Long horn of the law
The Texas Longhorns have been a real gift to the sports-crime-reporting industry of late. And it’s about time we in the business gave a friendly shout-out to Longhorn safety Tyrell Gatewood, who won a big fat gold star this week for scoring his second routine-traffic-stop-gone-awry arrest in a year, this time for failing to signal for a turn. In Texas, that may mean just “making a turn while black,” but that doesn’t do much to change the weed/Xanax/codeine-cough-syrup haul the cops scored after searching Gatewood and fellow UT defensive back Ben Wells.
Wells, a freshman, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, while Gatewood — who had an outstanding warrant from Dallas County on a reckless-driving charge — landed two counts for possession of a dangerous drug. He was released on his own recognizance.
The Longhorns have had a tough summer. Defensive end Henry “the Hemi” Melton was busted (also in a routine-traffic stop) for a DUI, as was fellow linebacker Sergio Kindle. Meanwhile, freshman tackle Dre Jones and former Longhorn safety Robert Joseph were picked up in a bizarre aggravated-robbery incident, detailed in this column: the two had entered an apartment and threatened to shoot a 14 year old before absconding with a laptop, cell phones, and other such junk. That case was cracked when Joseph was identified by his street name, “N.O.” or “New Orleans.”
As a former illicit consumer of codeine-cough syrup, I’m inclined to give Gatewood no points for this one, but he should score at least five for being a dumbass, i.e., driving around Texas with drugs and an outstanding warrant. You have to be a much better safety than Gatewood is to get away with that in the Lone Star State.
Long horn in the tooth
Meanwhile, a former UT great resurfaced after a long absence from the limelight — just long enough to run a red light and stumble back into the public eye, breath reeking of booze.
Peter “The Great” Gardere, who quarterbacked the Longhorns between 1989 and 1992, was pulled over in downtown Austin this past Thursday after running a light. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of being intoxicated.
Gardere was a folk hero in Texas in the early ’90s for beating Oklahoma four consecutive times — the only QB on either side of the Red River Shootout rivalry ever to do so. An all-state punter in high school, Gardere returned to kicking after college and tried to make a career in the NFL, but was cut by the Seahawks before heading north to play in the CFL. (Who hasn’t tried that when their first job choice didn’t pan out?) He’s been out of football since 1996, when the Saints let him go during training camp.
Gardere also has another claim to fame: he was the stand-in for James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues. He then worked in a sports agency for a while before getting a job hawking commercial real estate. Now that he’s got a record, maybe the UT coaching staff will try to recruit him again.
Memo to black athletes getting behind the wheel: you might want to start signaling the moment you leave your driveway — and not stop until you get to where you’re going. UT’s Gatewood learned that the hard way, and now so has Shawne Williams, the underperforming Indiana Pacer.