous “basketball prep school” circuit in North Carolina and at Philadelphia’s Lutheran Christian and Rise Academies. By the time he was a senior, he had passed only “sheet metal and health education” courses, but somehow ended up, without a diploma, on the roster of Eastern Arizona College. And things were going fine there — until he was arrested for an on-court brawl. Local Arizona law enforcement then discovered that George had an outstanding warrant for “indecent assault and battery upon a child older than 14” back in Massachusetts. He was extradited to Quincy and the EAC roster was never the same.

Now we have a similar case in Kansas. Robert Anthony Grant, 22, was on the Fort Hays State University team roster this past year, started 19 games, and averaged 7.8 points. But school officials recently discovered that Grant was a fugitive from community supervision back in Washington, where he had played for Washington State University. Turns out Grant had a drug conviction in King County, Washington, and had been ordered into a structured-supervision deal, only to flee the arrangement and transfer to FHSU.

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