This past week, we snared an early candidate for the next Justin Miller Award, given to the athlete who most bollockses up his professional-draft status with an avoidable pre-draft arrest. Typically we like to give this award to someone who gets popped within two months of the draft, but that doesn’t happen every year. Sometimes we have to reach back a little further.
Therefore, University of Kansas hoopster Brandon Rush gets JMA consideration after he ended up spending an hour in jail thanks to two failure-to-appear warrants, both stemming from traffic violations. This just a few weeks after Blake Young, a star for cross-state rival K-State, was jailed for failing to appear on his own traffic warrant. Rush had originally been pulled over in his big-ass SUV (even the college jocks have ’em) and found to be without proof of insurance. He ignored a summons and then ignored a speeding fine (he got caught driving 49 in a 35-mph zone). A month or so later, Rush was dragged to jail by a humorless Kansan judge.
Two things here. One, someone has to do something about the fines they dole out for victimless traffic violations. Asking a kid who’s 19 or 20 years old to come up with $260 just because he left his insurance card at home is ridiculous. So is another $200 or whatever for going 14 miles an hour above the limit. These are backdoor taxes and should be banned. Two, apparently all of Kansas agrees with me. The funniest thing about the Rush story has to be the comments left by KU fans on the Kansas City Star Web site. My favorite was posted by “Concerned KU Fan”:
Thank you to whatever booster gave Brandon the money to pay his bond! Isn’t there a booster in Lawrence that’s friends with Judge Randy McGrath and can make this go away? Come on now, this is freaking KU and Brandon Rush. He shouldn’t have to worry about this crap! Take care of him boosters! He needs to focus on basketball and F-ing the Hooooeees . . . oh, and going to school.
Rush, meanwhile, was a borderline first-round prospect in this past year’s NBA draft who decided late in the game to go back to school. He should sniff the lottery this year. Give him -3 points, however, for this non-crime that still might drop him a spot or two.
The explanation given to police by Arkansas State hoopster Adrian Banks — after he was pulled over for shooting a gun out the window of a moving car — was one of the more creative we’ve heard in a long time.
“A fight was breaking out at the club,” said Banks, who had been at the Envisions nightclub in Jonesboro. “I found the gun on the ground and didn’t want anyone to get shot, so I shot the gun until it was empty.”
Quick thinking, Adrian! Wonder if Arkansas cops will buy that story.
They might, of course, because Banks is A-State’s leading scorer, averaging a healthy 21.7 points a game this year. Look for this one to go away somehow.
Still, this is about a 45-pointer to me; you can’t get less than 40 for discharging a handgun anywhere but at a cactus preserve.