He choked big time. Choked a woman, that is. University of Florida cornerback Jacques Rickerson was involved in one of the ugliest sports-crime stories of the year this past week, accused of beating, choking, and suffocating his girlfriend at her apartment complex.
Rickerson allegedly struck his girlfriend and choked her; then, when she screamed, he threw her down on a bed and put a pillow over her face. He also blocked the door when she tried to escape, and grabbed her phone when she tried to call police. Cops eventually arrived at the scene and hit Rickerson with charges of felony domestic battery by strangulation.
These stories of chick-battering by football players just get worse and worse, and, dare we say it, it might be time to start asking if both the NCAA and leagues like the NFL are complicit in the problem.
Granted, Gators coach (and good Bill Belichick buddy) Urban Meyer did the right thing this past week by removing Rickerson from the squad. The normally squeaky clean Meyer immediately bounced Rickerson, saying, "That is not what our team is about."
The question is, how long it will take for some other college to pick up a guy who had been a good player for an SEC powerhouse. The one constant in college domestic-violence cases is the second chance — if the guy can play well enough. If and when he reaches the NFL, the same guy could then get a third and fourth and fifth chance.
Watch any NFL game this week and see if you can count the number of players on both teams who've skated on a domestic-violence incident at least once. Larry Johnson of the Chiefs is actually going to be back in uniform this week after his fourth domestic-violence incident. A one-game suspension for your fourth domestic-violence case? After you got caught going all Pacman on your ex, spitting in her face in a bar?
The curious thing is that Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter recently chose to make an issue of the league's inconsistent discipline policy by wondering aloud why first-time drug offender Matt Jones is still playing after catching a coke charge. But Porter's comments were actually off-base. If anything, the NFL and the NCAA go after drug abusers harder than they do batterers. Multiple offenders on the domestic-violence score — guys like Michael Pittman — can stay in the league for years. And too many teams draft guys with domestic-violence histories and then give them second chances once they misbehave in the NFL; the Bills' Marshawn Lynch, last seen getting stifled by the Patriots defense this past Sunday in Foxboro, is a great example.
Anyway, we'll keep an eye out to see if Rickerson resurfaces. Until then, 70 points for this vile business.
Long John dumped?
Following up on this past week's John Daly story: as most of you know, the golfer was found passed out at a Hooters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on October 26. He wasn't arrested, but instead was taken to a local police station to sleep it off.