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Sports blotter: "Marcus Vick and more" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  June 25, 2008

Marcus Vick
Early candidate . . .
For the Dumbass of the Year award, that is. The nomination goes to Xavier point guard Drew Lavender, who this past week had his trial postponed for a priceless offense that I somehow missed back in April. If you watched the NCAA tournament this year, you probably remember this guy — he’s the gritty 5-7 guard who helped Xavier make it all the way to the West Regional final. Lavender is a real pest on defense; it’s just too bad he isn’t that bright.

According to news reports, Lavender was drunk and disorderly on the streets of Cincinnati on April 6 when cops asked him several times to move away from an intersection. Lavender “refused until apprehension,” at which point he was searched. When searched — you guessed it — he was holding a bag of tree. Cops then hit him with the more serious possession charge. Note to jocks: when carrying illegal drugs, if police ask you to walk away from them, do it! Standing your ground and arguing with them, to the point where they start shoving hands in your pockets, is probably not your best strategy.

Lavender’s attorney is filing a motion to suppress this week, so the case is put off for now. In the meantime, give him 23 points: one for the actual marijuana offense, five for the D&D, and 17 idiot points. And if he gets convicted, I’m adding 10 more of those.

Speaking of dumb . . .
Quick Vick family update: they were in the news again this past week, only this time it wasn’t Michael but baby brother Marcus. The younger ex–Virginia Tech star has already bounced out of the NFL for a) sucking and b) repeated off-field transgressions. But he still had time to get his act together and make another run at the Show. That isn’t looking particularly likely now, after he was arrested yet again, this time for charges of DUI, misdemeanor eluding police, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, and driving on a suspended license. A bicycle cop in Virginia saw Vick involved in an “altercation” with a young woman, and when he tried to intervene, Vick sped away, forcing cops into a short chase. He was eventually caught and slapped with the various charges.

Readers of the most recent Vick stories will see vague phrases such as “repeated brushes with the law” used to describe Vick’s past. Almost none of them, however, include his weirdest and most serious offense, an incident in which he lured 14- and 15-year-old girls to his room, got them drunk, and had them strip. Vick was charged with statutory rape in that case, but it wasn’t until he got a speeding ticket and a weed charge that Virginia Tech decided to bounce him from the team. He remains one of the all-time examples of a major college coddling a sex offender to protect a sports program.

A karmic shift?
Not only did the Celtics skull-whip the Los Angeles Lakers for their 17th title this past week, bringing the city of Boston all the way back from the karmic disaster of the Super Bowl, but fault lines began developing in the foundation of our winter conquerors, the New York Giants. First Michael Strahan retired, then we saw contract squabbles involving Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress bubble over into full-blown TO-style media psychodramas. Now the G-Men have entered the sports-crime realm with the jailing of 2007’s surprise rookie running-back phenomenon, Ahmad Bradshaw, for violation of probation.

No one is saying exactly what Bradshaw did — he was on probation for an offense committed years ago — but we do know he’s serving a 30-day sentence in Virginia. Making the matter even more mysterious is the fact that the underlying offense was committed while he was still a juvenile, which means we don’t know what he did then, either. All we know about is what Bradshaw did in the meantime. Namely, he got himself kicked out of two different college programs — from the University of Virginia for resisting arrest and underage drinking, and from Troy Brown/Randy Moss–land, Marshall, for the then-boutique sports crime offense of stealing a PlayStation 2. It was behavior like this that caused the talented Bradshaw to drop to the seventh round of the 2007 draft.

This looks like about a three-point offense. Let’s see how many more the Giants can rack up before September.

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  Topics: Sports , Ahmad Bradshaw , AFC North Division , Cincinnati Bengals ,  More more >
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