Pugilism sound

Sports blotter: "Trouble in Washington" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  August 15, 2007


Creep-less in Seattle
It’s been a while since we heard much from the Washington Huskies. Truth be told, U-Dub has always been an underperforming sports-crime institution — Rick Neuheisel notwithstanding. The Seattle-based school manages, somehow, to quietly feed quality players to the NFL and the NBA without piling up stacks of punched-out girlfriends and broken windshields.

The biggest exception to this rule, of course, would be former Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, who as a Husky star once got baked and drove a truck into an old-folks’ home. That case certainly earned a spot on the Top-10 list of All-Time Collegiate Sports Busts: not only did the truck punch a huge hole in the outside of the rest home, but the impact caused a dresser inside to fly onto the bed of a sleeping 92-year-old woman, who thankfully managed to escape injury. Witnesses saw Stevens fall twice while trying to free his truck from the retirement complex. Eventually he gave up and fled the scene on foot. Later Stevens would be busted and claim that those old folks must have seen another 6-7 monstrosity stumbling out of the truck-shaped hole in their house. UW coach Neuheisel, himself soon to embarrass the school because of a gambling scandal, was so inspired by the tale as to call a meeting to “discuss the importance of good behavior.”

Yes, those were the old days at UW. But it’s been relatively quiet since then.

Now UW is back in the news, thanks to cornerback Jordan Murchison, who was told by coach Ty Willingham that he will be “having nothing to do with” the team for an “indefinite” period while his legal situation acquires, as Bill Belichick would say, some further clarity. Murchison was arrested August 8 on a failure-to-appear warrant stemming from an incident that allegedly occurred this past March. The incident? Punching two teeth out of the mouth of a man who was sleeping on a couch at the home of a girl involved with Murchison.

Not sure I get the anger issue here, unless she was on the couch with the guy.... Nevertheless, Murchison also has a September 24 hearing ahead of him in connection with a fairly boilerplate Barroom Girlfriend Dispute. In that one, Murchison dragged his girlfriend of five years around by her hair, was separated from her somehow, and then later blocked her exit and was observed apparently hitting her, causing her to scream, “Please stop!”

If convicted, Murchison will join a long list of sports-world female-hair pullers: the beer-pounding, repulsively fat PGA flameout John Daly, Braves manager Bobby Cox (who pulled his wife’s hair in 1995, the same year he won the World Series), semi-repentant Phillies ace Brett Myers, Broncos great Rod Smith, and, of course, O.J. Simpson.

Alas, Murchison is not the only Husky to get into trouble recently. The team had another interesting case last October, in which running back Michael Houston stole a taxi. Apparently, Houston and his girlfriend were out late and got a cab. The woman got into a dispute with the driver and — classy lady — spit on him. When the driver stepped out of the car, Houston jumped behind the wheel and drove away. You would think this would be a first in sports history, and it sort of is, except that the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case did a very similar thing once — one of her four priors.

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